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Best stage banter/patter for involving crowd?

doc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,177
A few years back myself, sisters in law and the wife all went to see Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allmans. I enjoyed most of the show except the cheesy Dog the Bounty Hunter cartoon commercial. The girls mostly preferred Skynyrd, partly because the Allmans just played music with very little crowd interaction, and of course mostly instrumental acrobatics as compared with Skynyrd's well crafted tunes and interaction with the audience. Part of the appeal of a band is in the interaction with the crowd. The question is, what are the best lines you've heard or imagined from a band in interacting with an audience, especially ones that can be easily used in most situations? We've all heard "How y'all doin?", "Havin' a good time tonight?" etc. - I'm looking for new witty/fun/cool things to say to the crowd that increase the audience enjoyment of the night and give less dead time between songs.
 

fish78

Member
Messages
2,026
Well, you could go the IGGY route, but you do that at your own peril...I think the key is to be genuine...that is, really want to know about how the crowd is doing...is the venue to hot, too cold...who need a beer...This is kind of cheesy, but you could pick up a slip of paper and say..."We just got a request, but the microphone won't fit...so we will have to play something else...Set it up before hand and then pick a bandmate to make fun of...drummer, bass player "couldn't find a pocket if he was a quarter"...keyboard play sounds like a woodpecker on ritalin...and so forth
 

doc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,177
Thanks for the response. I guess depending on your own personality you could just deliver one-liners, but unless the humor was pretty dry it wouldn't fit me very well. I guess it helps to have some connection to and knowledge of the crowd and just interact with them like friends. My problem is I'm so focused on the music its hard to think of other aspects (not because I'm good, but because if I don't focus I screw up).
 

'70 RS

Member
Messages
5,347
Don't have rehearsed lines.
Period.
Don't try it.
No good will come of it.
Bad idea.
Really.

That doesn't mean you can't have a laugh and joke with your audience. You should. And the more you lighten up and stop focusing on the music the better you'll be.

It seems counterintuitive, but the more you forget about what you're playing, and instead just accept the audience as equals to the band (remember, all of you are out for a fun night) the better it will be.
 

Stike

Member
Messages
14,059
Eddie Spaghetti has the best between song banter in the biz, can ramble sometimes but always smart and funny.
 

bynt

Member
Messages
2,130
God I just keep thinking of the 70's punk stuff. If you ever get a chance watch the original "Decline of Western Civilization". "Fear" has the best crowd interaction I've ever seen. Tongue firmly implanted in cheek.!!!

Then I guess there's G.G. Allen. Whew.

Personally though, I really like it when the guys in the band are just genuine. I'm not comfortable with it. I just play. That's not to say I'm cooler than people that do it, I'm just not good as good at it as other folks.
 
Last edited:

dancehall

Member
Messages
1,899
Don't have rehearsed lines.
Period.
Don't try it.
No good will come of it.
Bad idea.
Really.

That doesn't mean you can't have a laugh and joke with your audience. You should. And the more you lighten up and stop focusing on the music the better you'll be.

It seems counterintuitive, but the more you forget about what you're playing, and instead just accept the audience as equals to the band (remember, all of you are out for a fun night) the better it will be.
Totally agree with this post. If you can't be funny off the top of your head, you won't be funny with prepared lines.
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,611
Totally agree with this post. If you can't be funny off the top of your head, you won't be funny with prepared lines.
Comedians have prepared lines and they are funny.

I know, musicians aren't comedians, but it is the same concept.
 

Polynitro

Member
Messages
23,616
I usually hate when bands talk.
The funniest banter I've heard was from Ginger Baker Trio when he would make fun of America and the crowd in between songs, "I asked for hot tea and they gave me this luke-warm brown water" "NSU? This isn't 1969!"
 

jaycee

Member
Messages
8,306
Don't do any self-deprecating stuff. Don't rag yourself or the band members unless you guys are REAL good. It's not cool to point out flaws that a few people might already have noticed. A toast is always cool, getting people to drink. Just try to have a couple different ones to switch up at gigs...i'm sure you can find plenty on the net. Just be natural and let it flow, you don't want to come off "vegas" which is fine for someone like DLR.
 

8Painting

Member
Messages
2,207
I usually hate when bands talk.
The funniest banter I've heard was from Ginger Baker Trio when he would make fun of America and the crowd in between songs, "I asked for hot tea and they gave me this luke-warm brown water" "NSU? This isn't 1969!"
I'm with you.

I'm one of those types who loves to play, sing(every once and awhile), and keep quiet in between songs. Let the music speak for itself.

Although I do like Ginger's reactions...hahah
 

gibson60

Member
Messages
208
Depending on the crowd, I usually get positive/interested responses if I provide a factoid about a song once in awhile ie norwegian wood was originally entitled "knew that she would." Stuff like that.
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,101
I hate when musicians talk to me or try to tell jokes.

I like shows to be like the Ramones: no pause, one two three four and next song.

I don't even like band member introductions "On bass, Mr. Blah blah blah! (little bass fill)".

I also hate unaccompanied solos, drums or otherwise. It really takes Neil Peart to make a drum solo bearable. When watching Santana do "Soul Sacrifice" in Woodstock, I fast forward over the drum solo.

I love to watch Sigur Ros live. They don't speak English, so, no banter.
 
Messages
7,046
We don't have any mics, so no talking.

I say, "thanks" or give a nod and smile when there is applause.


If you have a really short and great story about a song that could be good. Right now I'm thinking of Bill Frisell telling a funny story about how he met Willie Nelson at an airport in Finland and it inspired the song, "Pleased to Meet You."
 

Robboman

Member
Messages
231
Need for banter greatly depends on the context of the gig. Big stadium shows - people appreciate personalized banter and are critical of artists that don't offer much and just play the tunes. If it's folky, acoustic songwriter stuff in a theatre you virtually have to talk between every song, tell little funny stories about each song and how they were written and why. It's not optional in that context, absolutely required aspect of the show.

On the other hand if you're a local band playing classic rock cover tunes in a bar full of people trying to dance or converse amongst themselves, it's usually just annoying when the musicians stop every song to try to talk and be funny. Unless you're really REALLY good at it. Best bet, (especially when they're dancing) is to try to eliminate the dead air and just jump into the next song in as few seconds as possible.
 




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