Seth Godin sent me into a flashback yesterday of a somewhat embarrassing experience I had at a concert last year. He wrote about listening to Live at Massey Hall: Neil Young and described how much more excited the crowd would get when the songs they knew were played, and in contrast how the crowd gave a, “tepid reaction,” to songs they did not know.
I’m a huge fan of the band, The Format, and after almost three years of rock hibernation (releasing a single here or there, with no live show to be seen) they were back on tour and were in the finally stages of getting their newest full album, Dog Problems, ready for release. Since they hadn’t played a live show in a while they were taking it slow getting back into the music scene, and I heard through their fan network that they would be doing a small show at the Farmers Market in OKC. I quickly marked the date on my calendar.
The night of the concert when The Format reached the stage I was stoked. For a while I didn’t know if the group was going to make a comeback, so to experience their music live gave me a refreshing jolt of confidence that one of my favorite bands would in fact be picking up right where they left off. I enjoyably sang loudly and proudly, knowing all the words to every song. After three or four Format greats, Nate, the lead singer of the band, said they would be playing a new song that would be on their next album. That’s when I found myself in a moment of awkwardness. As soon they started playing this song I unhesitatingly began singing loudly and off key just like I had to all the other songs. I quickly realized that no one else was singing, and looking at the rest of the crowd there were only one or two people who appeared like they might have even heard the song before.
I came to the quick realization that everyone else in the room wasn’t quite the Format junkie that I was. They hadn’t been sucking up every rumor, drop of news, music sample, and single release that had surfaced while the band was on a semi hiatus for almost three years. I had heard the acoustic version of this “new song” many times before that night. In fact, it was one of my 5-star favorites on my Ipod.
It’s interesting to look at how much more popular “new song” of the night has become. Now the song, “She Doesn’t Get It,” is being pushed as the latest single for their new album and a music video of the song has entered the MTV2 rotation. This is a good example of how being consistent with a good message, even when it is slow to be excepted, can make more of an impact over time.