Now This Is How You Do An Album Release: Dancers, Contests, Oh My!

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I have this thing about album release shows. I want to be impressed. I mean, really impressed. I want to be blown away, and fully immersed in the experience of what should be an incredibly exciting night. So why is it that more often than not, I walk out of an album release show shaking my head? Simply put, bands just aren’t putting in the effort. And if you’re not putting in the effort for the show that celebrates something you’ve just poured your heart, soul, and probably thousands of dollars and hours into, what is that saying about your day to day shows?

Every now and again I find myself at an album release show that restores my faith. Heading out to Boston’s Hard Rock Café at 10:30 Saturday night to celebrate the release of Jeff Michaels’ latest achievement, “Townie Paradise,” I had no idea what to expect. But as soon as I walked in, I knew this was going to be great. Here’s why.

Killer Merch Table

It’s true, I’m a sucker for a good merch table—and this one was top notch. First of all, the band had a black and white theme going. Very classy, very fitting for the band’s sound—old school rock ‘n roll. Second, they had an array of merch, organized neatly, and strategically placed. They also had free bags of personalized black and white m&ms that featured the name of the album, their genre (in this case, “piano rock”), and various track names from the album. Lastly, to encourage people to sign up for their mailing list, they ran a contest where everyone who gave them their email was entered to win one of several prizes including $50 to the Cheesecake Factory, $25 for an iTunes gift card, personalized album, band merch, and more. Sign me up!

Bring in the Dancers

This one was really cool, and I’m still smiling about it. During the band’s track, “Townie Girls”, they brought out students from the Greater Boston School of Dance to do a choreographed number to the song, right in front of the stage. It was by far one of the most fun, attention grabbing things I’ve ever seen at a show. The audience was really into it, and it got them dancing, filming, and talking about it even after the set ended.

Cover Songs

This is a band that knows their audience. With an old school rock sound that appeals to a lot of Gen Xers, the band knew that sprinkling in a few cover songs throughout their set was the perfect way to grab their audience’s attention. And you know what? It worked. Every few songs, the band would mix it up with a cover song, or one of their slower songs, before bringing it right back up with an original. It was the perfect mix of familiarity to keep their audience intrigued.

After the show, I found the merch table swamped, and plenty of people hanging around waiting for a chance to talk to the band. When they did, it was always the same: “Awesome set, man! Where can I get your album?”

Now that’s what I call a killer album release show.

Jeff Michaels is a Boston based musician whose old school rock ‘n’ roll vibes have seen comparisons to Ben Folds and Elvis Costello. With songs appearing in MTV's "The Real World" and "Teen Mom", along with box office hits, "How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days" and "13 Going on 30", Jeff's newest album, "Townie Paradise", is set to release June 23rd. You can find his music at http://www.jeffmichaelsband.com/

Angela Mastrogiacomo is the owner of Muddy Paw Public Relations. Muddy Paw specializes in working with up and coming artists on personalized campaigns designed to bring their careers to the next level. To date, we’ve secured placements on sites such as AbsolutePunk, Substream, Property Of Zack, PureVolume, Anti-Music, and many more. You can find us at www.MuddyPawPR.com