Over the last year BBB has done a series on people I believe to be Expert Fans (new EF Profile coming soon!), and this is a question I typically ask. Recently, I went through all of the answers and here’s what it boils down to:
1. Authenticity. Bands who are passionate about what they’re saying, playing, etc. and truly show it definitely stand out in the abyss of musical acts. If you don’t believe in it, the audience can tell.
2. The SHOW. Musicians who understand that they are also entertainers. These are the bands that put thought behind their live show and make it feel like an experience. Maybe they have a decent light show, projections, come out into the crowd at some point, switch instrumentation between members, have some sweet dance moves, etc. Or maybe at the most basic level, just really rip that guitar solo or bash the hell outta those drums like they mean it, rather than just standing up there playing like one of the animatronics at Chuck E. Cheese (this also ties back to #1).
3. Community. As a fan, it’s nice to feel like you’re a part of a group of rad people who are bound together by an all-around awesome band. It makes going to the shows that much more fun. Band members- For you, this doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with fans but you stand out if you make people feel appreciated, remember names, give ‘em a high fives, etc. Remember, fans are the people that unite and spread the word!