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Author Topic: Younger Audiences  (Read 4505 times)

Chris Carpenter

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Younger Audiences
« on: June 03, 2012, 10:50:14 pm »

I was asked to do a gig for a younger audience (say around 12y/o). Since it was a friend, and it pays well, I think I'll take the gig. Since I typically work the college club scene, I'm a bit concerned about the kids enjoying my show. I can get edited versions of the tracks in my library, but I've never performed for an audience of this age. Do you guys have any advice about handling an audience of this age?
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David Allred

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 08:49:16 am »

I was asked to do a gig for a younger audience (say around 12y/o). Since it was a friend, and it pays well, I think I'll take the gig. Since I typically work the college club scene, I'm a bit concerned about the kids enjoying my show. I can get edited versions of the tracks in my library, but I've never performed for an audience of this age. Do you guys have any advice about handling an audience of this age?

I do several middle school gigs a years (11-14 yr olds).  They could care less about your show.  Don't even think about most of the stuff you'd play at a college gig (assuming techno / rave lean).  Yes, you had BETTER get edited versions.  Rap, all the shuffles and slides, Taylor Swift, Gaga, even some old school (90's rap).  If this is a school function, go ahead and expect some kids to lurk around most of the night, and requests for dedications (be aware that this age, kids like "set people up" with fake dedications).  Be prepared for "what songs do you have?"

Generally, they're easy to please.
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Chris Carpenter

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 11:32:17 am »

Generally, they're easy to please.
That's mainly what I was wondering. I'm fine with whatever they can throw at me (figuratively, I hope), but I'm concerned about the kids having a good time. I foresee it being difficult to feel the crowd with that age gap.
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 01:12:32 pm »

I was asked to do a gig for a younger audience (say around 12y/o). Since it was a friend, and it pays well, I think I'll take the gig. Since I typically work the college club scene, I'm a bit concerned about the kids enjoying my show. I can get edited versions of the tracks in my library, but I've never performed for an audience of this age. Do you guys have any advice about handling an audience of this age?

I do a couple of jobs like these a year.  Two examples of extremes come to mind. 

The first I do for my friend, who's daughter attends a catholic school.  When I do those, I try to play songs that will pass with the most easily offended of parent, who is no doubt standing in back with a bible, a pen and a pad of paper waiting for me to screw up.  Well, probably not, but that approach helps keep me in check.  Here's a little warning, though:  just because it's edited doesn't mean it's suitable for all ages and groups.  Substituting "M.F.er" for the the full on phrase won't nesessarily fly.  It can be as much about the content as the wording.  They will want to make requests and they will be without regard to the content and/or wording of the song.  After all "My mom let's me listen to it."  The last dance we did, I ran a network cable into a switch and set up two computers; one for the music software and one to search lyrics online to determine if they were suitable for the event.  It worked and we had no problem finding songs.  At this age, they're still hanging out with friends than coupling up for the most part so that dynamic is not as important.  Another hint: as much as we, as adults, tend to think of Justin Bieber and High School Musical (on other pop music d'jour) as a musical joke, it is absolutely no joke to that age group.  Be prepared to play and repeat it often.  The answer to "Can you play a song from my iPod?" is a definite NO.  If you must elaborate, tell them you don't have the capability, even if there are six iPods sitting on your mixer.  They will invariably be unedited versions and the iPod will have some horrible DSP going that sounds terrible on a decent system.

The other extreme was a community center youth dance I did in a less than desirable section of a town many years ago.  I was still mixing on turntables and CDs and deliberately didn't bring and of the unedited music, because this was kids, right?  I was thinking that this would be chapernoned by several parents, but instead was greeted by one terrified mother who couldn't control her own child, much less a couple hundred of other peoples children.  I kept getting requests for songs that I didn't bring or the unedited versions of songs that I did.  I finnaly told a girl that if she could get the chapperones permission and she had the CD, I would play whatever.  The chaperone came up looking very nervous and told me to "play whatever they want, just keep them happy."  Work spread like wild fire.  I got through the night and got the hell out of there.  I probably shouldn't have done that one alone and I was glad to gone when I was done.

Most kids in either group were alright.  Several were selfish little bastards that had some sort of entitlement issues and felt that you owed them something for some reason.  Easy to see the adult they're on their way to becoming.  Oh and there will always be one or two aspiring DJ's who will have endless questions for you.  Try not to be too discouraging!
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Chris Carpenter

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 01:36:40 pm »

I do a couple of jobs like these a year.  Two examples of extremes come to mind. 
Thanks for the stories. I scanned through what I intend to play and filtered based on content like you said. It got me thinking the record companies should give each song a rating as metadata like the MPAA does.

Oh and there will always be one or two aspiring DJ's who will have endless questions for you.  Try not to be too discouraging!
Haha, that was me; I fully intend to explain anything asked of me to any kid.
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 03:46:19 pm »

It got me thinking the record companies should give each song a rating as metadata like the MPAA does.

Shhhhh!  You'll wake Dee Snider!
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Mark Long

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2012, 04:12:13 pm »

Shhhhh!  You'll wake Dee Snider!
I think someone already did. Isn't he doing Stanley Steamer commercials now?
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Tracy Garner

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2012, 06:11:10 pm »

I was asked to do a gig for a younger audience (say around 12y/o). Since it was a friend, and it pays well, I think I'll take the gig. Since I typically work the college club scene, I'm a bit concerned about the kids enjoying my show. I can get edited versions of the tracks in my library, but I've never performed for an audience of this age. Do you guys have any advice about handling an audience of this age?

I do a few shows in parks for youth. You should be able to play whatever is considered urban or rhythmic CHR clean versions that should satisfy 80%. The other 20% you could take a look at the modern rock and country charts. I'm not sure where you are but there are regional songs that the youth normally like that are no longer on the charts.

I always do dance contests of the latest dance. Its the easiest gig and I'm 47...
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 09:56:04 am »

I think someone already did. Isn't he doing Stanley Steamer commercials now?

OMG!  I just saw that commercial for the first time! :o  If somebody had told me in nineteen eighty-whatever that I'd be hearing Dee Snider screaching out "Call 1-800-Steemer!" in a commercial twenty-five years from then, I'd have died laughing.  More like a Cleavland steamer... Which is not suitable for younger audiences!  Or any audience for that matter.
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Cosmo

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 02:42:24 am »


I think someone already did. Isn't he doing Stanley Steamer commercials now?

No!  Say it ain't so!  I generally try to avoid commercials, but I hope to miss that one entirely.  I worked with Dee back in the '90s when we filmed Strangeland down south (southern Colorado, that is).  He was professional and fun, but certainly has a dark side.  The soundtrack from that film is the exact opposite of what you want to play at your gig.

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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.  - H.D. Thoreau

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Re: Younger Audiences
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 02:42:24 am »


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