I’m a HUGE fan of the band, Vertical Horizon, so when I heard they were the headliner at the “Rock the Zoo” fundraiser for the Phoenix Zoo, I was thrilled to know that I would be in town to enjoy the music and libations. What’s all this have to do with engaging presentations? Like night and day, the opening band, Marcy Playground was ho-hum and Vertical Horizon was rockin’. Let me explain:
Marcy Playground (claim to fame: Sex and Candy) is surprisingly a pretty decent band. Unfortunately, they didn’t bother to talk to the audience and did some completely self-indulgent dueling guitars/drum “thing” for about five minutes. No kidding. Five minutes. They played music, yes. Did they care about the audience? No. I call this “phoning it in.” Maybe the Phoenix Zoo wasn’t
Vertical Horizon (claim to fame: Everything You Want, You’re a God, and their early music is just a compelling) was completely different. Although I am slightly biased, Matt Scannell, the lead singer/guitarist started off by saying “hello” and made a wisecrack about how the giraffes said it was okay to play at the zoo. Right at the onset, Matt encouraged the crowd to sing along, and paused at key phrases for the crowd to sing along. (I call this presentation technique “fill in the blank”). He then proceeded to share a few stories about each song and why they were important to the band. The band members actually looked at the audience, at each other and it was CLEAR they were having a blast singing, playing and entertaining.
We can take a cue from my favorite band, Vertical Horizon. Rock on!