The Four Things Every Great Live Show Has In Common

Stand apart from the herd

Will Marsh


othing beats that feeling of excitement as you’re waiting in a packed crowd for your favourite producer to step on stage. Like damn, they’re really here. In real life. Whether you feel as pumped when you leave depends entirely on what they do next. Will you be walking out giddy with excitement, or will you be stuck thinking “well that was just shit”?

It’s not exactly science, but after years of live gigs and the slow onset of tinnitus you start to realise there are a few key boxes that all the best live shows tend to tick; 


Never forget - people hate surprises. No one pays to see a House artist play Trap, and as simple as it might seem, song choice is crucial when it comes to throwing down a memorable set.

Would you rather watch someone play the same 50 songs you’ve been hearing on repeat for years, or spend an hour listening to a set full of exciting new tracks, unreleased collabs & VIP’s? We all know which is more appealing, and it's the best performers who find that perfect balance. Feel the crowd, be adventurous, take a few risks & keep people guessing - mix it up rather than opting to play ‘Like a Bitch’ for the 9000th time. Trust me, people are over it.


When you’re seeing someone perform, you’re there to see a show. You don’t want them motionless staring down at the decks for an hour, you want to see them having a good time - dancing behind the decks, chatting shit on the mic, smashing shoeys & waving finger guns - crowds feed off a performers energy.

Seeing Ekali sprint around the decks to start a mosh; Kompany getting people to dance on stage; Al Ross sinking shoeys; Virtual Riot performing an entire Zumba routine - it’s invigorating seeing that kind of commitment, and crowds will always repay you kindly.

Al Ross - don (cc Filth)


I’m sure everyone agrees that if the crowd isn’t feeling it, you aren’t either. Big or small, quiet or loud, three thousand people means nothing if everyone’s stood on their phones, and a bored crowd always drags you down.

On the other hand, nothing beats being in a crowd that’s properly engaged. Fully attentive, packed full & pumped with energy - there’s nothing better than the boost you get when you’re surrounded by people having the time of their lives. This ability to read a room can be what sets the very best performers apart. Switching it up if the crowd isn’t feeling it, picking up the mic when energy dips or pulling out big drops to lift everyone’s spirits - a bored crowd is a dead crowd, a dead crowd is a shit crowd. The ones that vibe the room, control the energy, get everyone moving - those are the sets you remember.


If you’re dropping money on a DJ, you expect them to deliver a performance, not come out and play a pre-recorded set or fuck up their beat matching. Their mixing, song choice, energy & production all add up, and the last thing you want is to leave a show feeling unsatisfied.

The best performers are exactly that - performers. They keep you on your toes - a little hip-hop here, some trap there, a cheeky double drop every now & then, it’s all about finding that perfect balance. Blend a perfect tracklist with big energy, neat production & crisp crowd control - add it all together and you’ve got yourself a performance to remember.

Take all these elements, wrap them up into a ball, unleash it at 140 beats per second & you’ve got yourself a show. Massive energy, clean production, perfect tracklists & a crowd to match - combining these has created some of the best live sets I’ve ever witnessed.

As always I hope you enjoyed the read. Remember to party safe, stay hydrated, and I’ll see you next time.