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Scott’s rolling to a stop on his solo live playing. I think that’s cool, I started to weigh in with a comment on my own struggle with playing live but it got too huge so here it is:

A couple of years ago I was fed up with playing live. Some people love to perform and I’m just not that guy. I wouldn’t say I’m shy but I wouldn’t deny that I’m an introvert. Then I had a pretty bad string of rough, demoralizing gigs and it was messing with me. I’d travel home afterwards all bummed out and thinking my time would have been much better spent recording or writing or doing stuff on the internet. Plus it’s easier and more fun to me.

I got fed up, took a break and decided to play less shows but to make them more meaningful. Promote them better, book them better, work harder at them. In 2010 that approach was pretty successful so I’m planning to play some more in 2011.

A lesson I learned, and this may only apply to me and my city, is that there’s very little point to playing thankless gigs. Maybe you’re getting some practice in. Maybe you enjoy it. But you’re not building a fan base. You’re not generating buzz. If you have a small draw, which most bands do, you’re spreading it too thin over many sad shows rather than saving it up for a few good ones.

Now that I’m taking this new approach I’m enjoying the shows way more. I’m still not much of a performer, but I’ve been enjoying the crowd interaction. I like getting yelled at. I enjoy feeling like my being there and doing my thang is facilitating a good time for others.

So when people come out now, tell me they like my stuff, tell me they’re looking forward to new music, it’s pretty great. It’s very easy on the Internet to group fans into one single entity. But when I meet people face to face who seem to genuinely connect with what I’ve done or what I’m doing, well that’s encouraging and awesome and nice.

Posted on - January 20, 2011 [at] 3:50 pm by Brad
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7 Comments on this post

bryan o on On playing live
January 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Brad, it was a complete fluke that I found your music about a year ago. I instantly became a fan after listening to Out of It from start to finish. You are talented and have a gift. Do what makes you happy. If you ever come to Vegas, ill be the first in line for tickets!

Scott Gentzen on On playing live
January 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I’ll have to remember to yell at you if I ever find myself near where you’re playing.

Pray on On playing live
January 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm

it would be one of the greatest news in my entire life if you could possibly perform at this year’s Heineken Open’er Festival in Poland! if there’s anything you might be able to do in this matter, I BEG YOU, try! me and my brother are just dying to see you live and it would be such an awesome opportunity…

alvin on On playing live
January 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm

dude your music is AWESOME. i found you through this youtube vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBTx526Yh5w

keep on producing that awesome stuff. i will definitely buy a cd once i replace my stolen iphone!

scottandrew on On playing live
January 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Brad, I think you’re on to something. If I decided to return to playing live, I’d want to go big and make the show as great as possible.

The best shows I’ve had are the ones into which I put the most thought and preparation. But for the most part I’ve set the bar far too low and far too often. There’s just no point in more been-there-done-that gigs.

Holland on On playing live
February 5, 2011 at 2:54 am

COME TO LA I would be so stoked. You’ve gotta be one of, if not my favorite artist. Something about your stuff is just addicting, It’s like crack! Most everyone I show your stuff to absolutely loves it as well. Anywho best of luck with your live shows and new album, can’t wait for it!

Kirby T. on On playing live
February 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm

You really ought to come to Laramie, WY. I KNOW – who the hell goes to Wyoming? Like, is it even a real place, or is that large square on a map of the US just a mirage? No, Wyoming is a real place. But I would be excited, and I would totally go. Plus it’d give me something to do one night.

Or Denver. I guess Denver is close enough, and much larger.

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