Tom Jackson believes that the most successful artists are those who are amazing live performers. A few weeks ago, Stevie and I attended a two day bootcamp with live music producer Jackson and his team to see how we could improve our own performance. I was not disappointed.
In his many years of experience working with everyone from big name artists like Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, or Jars of Clay to up-and-coming indie artists like the Canadian country duo The Reklaws, Jackson has learned that fans don’t just come to a live show to listen to music. They come to feel emotion. What they crave is to connect with an artist, and to have their lives changed.
As for merchandise, most fans don’t buy a CD because they want to listen to the studio version of the song they heard live. Merchandise, Jackson says, is a prop that help fans relive the emotional moments of a live performance. The merchandise is a memento, and the emotional moments in a show are what it’s all about.
The Steven Spielberg of Live Music Performance
Tom Jackson teaches musicians how to make their live stage show remarkable. He helps artists deliberately create emotional “moments”. Jackson is the Steven Spielberg of live music production. This is the science of stagecraft and performance art. He teaches musicians how to use moments to create true fans, because it’s those moments that bring people back again and again to see your live show. It’s those moments that create the word-of-mouth buzz that propels an artist forward.
I did something important this weekend. It was important because I’m dying. Not anytime soon, mind you, but someday I won’t be here. So, because I could – because it mattered to me – this weekend I did a few things I enjoyed doing a lot. Things on my bucket list. These were all things I’ve never done before, and I did them with people I love and respect. I
Oh, and I moved people. That is really the most important part of what I did this weekend. I made something beautiful and magical for people I love and for complete strangers alike. How do I know this? Because people haven’t stopped telling me since last Saturday. That is why I make music: to move people. I don’t need to be a star. I don’t need to be famous. I’m old (relatively), and I have three kids. I think regularly about how best to live the rest of my life, and what kind of meaningful memories I want to leave behind when I am gone. I’ve done my time in corporate meeting rooms. I want to make people feel. I want to touch people and make them think about their own creativity. If I did that for even a few people last weekend, that makes me happy.
Yes indeed. What a night! Could the long term good vibes of the church be blessing our communion ! I’m not the least bit religious but last night was the best feeling I’ve had in a group of strangers since the sixties. – Tim Rounds
It was a sell out crowd, with Microsoft co-founder and guitarist Paul Allen in attendance, Sue Ennis (their longtime co-writer), and many, many others who have followed Heart and the Wilson sisters for decades. Stevie and I sat in the third row orchestra surrounded by adoring (and greying) fans, friends and family. The crowd was very interactive – shouting out comments and requesting songs. The familiarity and love of the audience for the two women was palpable, and they seemed equally relaxed and at home.
Before the backup band came on, Ann and Nancy were interviewed by their biographer, author and journalist Charles R. Cross. His collaborative book on the sisters called Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll was released in the fall of 2012. Although some might have called the interview portion of the concert superfluous (perhaps preferring just a standalone musical performance), I greatly enjoyed this informative window into the personal and musical history of Ann and Nancy Wilson.