That’s the kind of joy I witnessed recently watching a performance by Vagabond Swing. While all the band members were obviously getting into the music, the drummer, Roy Durand, seemed particularly energized by the show.
He could barely stay seated on his drum thrown, and even came out from behind his set a few times to party with the street-festival audience at the foot of the stage.
I’ve come to that conclusion after decades of seeing live shows and performing them. Conspicuous, passionate enjoyment can mask a multitude of missed chord changes, forgotten lyrics and off-key playing and singing. Listeners can be very forgiving.
But they won’t forgive not getting an emotional payoff for lending their time and their ears to a performer.
Ninety-nine percent of good stage presence is having a good time and showing it. I just have to remember that when I’m up there.