In this Preshow Rituals segment, the singer-songwriter, NateWantsToBattle, shares what he does before every show. You can check out his rituals, after the break.
As musicians, who’s careers were molded on the internet, our pre-show rituals tend to be low-key. This is completely intentional. Most of us on our current run (The Cool and Good Tour) got our starts sitting in our rooms and making music on our own. For me especially, that somber vibe is the work environment I try to maintain.
Once arriving at load-in, I shake as many hands and get as many names as I can. Something I think is too often overlooked is just trying to uphold a pleasant vibe. I understand it’s a job, but being TOO impersonal really makes working together awkward and less efficient. At shows I just want everyone to be happy and that’s the atmosphere we try our best to maintain. Even something as simple as thanking security while another act is on stage goes a long way.
Now, as an introvert, that gets exhausting. That’s about when I’ll retreat to the dressing room or a quiet space where I can be alone and try and mellow out. A bodily reaction I have to anxiety or too much excitement is dry mouth. So, unfortunately, before a show, I have the keep zen. This has actually resulted in my tour managers and friends at shows repeatedly asking if something is wrong or if I even enjoy touring. It’s not until I’m actually on stage that I even get to THINK about performing. Otherwise, my voice goes and so does my set.
At this point, it’s about an hour until my set and I’ve over hydrated myself on 4-7 water bottles and 4 cups of tea. (I get in my own head too much about preserving my voice and overcompensate a bit). It was Green Day that said they break a sweat before even getting on stage and I’m a huge believer in this. I try to squeeze in a 5-10 minute workout of the usual stuff. Jumping jacks, pushups, squats and stretches followed by about 30 minutes of vocal warm-ups. By now my tour manager has asked me if I’m sure I’m okay at least 3 times. I try to be as low maintenance and self-sufficient as I can. I still have a hard time asking anyone for anything.
We’re now side stage about to start the set. At that point, I’m running through everything in my head and trying to figure out if something is wrong or trying to figure out what I forgot. Someone nearby typically snaps me out of my panic’d daze and asks if I’m ready, to which I always reply “As I’ll ever be”. That’s when all the anxiety, all the panic, the checklist, everything goes away and the set starts.