Your Role at Concerts — The Committed Observer

How do you create a great news-story from a gig or concert?

A music journalist uses their verification capabilities and their storytelling art to make the gig-report newsworthy

A good show review is not written merely to inform readers, it also adds value to the concert itself.

Your role is to present the facts in a way that engages the readership

Your role at concerts – The Committed Observer Photo: @neilmach ©
Your role at concerts – The Committed Observer
Photo: @neilmach ©

Here are some tips to help your gig-report stand out from the rest :

  • Note what is said by the artists on and off stage. Off-the-cuff remarks may be forgotten the next day but will add spice to your story
  • Watch the crowd reaction — what are their favorite numbers? Do they scream out for their favorite band members?
  • Identify and chat to the super-fan (s) They are the experts. Do they think this is a good show? Or not?
  • Show and Tell : See how the musicians deal with their equipment — any faults? Any slip-ups? Broken strings and bust drumsticks mean the artists were giving “their everything” — so reveal these facts in your final piece
  • Some [perhaps most] of your readers were not at the show. You must act as their “eyes & ears.” So describe the room/stage to them, describe the lights, the background, the environment. Add flavour and colour to your descriptions to make the story a sensory experience for your readers
  • Describe the crowd, their age, their gender, what T-shirts they are wearing
  • The songs: Grab a photo of the set list so you can refer to it later. Did the band deviate from the list? Why? You could speculate of course, but better still ask a band member or tour manager to explain the reasons. Or obtain the opinion of a super fan. Did the band miss out any favourite songs from the list?  Why?
  • Try to explain how you felt when you heard each song. Your opinion is valuable, you’re an ear-witness to events … So did the song make you feel happy, sad, antagonized, bored?
    Use emotions to give pith and spice to your story
Identify and chat to the super-fans ... Photo: @neilmach ©
Identify and chat to the super-fans …
Photo: @neilmach ©

In conclusion:

  • Provide the background
  • Check the facts
  • Explain and describe what was seen and heard
  • Create an interesting and responsible report
  • Use language that entertains

Your role at the concerts – The Committed Observer :
Any other tips you’d like to share? We would love to hear your thoughts on twitter @rockpencon

@neilmach 2016 ©
Neil Mach is editor of RAW RAMP MAGAZINE
Member of the European News Agency, Music Industry Forum, Music Industry Network and regular blogger and contributor to several sites

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