Discuss ALL of the following specific items fully.
a. Specific performances you attended, the dates and performance venues. (who, when, where?)
b. Instrumentation of the two groups/bands. This is a description of the instruments used by the act, not the players (you can write about the players later.) Vocals are considered part of the group’s instrumentation.
c. Solos in one (named/identified) song for each performance. Defined as: a portion of the song in which an individual instrument player is featured, highlighted or becomes the focal point, not necessarily playing alone. What the singer does (if there is one) is NOT a solo. The singer’s role is to present the main song. Solos are 99.9% instrumental. If you are reviewing an individual performer, depending on the setting and style, it may be difficult to discern what is solo material from what is not. If it seems like there is no solo, try to focus on instrumental sections of songs. On a break you can ask the performer to explain if they were soloing.
Give a brief description of the solos. What did you like (and/or dislike) about each? How were they similar and how were they different? Was one more musically effective than the other?
d. Comparison of Performances. Compare one group’s songs to the other’s using two songs from a performance compared to two songs from the other. Assess the moods of two (named/identified) songs for each performance (4 songs total). Done properly, this will be the longest section of the report. IMPORTANT: You are comparing the two performances, not songs within the same performance. Compare the songs in pairs, Artist A-Song 1 v. Artist B-Song 1. A new paragraph for each pair. For each song include:
● emotional level – use a “feeling” word, with a modifier, indicating to what extent, i.e. “very uplifting,” “somewhat depressing,” “lavishly inspiring” or “excessively anxious”. This is not how it made YOU feel, rather what emotion was the song projecting?
● Identify a) tempo (slow, moderate, fast, blazing, etc) and b) level of intensity, energy or rhythmic complexity for each.
● As you describe each song, compare and/or contrast it with a song from the other artist/group. Which had a higher level of musicianship? Emotional impact?
e. Overall presentation. Include your assessment and comparison of the musicians’ skills. Did they play their respective instruments well? Did the presentation of either performance, or any part of them, have an impact on you emotionally? If so, why? If NOT, why not
f. Overall experiences at these performances – compare to shows in your past. Describe your experiences: How was it for you? Were there any revelations, new perspectives, realizations out of these experiences? After comparing the two performances, answer these questions: Were these new experiences for you? How were they different from, or the same as, other performances you have attended?
g. Place & People. Give your observations regarding the performance environment – ambiance (look and feel of the venue) audience behavior (how did people react to/interact with the music and musicians) for each performance and compare them.
h. Best and Worst Features. For BOTH shows, which musical aspect do you think was most successful and which was least successful in each performance? Even if you loved the performance, discuss at least one musical element that you would rate lower than others; you are being asked to be a critic.