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Monday, December 21, 2009

Allowing Audience Members On Stage

Most 'live' performances that I've witnessed don't include an audience member joining the band. While this is the 'safe' way to go, I'd like to suggest another path.

I recently played a solo-gig at a party. I set up an extra mic and announced many times that, 'there's another mic here, just waiting for you to join me!'

I didn't have any 'takers' until the very end. Of course, the drunk brother of the host wanted to knock out a number. He did a poor job of 'Mustang Sally.' But, everyone danced and they all loved the song.

The brother slid me a C-note and with a 'wink,' said, 'thanks for that.'

Musically, it was a disaster, but it ensured that I'll get the call the next time they throw a party. And, the cash didn't hurt either!


  1. I've thought of trying to have people routinely join me to sing harmony or tambourines and such. I'm thinking of it at open mikes and childrens' concerts though. Low stress situations, or maybe high alcohol situations. If the point is to have fun with the audience, the concept sounds good.

  2. Hey - I'm the guy who sung Mustang Sally. I don't appreciate you calling me a drunk and I thought I sang better n you. I want that C note back and I'm tellin my brother to find someone who recognizes talent when he sees it to play at the next party.

    Just kidding. Couldn't resist. Keep up the good work brother. It works great at a private party to have members of the group join in as everyone loves to see their friends or co-workers perform - even if just to make a fool of themselves.

  3. A party is one thing, but this is a No-NO for a club or bar gig. The owner/manager is paying you to let your drunk buddy or smashed girlfriend get up and sound like crap!

  4. Yeah, I heard from a working band friend of mine that the bar owner didn't want patrons joining in. I say that's a stupid business decision because those patrons come in just to have an opportunity to join in. Now there are fewer patrons and less food and drink sales. The other non-performing patrons were too few anyway but always seemed supportive when a fellow audience member got up. What are these bar owners thinking?

  5. Ya, doesn't sound like a very good idea for bars or clubs. However, I do enjoy doing a sort of call and response to get the audience participating and into it...that usually works.