Unless you are an avid music fan who enjoys a variety of genres and music styles, you probably haven’t watched more than a handful of online shows by your absolute faves. But in order to create a show your fans and supporters will love and enjoy immensely, you need to do your research and really understand the format.

Want a quick way to see if your show is ready? Here's our ultimate online concert checklist

To save you hours of time and effort, we’ve looked at 30 online shows here on Show4me, broadcast by artists from various locations, in different music styles, settings, and backgrounds. And after all that work we are here with you sharing all of our findings and ideas on making your online show instantly one of the best available out there!

Let’s start.

It’s all about the music

We have to be honest, there were times when we turned on a show and the setting, lighting, overall visual and mood did not appeal to us at all. But the moment the music started playing, all the disappointment was gone and the magic happened.

Your fans come to your event to enjoy your beautiful creations, so make sure your sound quality, performance, and playlist are impeccable. Set up and test the sound very thoroughly ahead of time as your laptop mic just isn’t going to cut it.

Don’t be afraid to lean heavily on your best songs in your show playlist – even if you’ve played a song a number of times before, every performance is unique and a little different. It’s better to pick your best songs regardless of how old or new they are.

Varsha Vinn Live - Unplugged

Keep your focus on the audience

The best shows we’ve experienced were ones where the singer kept constant focus on their audience, did not get distracted by messages on their phone or people in the room or even carried away by their own music.

Throughout your show, keep your audience at the back of your mind all the time and think of the kind of experience they are getting – introduce songs properly, keep your thank-yous and hellos to a minimum, perform in your usual stage attire or its variation, don’t look up lyrics or spend too much time tuning your instruments.

Live Up to The Beat Concert

Prepare your setting well

Even if you are broadcasting from your bedroom, make sure your background isn’t cluttered and the final picture is enjoyable to look at. Rehearse not just the sound, but the video – is your quality at least 720p? Is the lighting sufficient? What’s in the frame? Can the viewers see you clearly? Is the camera off-kilter? Is it shaking when you move? Does the frame cut you off at a weird spot?

If you are broadcasting from your home, you might not think too much about the setting, but the truth is you still have to treat it like your stage and put some time and effort into decorations, moving odd items out of frame, and setting up a nice visual picture, complete with your own costume that should match the vibe of the event and your music.

Chinkuzzy Experience

Keep things moving

The best shows we’ve seen weren’t only well-lit, had great music and sound, but they were also dynamic and ran smoothly like a tight ship. The singer started with a quick intro, offered fun remarks between each song, did not linger on live feedback – phones or laptops in frame are a big no-no, if you have to read fan comments, place your screens off camera – and kept total runtime under an hour.

It’s best to leave off when everyone is having the most fun and wants to continue as opposed to watching the viewer count go down as you are still in the middle of your playlist. Setting up your camera, sound, fixing instruments, adjusting camera angles needs to happen in rehearsal, not at your show.

Structure every second of your show so that your audience didn’t want to miss a beat!

The Show Mask go on

Consistent volume

This one needed its own category as it affects the quality of the experience so much for being just a small aspect of a show. The volume of your music, singing, and talking throughout the show needs to remain consistent, so rehearse your sound beforehand.

The most common mistake we’ve encountered was that the songs sounded much louder than the speaking parts, prompting us to turn the sound up and down a few times before eventually giving up and missing most of the talking bits and turning the show off altogether.

Test out your sound in rehearsal and keep it consistent for music and speaking parts alike.

Such Is Life with Carmi

Involve fans

Even though you can’t build your whole show around saying his and hellos to fans in the live chat or answering their questions, you do need to acknowledge them. From brief intros to interacting with fans in between songs, taking questions, and even adding their live video feeds to the stream, the concerts we’ve watched got really creative when it came to fan interaction.

Here are Los Soneros singing a fan-requested surprise happy birthday to an audience member watching their show in real time:

Los Soneros First Live Stream Show

Do a symbolic setup

Here’s the thing – fans think they love the behind the scenes but that’s because they don’t know how boring and methodical the process is. Setting up a show is a routine and unexciting process that should stay off camera and not take place at the start or during your show.

You can adjust a few tiny things here and there during your show, but be mindful of your audience’s experience. They came to your event to be entertained, not to watch you set up, so have all the technical issues, like sound, video quality, the stream, the instruments, mics, lighting, camera, etc. figured out during your soundcheck and rehearsal. Your setup at the start of the show or in intermissions should be brief and a little theatrical – like small performance, not actual setting up of everything.

Baddie Gene's Birthday Bash!

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

We cannot emphasize this one enough. Doing at least one full runthrough of your show and then watching it back is mandatory. You wouldn’t know if you look too stiff in the light, or forget to look at the camera throughout your show, or your background lamp is too reflective, or your streaming service distorts a particular instrument until you’ve watched your whole show back.

Rehearsal will also help you figure out any snags in song transitions and even just the exact runtime of your event. Remember, all the best improvs are well prepared, so make sure your performance is as well. Fans have spent their hard-earned money on their tickets, so honor their investment with a high-quality event that’ll keep them coming for more.

Theologic presents "Illusions"

Don’ts

Don’t check your phone or answer texts.

Don’t leave the frame.

Don’t read lyrics off a sheet or screen unless it’s a request.

Don’t fix your camera.

Don’t wear your home clothes.

Don’t tell people you messed up – nobody noticed and those who did forgot about it right away.

Dance set by DJ Jame Zname

Final thoughts

Once you are done polishing off all the imperfections of your online show andare completely happy with it, you can start experimenting with cool colorful lighting, animation added onto your video, and more cool tricks that will make your show even more memorable.

But remember to start developing your event around playing the music you love. It really shows when you are playing something you are fully and completely into. It also helps show your personality, which is something your viewers would really love to connect to. People want to see the person behind the music, so make sure you manage to inject just the right amount of personality into your performance and song intros while keeping it short, dynamic and professional at the same time.

Drop the links to your upcoming online shows in the comments and we’ll make sure to check them out!

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Shows we looked at: Los Soneros First Live Stream Show, Theologic presents "Illusions", Manzee’s at Home Show, Perspective, Chinkuzzy Experience, A Cosmic Bassoon: Breath of Universe, The 2020 Experience, MUSIC LATTE, Dance set by DJ Jame Zname, Live Up to The Beat Concert, Acoustic Concert, A Cosmic Bassoon: Breath of Universe_Live in Rome, Songs for friends by friends + new songs premiere, The Show Mask go on, CREATIVE-POOL Tropical Concert, Baddie Gene's Birthday Bash!, Electronic Downtempo Live Guitar Set, Varsha Vinn Live - Unplugged, UnpluggedLive Presents: Summer Jam Charlie T Live, Summer Jam Jessie V, Such Is Life with Carmi, THE SOUND OF FUSION with ABHITHI, Singing Bowls and Harmonic Chanting Meditation, MOTHER EARTH 2, SONIA NAWRI LAW AND CHAOS EP PRESENTATION, Relaxing Piano Online Concert, Recovery & Discovery: The Experience, EP Sisters Concert, The Pandit Corona Show 2, Show lanzamiento “Un nuevo día”.