3. Remain Neutral
This is probably where some of y’all will disagree (irony) but coming from past experience, I have always found it is better to remain neutral while you are on stage. Sounds odd right? To remain ‘neutral‘ during a live performance. This neutrality applies to when you perform for a new crowd, one that is unfamiliar with your music. This tip doesn’t necessarily apply for an audience filled with already-fans. Fans of your music understand your beliefs and motives and they are likely a fan because they identify with what you say in your songs. But when it comes to doing whatever it takes to win over a audience full of strangers, I have learned the hard way that it is best to remain neutral.
Example: A year or so ago, I performed for a fraternity at The University of Texas. After a couple songs, I started talking poorly on Aggies (Texas A&M, their rival). You can safely assume that the UT crowd loved it, they were giving me more energy than before, and even better, it was contagious! What I did not take into account was that there were quite a few Aggies in the crowd. You know how I found that out? Because they came up to me after my performance and told me they loved my set and enjoyed my music, until, I started throwing shade at their school. Imagine if I remained neutral and found a more objective way to interact with the crowd? I would have captured those Aggies as fans and they could’ve booked me for my next show, hence organic growth. Instead, they left bitter and probably will never give my music a second chance. Who knows, maybe I am the most hated white rapper in College Station and I have never even performed there!
It can be the smallest thing you say that divides a crowd, and though you may win over a majority of the audience, that small percentage of people you just spoke poorly about, will never be your fans. And the way I see it, those fans you outcast can have a powerful impact on your career. You must remain objective and neutral when it comes to performing for an unfamiliar crowd. It will help you in the long run and prevent you from making fanemies. I used rival colleges as an example, but imagine using politics as your crowd interaction. That’s the quickest way to split the room and eliminate half the audience from becoming fans.