Closing the Gap – Live Music Crowd Interaction

The other night I covered the Bo Bruce gig at Shepherds Bush Hall, for The Upcoming. She did something I really appreciate in a music performance: Got down off the stage and performed Holding the Light in the middle of the audience.

I like it when musicians/singers/etc do that. It’s cool to see the space between band and crowd destroyed. To be fair destroyed is the wrong term, she just sort of meandered in the center and sang. She did that without the microphone, and that in my opinion was actually sort of a mistake because I don’t think her vocal style was loud enough for that large a space. But it’s cool, and it seems like a number of people are doing it these days if the last couple of weeks have been anything to go by.

I’m not a fan of her kind of music. I can appreciate it, but my background is primarily in metal, and that’s mostly where I draw my experience. I was at a small show a year or so ago, I think Lucky One Dies First were headlining, though don’t quote me on that. It’s just the only name I remember. The first band was this sort of crust punk influenced act, and the stage was so small that none of the vocalists, throughout the night, could fit onto it with the rest of their bands. So there were about ten people in the crowd when they came on. Because the vocalist couldn’t stand on the stage, he just prowled back and forth screaming into everyone’s faces. It was great. It was a real shame there were so few people to soak that energy up.

Another gig I was at, one the bands covered Hatebreed’s I Will Be Heard by demand of the crowd. The stage was another one of those tiny things that was at best a half a foot off the floor at the front of a small pub. The crowd just fucking stole the song – that mic got passed around this ball of screaming humans for a couple of minutes  – I think the actual front man had it for about thirty seconds total. They were blown away, and it’s probably one of my favourite gig memories.

I’m not the most massive gig connoisseur – I just don’t have the cash – but I’ve always liked it when groups and crowd collide.


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