Everyone loves a good gimmick. As musicians we love putting them on, gripping the audience with something so spectacular that fans will brag to their kids that they were there at that gig where you did that on stage. These days music is about more than just the music – fans want the entire experience from seeing the creative process and knowing everything about the band to being wowed by a surprise at a gig. Keeping your instrument in good condition with one of our high quality gig bags is only half the battle. If you’re looking for a little inspiration as to how to out-awesome the next band as you step out on stage, here are 5 of the most incredible stage entrances we’ve ever seen.
KISS, Chicago 2012
KISS are famous for more than just Gene Simmons’s tongue and platform heels. KISS are masters at putting on a show, as they have proven time and again. We’re all used to gigs ending with pyrotechnics and fireworks – that’s been done by everyone and their mother. However, KISS are only known for upping the ante. They started their 2012 gig by being lowered onto a stage on a platform which spat smoke and fireworks onto the stage while KISS played their first song. And the crowd went wild…
Eminem, Bonnaroo 2011
Another performer who is known for being different, Eminem started his 2011 comeback tour by proving a point. You don’t need fireworks to start a gig in style. A Star Wars intro-themed light show telling the crowd that Eminem is back and introducing him to the stage was all the fans needed.
Pink, Prague 2010
Pink is well known for her acrobatic skills. She will go to insane lengths to keep her audience entertained, as shown by her 2010 Funhouse Tour. She was lifted above the stage in a giant box by a crane. The box explodes like a piñata and Pink falls to the stage in a sea of balloons, flapping her wings. She lands on her feet, unbuckles and gets on with the show. Nicely done, if we do say so ourselves.
Alice Cooper, 1975
An Alice Cooper gig is an experience and a half. With every mind-blowing trick up his sleeve from straightjackets and snakes to gallows and guillotines, these gigs are not for the faint-hearted. Alice Cooper seems to have no limits to what he will do to himself on stage. His 1975 Welcome to My Nightmare show was more than just a gig, it was straight up theatre. Kicking it off with a ballet dancing black widow spider and Cooper wandering around swinging a sword, this was a spectacle to behold. Cheesy as it sounds, this opening was flawless, and is gripping to watch, even now.
Michael Jackson, 1992
Nobody will deny that the King of Pop was also the King of Ultimate Live Performances. The man was a genius when it came to performing live. Going back to 1992, way before his signature moonwalk was even a thing, he could blow minds by simply being on stage. The 1992 Dangerous tour starts with fireworks and MJ being flung onto the stage from below. MJ lands on his feet and just stands there, looking like Superman for a good twenty seconds. He slow-mo takes off his sunglasses, stoic-faced and silent. The crowd does all the talking – people are going mental, screaming and crying. Actual tears were shed. When it comes to the ultimate stage entrance, it’s almost impossible to beat the simple beauty of this moment.