When performing it is important to understand the importance of beer to a show. However you don’t want to perform with too much liquid courage or your performance will start to suffer really quickly. To start, I want to be clear that I am not condoning the underage use of alcohol, rather, I am exploring the positive and negative side effects of musicians drinking during performances, and what atmosphere calls for a dry night. I’m not trying to tell you how to go about your life, but here are some points to consider.
- Helps keep anxiety to a minimal level
- If you are stressed out about the performance or other things happening in life, it can bleed over into your show and the way you present yourself on stage and in the public eye
- Instills confidence
- You want to show off, thats the point of a show, to give credence to your ability to perform and produce something great, this will help keep you positively focused and start to have fun
- The audience will have the perception of you being more relaxed if you have a beer on stage
- Not everything has to be so serious, music is about having fun doing what you are doing. If you look like you are having fun, smiling, laughing, goofing off at an appropriate level, all with a beer by your feet, they can connect and see that you are approachable, affable and enthusiastic about your set. If its a party for you, then its a party for them.
- Augmented socialization with crowd
- Its easier to talk to a crowd if your cheeks are warm, and have a hard time with public speaking. Its important to talk to the crowd so they understand that you are a human and have interest in other human aspects of life other than music. Beer makes a public speaker out of all of us.
- If you drink to much too quickly, coordination decreases
- This can be bad for everyone in your outfit, you will perform poorly, the music won’t groove as tight, and the crowd can potentially end up booing you off the stage. Even worse, the band can leave you mid-set and you will end up like the singer from Puddle of Mudd. So cool it on the brews, bud.
- If you are performing for kids, at a school, in the park
- probably will get you arrested for having open liquor on the grounds. Just avoid mixing kids and alcohol all together. No one needs to be fined for something so easily avoided.
- Clouded judgement
- If you say the wrong thing at the wrong place you could be liable for a number of things. Not being able to go back to a venue because you yelled some unintelligible nonsense into the microphone (while maybe good for a story later) only brings embarrassment to you, your group, and the community you belong to.
So where is it okay to drink, and what circumstances can we get by with a brew or two on stage? In my opinion the only safe situations are:
- Bars… need I say more?
- Private parties/shows tucked away from the public eye and in good confidence that there is adult supervision.
- Venue/bar/restaurant combos, where they may offer you free food and drink as a trade for your performance (don’t go for it, get paid, more info here).
- The practice space, where creative juices may sometimes need assistance flowing.
Everywhere else is basically a no fly zone, and honestly, don’t risk it. Getting ticketed and arrested for disorderly conduct is an easily avoidable thing that you don’t need looming on your personal record.
You have to remember that as a band, you have to treat yourself like a business, so it’s not really appropriate to be drunk and have conversations that are out of your control, especially in the public eye. Having a candid and honest band meeting or meeting with your crew is one thing. But even then, it is choice to remain lucid and remember the things you talked about, it may have severe repercussions for the future of your outfit.