If you were to list out the greatest feelings in the world I would hands down put playing in a band in front of a big audience as number one.
The hardest thing in the world is to play music in front of nobody. It’s brutal and every band knows the feeling. But to play in front of a big audience is not only way more fun, it’s also easier.
In fact, the whole process of going onstage is even fun. Preshow backstage is a big hit of anticipation. Those minutes before going out on stage to play in a rock and roll band are some of the best minutes of the night when its showtime.
Backstage before showtime is different for every musician or entertainer. For some its “nervous energy” where you’re simply trying to ground yourself in order to think. For others its quiet moments of concentration.
But when the house lights go down there’s no turning back. You walk up those stairs behind the drums, or you come in stage right or stage left and onto a near pitch black stage and all you can really see are the small red or green digital lights on your equipment. It even has smell of actual electricity and raw materials like metal and wood. Then the show starts and it’s like jumping out of an airplane — you can’t just stop.
And often enough its near blinding lights on the stage. To the audience it’s a big show full of light. To the musicians on stage they can sometimes only see the first couple of rows and the rest of the room is washed out in light until their eyes adjust.
When Geddy Lee of Rush was asked what it’s like to play in front of 20,000 screaming fans he said it’s “pure elation”.
Look at this video of Iron Maiden walking to the stage in India then exploding out onto the stage to entertain the audience.
When Rod Stewart was ask about this he said something to the effect that being onstage was “better than sex”.