Posted by: drewdice | August 23, 2010

Hitch a ride on the back of a butterfly

From time to time, I scan the web and airwaves to see what bands are coming to Baltimore; there is nothing quite like the experience of live music. Something about the environment, energy, vibe and the overall sensory experience that always works for me.

So, as chance would have it, JoAnn and I both saw that Train was coming to town, and wanted to take the opportunity to see one of our favorite bands for the first time.

Forget for a second that there were 3 no-name bands (who were decent), Hanson, AND the Backstreet Boys to get through before Train performed. Forget also that once we arrived at Pier 6 Pavillion, we couldn’t exit to get food at a local restaurant, but could only choose from the festival-type food (fried, fried, and more fried) for dinner (we opted for water and had dinner after the show…at 11:30pm). By the time Train came on at 9:45pm (we arrived at 6pm), we were very hungry, kind of hot and sticky, and pretty annoyed at the boppers surrounding us who were going bananas for both Hanson and the Backstreet Boys. Needless to say, our excitement had been a bit muted.

Talk about a transformation. The show that Train put on was easily a top 5 concert experience for me. EVER. I’ve seen some pretty good shows, many of which I experienced in my college tenure in New Orleans. The music was fantastic. The acoustics were outstanding. What trumped it all for us, though, was the experience. Pat Monahan, lead singer for Train, is a master at connecting with the crowd. He is quirky, funny, eccentric, and, above all else, authentic. Talk about managing the expectations of your buyers. He kept constant tabs on the mood of the audience, used his verbal and non verbal skills to move the emotions of the crowd, made phenomenal song choices in a shorter than normal concert time, brought kids on stage to help with the performance and also walked through the crowd during one of the songs, and all the while, just blew the “doors” (not really, since it was an outdoor show) off the place. This was a show I’ll remember for quite some time to come.

So, I ask you: How do you produce the same experience for your customers….every day, without fail?

By the way, if you ever get the chance to see Train in concert, don’t pass up this experience. My sense is that the smaller venues will produce a more intimate, better overall experience.

Cheers,

Andrew

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