I have to share a few good ideas that I recently witnessed at the Port O'Brien show at The Mercury Lounge on October 14th. Port O'Brien, a California acoustic/indie rock band recently came out with their third album Threadbare on October 6th and have been touring to support the album. The indie powerhouse that is M. Ward (part of She and Him and Monsters of Folk in addition to a solid solo career) recently named Port his 'favorite new band'. I would check out their new single 'I Woke Up Today' to taste the flavor and see if you like them.
Anyway, they brought Mad Libs to the show! The greatest vocabulary game of our youth aka hard evidence that we were all little perverts on the playground. In between songs Port asked the audience for nouns, adjectives, etc. to fill out a page that they read at the end of the show. They have been doing one Mad Libs for each show across the past few weeks. A few interesting notes - Boston was WAY more dirty and politically incorrect than New York was and there was way too long of a pause before someone tried their hand at yelling out a pronoun, it should embarrass every third grade teacher. Overall, Mad Libs was a really cool way to engage the crowd and fill time in between songs to allow band members to quickly tune or switch out instruments. They were kind enough to give me the one from the show, see photo.
Another really cool thing that Port did was encourage a kitchen crazy end to their show. Before their last song, 'I Woke Up Today', they passed around wooden spoons, pots and pans, aluminum pie holders, and a whole bunch of noise making fun out to the crowd. It was a great way to end the showI am pretty impressed that they haul around a big heavy bag of all that crap from city to city.
The moral of this story is it pays to be creative with your shows and how you interact with your audience. It makes you memorable, it helps to show your personality as a band and it helps to shake things up from one gig to another.
Bonus - you can buy a whole bunch of different Mad Libs on this web site: http://www.madlibs.com
A fun little stocking stuffer or office present this year.