Nerves worse when you know people in the audience?

MBB

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Generally, but not always, I don't get nervous before gigs. However my band just agreed to play a party for my coworkers (my retirement party) at a proper bar/music venue. When I was asked if we could do it and I said sure, then all of a sudden I felt freaking nervous. VERY strange. It is no doubt because I know and work with them and feel more pressure not to fu*k up. Should get about 100 people for the show plus regular bar customers. Do you guys get more uptight when you know lots of folks in the audience?
 

singleordoubleheads

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I'm like you--I almost never get nervous before a gig, ANY gig really...except for maybe like one you described. Esp if a lot of people who know you play but have never seen you play before. It's a weird mix of nerves and pressure. To be honest I'd almost always prefer to play for complete strangers. No expectations, no forced conversation on breaks, just play and go home! No muss no fuss....
 

snappy

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Generally, but not always, I don't get nervous before gigs. However my band just agreed to play a party for my coworkers (my retirement party) at a proper bar/music venue. When I was asked if we could do it and I said sure, then all of a sudden I felt freaking nervous. VERY strange. It is no doubt because I know and work with them and feel more pressure not to fu*k up. Should get about 100 people for the show plus regular bar customers. Do you guys get more uptight when you know lots of folks in the audience?
No, I like it.
A few butterflies are a good thing, MBB.
Don't get too nuts but show 'em what ya got.
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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Nope. Only time I can remember being nervous before a show was my first one, in grade 8 band. Oddly, after that, all good. Its only gotten more and more comfortable over the years, regardless of who's in the crowd.

I've worked with a guitar player that suffers from crazy stage fright. He literally has to sit down to play (on stage). He often throws up before shows, the sweats, etc. Poor guy.
 

paul

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I'm lucky to have some friends who routinely show up at my gigs, and I love them for it, and love playing for them. I'm proud of what my band is doing, and I really love it when someone comes to a show and is pleasantly surprised. It made my day this week when the leader of a volunteer group I work with suggested to everyone in the group that they come see us on our next regular gig.
 

On the one

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I don't get nervous usually its my guitar player that freaks out for some reason. I feel a little uneasy sometimes when the venue is real small and the crowds are on the flanks up close. I never played for my co workers but played for my wife's co workers
 

Polska

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I only get a little nervous subbing as there usually isn't much, if any rehearsal. That passes after a couple songs. My own bands are rehearsed enough that I'm good. I actually get excited when people I know come out to see us.
 

Roch

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When you live and play in a small town, you know everybody in the audience..although, sometimes I find my thoughts preoccupied with watching people and trying to notice if they are listening and what their reactions are...
 

blueshadow

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I've gotten somewhat used to it. In Austin there's so many great musicians and multi-band gigs that you always have your peers/friends listening. I figure if they are listening they must be enjoying it or they'd leave :)
 

BennyK

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I have the habit of embroidering the truth about my abilities , but I'm working on changing that . The hole under my nose can get me into some awkward situations such as the one you've described .

Most of my buddies are hoping I screw up so they can have a good chuckle , the other drummers are there to steal the gig , so wearing shades is the first step in survival .

 
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DanRH

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Usually no but I recently had a gig with my Funk/Classic Rock band where two guys I highly respect were on each side of the stage. And first song? Soul Sacrifice by Santana. I was having one of “those” moments.

Below is a pic of a recent gig of my Petty band in Tahoe.

DBC4D494-03C9-4C85-A345-FF6F80FC8357.jpeg
 

RIDDIM

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This has happened once or twice over the years, but when I realized the priority was playing the music really well vs. pushing the envelope on the kit, that meant I had to focus on playing the music the best I could. This in turn meant that I couldn't think about who might be in the audience. If I was doing that, I wasn't doing my job.

That didn't necessarily mean playing dumb all night - it just meant giving the music what it needed- no more and no less.

If the music sounded good, the better musicians would notice and often remark favorably on it. And the phone would ring.
 


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