I took my daughter to see Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium last night – great show, lots of rare material, a good time had by all. I’ve seen Bruce and the E Street Band many times over the last 35 or so years but each time I do, I’m reminded of the special bond that they have with each other as they perform.
I played in a number of bands throughout junior high, high school, and college. OK, so we weren’t quite ready for prime time but we were good enough to get paying gigs – quite a few of them, actually. The way I knew we were ready for them was if any of us could nod or gesture or use a facial expression to get other members of the band to do something as we were playing. That’s the sign of an organization that’s on the same page and whether you like the Boss’ music or not, you have to acknowledge that the band is TIGHT! Same thing with the Grateful Dead or the Allman Brothers Band – when you’re jamming and playing a song in a new way every night, the band has to listen to one another, anticipate where everyone wants to go, and keep up. When it works, it’s magic. When it doesn’t – well, no one goes home happy (except the promoter).
How tight is your band? We used to practice almost daily – the general rule was 4 hours of practice for every hour of performance (yes, we still found time to go to classes!). What are you doing to tighten up your organizaiton? How can you “practice” so you’re all on the same page when it’s performance time?