The Acoustic Battle of the Bands continues. Competing in this week's competition are the Americana group Central Time (consisting of Walt Peterson, Rick Borg, Bob Larson and Gina Myers), the alternative rock group Palmetto (featuring Landon Wolfe and Connor Marsh) and singer-songwriter Jeff Koithan of Artificial Stars.
The Weekender spoke with all three competitors about the upcoming battle and acoustic shows in general:
How do you gauge a “successful” acoustic show?
Gina Myers: Any show, I think, is gauged by the response of the audience. [...] Sometimes it has to deal with the comments they give afterwards, too. Which is great feedback.
How does an acoustic crowd differ from that of a full band gig?
Myers: It's usually a quieter crowd or a more attentive crowd. They're usually listening more to the actual songs and the words to the songs, rather than maybe talking or conversing socially with people.
How important is it to interact with the crowd at acoustic sets? Or is it important?
Myers: We totally interact more! When we are singing down at the Farmers Market and doing an acoustic show, for example, the kids go by. What I like to do is get one kid up with us doing an egg shaker. They just think that's the greatest thing on this earth. When you're doing an acoustic and you're closer to the audience, you can actually get them involved a little bit more.
What do you think sets acoustic shows apart from a “regular,” full band set?
Landon Wolfe: To me, acoustic shows bring out the true spirit of a band. It shows how well band members connect and how much work they put into what they do.
What are some challenges that are distinct to acoustic gigs?
Wolfe: I guess some challenges would be transposing original music into acoustic songs and keeping the crowd in the show. Also, for us, we haven't done covers. So this would be the first show we covered a song.
What are you looking forward to most about the acoustic battle of the bands?
Wolfe: We are looking forward to playing acoustic for the first time ever! Also checking out other local talent playing the battle. More importantly, we are just excited for a night of great music and fun times.
Why are acoustic shows important for a musician? Or are they?
I think acoustic shows are important for musicians because it forces you to think outside the box. When I'm preparing for an acoustic show, I try to rearrange some of the song's structures to keep the audience engaged. It's a challenge.
Why is there sometimes a greater level of intimacy between musician and crowd at an acoustic show?
During an acoustic show, it's you and the audience. There's a feeling of togetherness that is heightened in this type of setting. You alone are making the music. The crowd hears every lyric clearly, and every note you play. It's a great experience.
Why do you, personally, like to perform acoustic shows?
I like to perform acoustic shows because it gives me the chance to a show a different side of myself as a performer. Also, entertaining a room full of people with just a guitar and a mic is pretty damn fun.