Social Media & Band/Fan Relations

I haven't written a blog in so long that the second I was struck my an idea I had to sit down and pound it out.  It's especially nice to be writing something that focuses on music since this space is meant for more than just me wonderful hockey brethren.

A Sunday ago (the 6th) I went to the Exit/In up in Nashville to see Larry and His Flask and Streetlight "do I even need to post a link to these guys" Manifesto.  I had been waiting to see Streetlight Manifesto live since I first discovered the band back before I even graduated from high school, so this was a nigh religious experience.  To keep it short, the show was incredible, I got to be near Tomas Kalnoky, and Larry and His Flask really got the crowd pumped for the headliners.

Due to the highly energetic environment I was exhausted and drenched in sweat, and so, unsurprisingly, I ended up getting sick sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  It was just a cold but enough to keep me down pretty well.  Typically I would just be annoyed at getting sick, but I hard learned that the follow Sunday (last night) River City Extension was playing the same venue.  You may recall, but most likely not, that River City Extension was part of my occasional Feature Friday and ranked 5th out of 20 on list of Top 20 Albums from 2010.  I spent Thursday through Saturday resting, drinking a gallon of orange juice and eating spicy foods in hopes of chasing the annoying fatigue, congestion, and headaches (though the headaches may have been from that nasty elbow I took to my head at the Streetlight show) in hopes of making it to the show.

The actual story is after this break.... you know, because I tend to type a lot.

At one point on Saturday I mentioned over twitter that I need to heal more quickly so that I could go see River City Extension.  A little while later I received an @ reply demanding that I "heal! Quickly!"  My first assumption was that I had been struck by a touchingly concerned bot that was then going to sell me cheap viagra and affordable airfare to Central America.  In reality it was Sam, one of the two singers for the band.  The second I realized who it was, I immediately reserved a ticket at will call and committed myself to going to the show.  I'm assuming that she used some search feature, like in TweetDeck, in order to find mentions of the band, but it was an awesome message to receive.

I love RCE and their music; there was no doubt about that.  But now the band has more than just a fan that is into the music, they have a fan that is willing to champion the band.  I hope that the next time that RCE comes through Nashville that I can gather a crowd to make the short trip from Murfreesboro to go hear some awesome music and a fun live show.  But little things like a message from a band member to a fan can really do a lot of good, especially in cities or regions where the artist(s) may not be all that well known.  The benefits of Twitter and Facebook have already been exploited by independent musicians and small businesses to reach out to heavily segmented groups, but being able to reach out to an individual, a single fan/consumer/whatever is pretty incredible.  Not to mention it was fun chatting with a couple band members later last night and having them realize that I was "that guy from twitter."  It was a unique experience and was a funny way to cap off a great night.

So, there's the lesson.  There are a lot of people out there that still think Twitter is stupid, but it certainly has benefits.  When you're trying to get yourself going it certainly helps if you can reach out and basically exchange text messages with fans.  The personal connection can also give fans a stronger sense of wanting to give back to the band.  The idea that 'if you guys are going to drive all the way down here to play a show, I'm going to try and make sure their is a bigger crowd' is a powerful one, and not a far fetched concept.  But, I've babbled on and I always seem to go on for much longer than I intend.

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