I was reflecting on some of the lessons I have learned as a musician over the years. It strikes me that there’s organizations that put out derivative and lifeless communications, and then wonder why they are not engaging an audience.
First, you have to plan to inspire.
Pearl Jam, 1991, you wouldn’t even know them before their album came out. They opened for two of my favorite bands, Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers and I drove with my friend to Chicago for the show. The band that evolved to become Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, was a pretty good band but I was not expecting anything more than 20 minutes of going through the motions, a typical opening band.
What followed was the best executed 20 minutes of original music I could have imagined. Eddie Vedder pulled off two moves that I would have thought impossible. First he announced that he had a dream that he came back to Chicago, but in his dream there weren’t any chairs. So why don’t we all pass the chairs back and dance. The most orderly system of chair removal just kind of happened, and then a big dance pit formed. In the show he climbed up to a balcony and stage dived into the crowd.
It sure made a big impact, and they went on to sell almost 10 millon records. I was there, it all started with thousands of inspirational and exceptional experiences. Think about it.