“I think it is more challenging to play in front of a smaller crowd because the audience is paying closer attention to everything on stage.”
By Mark ‘Fenny’ Fenichely
With the pandemic slowly going away, I have spoken with other musicians about how the last year and a half was for them. I was surprised to find out that a few put down their instruments the entire time and didn’t play a single note. For me it was just the opposite. Working from home I had the ability to practice and learn every day. In that long period of time I wrote a variety of new songs and learned many new cover tunes.
Starting early April 2020 I joined an online Zoom open-mic group that had started mid-March with about 25 to 30 players each time doing only one song each per session.
The group gets together twice a week. For me it became a game to see how many songs I could play without repeating. I kept a log each week and have so far managed to play 124 different songs over the past 15 months.
I can’t say this is something I should send to Guinness Book of Records but it has been a wonderful challenge and a personal best and something I am proud of.
Now that many musicians are getting back to live performance an interesting thing happened last week. A few minutes after stepping off the stage at the Fourth of July Freedom Festival, a young man came over and started a conversation. One of the things he asked out of his own curiosity was, what is it like playing in front of so many people after going for so long without playing in front of any.
Truthfully, it had been a while since I played in front of such a large crowd but honestly, it is no different than playing for 100 people at a local winery or playing in front of 10 or 20 at a backyard party.
In a large venue you are completely at the mercy of the sound person and can only hope they are making you sound as good as they can because what you hear on stage is not necessarily what the audience is hearing. The response after each song was decent so I assume the sound people were doing their job.
I think it is more challenging to play in front of a smaller crowd because the audience is paying closer attention to everything on stage.
But it all boils down to putting out a decent performance, hoping they enjoy what you do, and it is always a blessing to know you have made people happy through music.
If you have any good music events to pass on you can contact me at [email protected]
- Music in the Air … with Mark ‘Fenny’ Fenichel: We’re getting back to the new normal - July 9, 2021
- Music in the Air … with Mark ‘Fenny’ Fenichel: Live music begins to come back - June 24, 2021
- Music in the Air . . . with Mark ‘Fenny’ Fenichel: Memories from Woodstock Music and Art Fair from 51 years ago - August 20, 2020