The Pre-Show Rituals of 10 Phoenix Musicians
Post-punk pinball wizards, JJCnV
Courtesy of Dana Stern
You’ve probably read numerous articles over the years that talk about the different pre-show rituals of popular musicians. For instance, Coldplay doesn’t take the stage without having a group hug (yes, you can gag if you want to). Others, who eat before performing, have specific things they like to ingest. Lorde eats only berries or seaweed on show nights and John Legend likes to down some roast chicken.
We asked ten area musicians what pre-show rituals they have, individually or with a band, so that now you can picture what your favorites are up to before they take the stage to deliver their tunes that rock your world. Here they are, in no particular order:
10. Mike Anderson (bass) - Resinator
"I won’t eat a meal the day of the show until after we play. Maybe I'll have a snack or something so I don't pass out but nothing big or heavy. Semi-starvation is my pre-show ritual. Our singer shares this same ritual with me."
9. Orin Portnoy (guitar/vocals) – Skink / (drums/vocals) – U.S. Depressed
"Honestly? A good poop and a cigarette."
8. Jackie Cruz (guitar/vocals) – Man Hands and Jade Helm
"I usually like to jam out to loud music and dance around while I'm getting ready. After that, I like to run through the set and then eat — so I don't get hungry and cranky at the show."
7. Ryan Avery (vocals) – Father’s Day
"I won’t eat anything before a show. However, when I get home from a show, I love to eat cereal. Usually, it is Honey Nut Cheerios or Honey Bunches of Oats.
Also, if my band is not opening the show, I will study all the bands that go on before me and take mental notes of what is working and what is not working with their set so that I can do better and not repeat their mistakes."
6. Seth Kasselman (multi-instrumentalist) – Warm Climate and solo projects
"If I’m playing with a band, I feel like it’s best to talk prior to getting on stage and get in the same headspace. Arriving to a show at the last minute and feeling rushed to load in and play aren’t ideal circumstances for a good performance. It’s nice to relax a little beforehand. I want to know how my bandmates are doing, what happened to them that day, and to have a drink together.
"I also try as best as I can to get on stage or record music clear headed and not bring any stress or baggage with me. Playing music should be what a musician lives for. Maybe I’ve had a shitty day; music should be a relief from that. If I’m constantly thinking about how my car is broken, bills aren’t paid, or any stresses, it takes away from a performance. However, that’s different from raw emotion. If I’m feeling overwhelming happiness, sadness, or whatever in my life, I definitely want to put that into my playing.
"Lately when preparing for a show, I’ve thought a lot about an Evan Parker quote, 'It’s not enough to just come to the table hungry, you have to bring something to eat.' Every show, every day, every venue is a different experience, and it’s important to embrace that and not just repeat yourself."
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