As musicians, we all have our share of bad gigs – myself included. It’s worth remembering though, that regardless of how you felt a performance went, the audience doesn’t necessarily share your feelings.
I’ll give you an example: I played at a venue a while back where I really struggled to hear what my percussionist and I were playing due to inadequate sound separation between where we were playing and another room where a rock band had been booked. As an acoustic act, there was no way we were going to win that battle! I came off stage thinking ‘well that one was a write-off’ – despite trying to keep a professional front on things, I felt that my performance really suffered. I hadn’t played as well as I know I can, and I beat myself up for letting the situation get on top of me.
That ‘awful’ gig got a glowing review from one of the audience members, which he kindly shared on my Facebook site.
An even more poignant example is described in the post below from Rennie Sparks on the DIY Musician blog:
I’ll leave you with a quote from Rennie’s post, as it’s a nice summing up:
“…every chance you’re given to offer your art to the world is a chance for adding meaning to life (yours and other people’s). You may not know how meaningful your work is for some time. You may never know. Have faith, though, that what you’ve put your heart into will speak to the heart of another… It adds up.
There have been many other “horrible shows” along the path of my musical career, but the amazing thing is this: There have also been just as many times when fans have told me that they first saw us play and fell in love with our music at a show I remember distinctly as being god-awful, ignored, meaningless.”