Not sure if you seen or heard about Garth Brooks performance on CBS last Friday night (or if you even care) but I DVR'ed his CBS performance the other night and I was in awe watching his show. I think we as musicians can learn a few things from him.
And, regardless of how you may feel about him, the man can flat out entertain. He makes people laugh, cry, feel all warm and fuzzy inside, etc. And seeing that he is one of the biggest acts ever (right up there with Elvis, Micheal Jackson, The Beatles), I think his record speaks for itself.
What Impressed Me Most…
The thing that impressed me the most was that he kept a theatre full of people (each paying over $100 btw) and a national television audience “deeply engaged” for 2 full hours all by himself without even playing more than 2 or 3 full songs. Think about that.
My biggest take-away was how he made the entire two hours into a story. He mixed both covers and his own original music into a narrative of his life and how he fell in love with music and made it his life.
Beyond that, and for greater effect, I am guessing that his story wasn't very different from most of the peoples in the audience (they/we just didn't end up becoming super stars). The way he talked about being in his moms car hearing James Taylor for the first time or how his dad always had George Jones and Merle Haggard playing in the background. We can all relate in some way to that.
I thought his whole approach was both simple and genius.
The Big Picture…
It made me think of how I could incorporate a story or “bigger picture” into some of my shows. Tie the songs together and connect with the audience. It obviously works has more of an effect than just getting up there and rifling through 1 song after another.
Anyway, check it out if you get a chance.
If you saw it, let us know what you thought. And if you are doing something along these lines in your performances, feel free to share any tips or first hand knowledge.
For more on Garth Brooks, check out this article on Saving Country Music about how he wants to make music at a “I've never seen before.”