As we gear up to release a new record in 2014 of course burning questions include where to tour and how to give the best show? I thought Austin was a natural --lived there 5 years, it's a music town, etc. Our recent trip was a great learning experience about the where and how:
1. The marketing formula works but not always. We've had success in cities beyond Seattle -- Portland, Oregon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York, New York -- through a combination of social media exposure/marketing, tapping into networks -- HS, college and law school alum, business, lawyers, associations I or other band members are connected with, etc, tying our performance to speaking engagements, at least 1 favorable blog/article and word of mouth. We weren't able to get that traction in Austin though the 50 or so folks at The Belmont dug the music and had a good time. Lesson: we need to refine our list of tour cities.
2. When you ask people to dance, they often will. Our encore was "The Way You Look Tonight" and when we urged folks to dance, they did! I could have done that earlier in the show -- lesson learned.
3. Opening bands can set a great tone. I thought The Belmont did a good job pairing us with local Austin band Rixon. Their music was different than ours but upbeat, sophisticated and well played. It was also not so different to cause something akin to sonic whiplash.
4. Stuff always happens in a show...deal with it. We couldn't play one of the band's favorite songs -- Lenny -- because of my guitar's warped neck. After a couple attempts to tune the darn thing unsuccessfully we moved on -- the right answer for our crowd and show flow.
5. There's always another show. You gotta keep getting on the horse so this Saturday I plan to do 2-3 songs solo at a local open mic.