Bruce Springsteen blew through Boston this week, another leg of his 2012 Wrecking Ball Tour. And one of his biggest fans, Greater Media Boston programmer (WROR and WBOS), Ken West, was on hand and taking copious notes. This morning, Ken brings us six lessons that on-air talent and personality shows could glean from observing The Boss in action.
If Bruce is headed for your town, it is most definitely worth the price of admission to watch a master in action. Ken has seen Springsteen and the band perform many times, and is always amazed at how fresh these concerts look, sound, and feel. So attention, DJs, shows, and hosts. You’re about to be schooled by The Boss.
Thanks to Ken’s “Boss,” Buzz Knight for bringing this to our attention.
- He has a game plan. Springsteen creates a different set list every night, part of what makes him unique to most performers He (frequently!) does calls “audibles” based on the crowd and the moment, but he never wings it. There’s always a map.
- He always brings something fresh to the show. Bruce continuously creates new music and performs it. As tours go on, he assesses what works and what doesn’t, retaining the stronger material to further develop and dropping the weaker material that doesn’t resonate.
- He always looks like he loves what he does. It’s not a job, a shift, or a show. It’s his passion. Bruce loves performing. Every show feels like it could be his very first…or last ever.
- He allows his rabidly loyal audience to participate in the show. From playing requests off of signs held up in the crowd, to handing the mic to fans to sing, to letting them strum the strings of his guitar, Bruce makes everyone feel like they are part of the show.
- Every performance features elements of “Did you hear what he did?” Crowd surfing, venturing into the audience to sit and drink a beer, bringing an 8 year-old kid onstage to sing, dancing onstage with his mom… he always leaves you with something to talk about.
- He gets better with age and doesn’t rest on his laurels. This is not a cliché. As the years have gone on, Springsteen is committed to making his shows longer, more fun, and packed with more quality entertainment than ever.
Especially for those of you have been on the air for many years in the same market, how are you keeping your shows and your brand fresh and compelling?