3 Ways Artists are Innovating on the Live Music Game

live music experience evolution stage design

By Lane Undhjem


Touring is one of the few remaining ways musicians can truly make a living. With the rise in popularity of live shows and festivals, we are in the midst of a truly innovative period in terms of artists creating full experiences through every set.

Here are three ways we’ve seen artists changing up the live show game as of late.


Hybridizing DJs and Live Bands

As the prominence of DJ acts has soared over the last decade, many top artists are creating performances that frequently incorporate live instrumentation into their shows. UK producer Simon Green, professionally known as Bonobo, is currently on Migration tour with a full band that varies between 6 and 15 members.

In a recent interview with Billboard, he attributed the rise of this hybrid style musicianship to the increasing legitimacy of electronic music over the past decade. Other preeminent DJs like Pretty Lights, Opiuo, and Michael Menert have also successfully incorporated full bands into their shows, giving the performances a higher level of dynamism which is tangibly reflected in the crowd energy.


Cutting Edge Visual Creation

Visuals and lighting have always been an integral part of live musical performances. From the early days of rock and roll, pyrotechnics and lasers have always been curated with great care to create an complete audiovisual journey for the audience.

As technology and innovation march steadily into the future, these visual performances are being taken to the next level. Everyone remembers the Tupac hologram from Coachella in 2012. More recently Flying Lotus has become widely known for his psychedelic visual performances which use two projectors to create a degree of three-dimensionality. Animators, musicians, and engineers are pushing the limit of the traditional concert experience.


Bigger and Better Stage Design

At any given moment, festival stages are being captured in hundreds if not thousands of photos and videos. As one of the biggest marketing images and the focal point of any festival, it’s no surprise that festivals across the world have been upping the ante year after year when it comes to stage design. Long gone are the days of exposed truss and simple stage lights.

Festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Forest, and Tomorrowland create entire themed stages that are absolutely wonderful to behold, and the images that come from these festivals keep fans coming back year after year.

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