Comment: Entertaining the crowds and treating them with respect – not every Romanian band's cup of tea
I like to listen to Romanian music and to discover new bands, and new songs, and I admire a lot of young Romanian bands and musicians for their hard work and for their good music. Many of them are on heavy rotation in my playlist- but I recently discovered that good music does not always equal good concerts, and that some Romanian bands still have to come to terms with the idea of entertaining the crowds. .
And my discovery is not about whose music can sound better in a live show. I recently attended a concert in a smaller Romanian city – around 60,000 inhabitants – which was organized by the city hall and for which the entrance was free. A gift to the inhabitants of that city. Several interesting names in the lineup so I wanted to attend, because I like their music. And yes, the music was good. But the attitude of those on the stage was not 100% what I was hoping it to be. The lead singer of the first band kept 'complaining' that the audience was not enough involved and that the music seemed to be an extra.
Yes, a lot of people were sitting on terraces drinking beer, others were biking around, there were parents with children moving around, and there were also enthusiasts staying in the front row, clapping and shouting. But for the singer it did not seem enough, and all of a sudden, I felt we were there to entertain the band and inspire them to sing, and apparently we were not doing a good job. I get it, as artists the singers also need to feel inspired by the crowd in front of which they're singing, and they need to get good vibes to put on a good show, but some of them really need to learn how to treat the audience.
I would not like to generalize, some Romanian bands really know how to put on a good show in Bucharest, as well as in any corner of Romania, not only that it is their job – they're hired to entertain – and they manage to turn into fans even the people who just came out of curiosity. But others – and on purpose I won't mention band names, cos otherwise their music is very good – still lack the skills to turn indifferent people into people who like their show.
The first concert I was telling you about was ok in the end. For comparison, the band which played before them, that I had never heard of, were amazing, made us feel like rock stars, and I only liked their music remotely, but they were magnetic on stage.
But another one followed – it was 11 pm and some of the people in the crowd had started to leave. Probably not the best view for the next singer, although there were still some people left who wanted to listen to their music. But the singer was so uninspired that the first thing she said when on stage was an irony about the 'warm welcome' she'd received. Strike 1, I felt offended; I stayed there late, applauded when they came on stage, as I like their music, but a lot of the people still there did not know who they were and what their music sounds like. Yes, in Bucharest they must be stars already, and they had concerts abroad, but in this city, many people did not know them. Which was a great opportunity to win them over. Why don't you try to be a decent person, and not complain about how warmly they greet you on the stage, but rather make them feel good, saying they're great, and meaning it? They will love you after that.
After one song, the atmosphere seemed to warm up, but probably not enough, as the singer continued to complain, sarcastically, saying that probably a lot of people 'must know their songs'. Then I really felt offended, and decided to leave, and I saw others doing the same. I secretly wished that everyone would leave, to teach them a lesson. And I hope they learned it – no matter how famous you think you are – people will judge, and walk away, if you don't treat them nicely. Yes, it's a two-way street, but I think young Romanian bands have to go a bit beyond their very good music, and put more effort into how they entertain the crowds, even the crowds that don't love them – yet.
By Corina Chirileasa, email@example.com
(photo source: sxc.hu)