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How To Set Up a Successful House Concert Tour

This is an excerpt from the best-seller How To Make It in the New Music Business - Third Edition by Ari Herstand .

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House concerts are not a new thing. There is a long tradition in the folk world that dates back to the ’60s. However, they seem to have had a massive resurgence over the past decade of singer-songwriters trading in club touring for house shows. Personally, I’ve played about 30 house concerts and these shows have been some of my favorite (and most profitable) shows of my career. Nothing beats the connection of a room full of supporters sitting merely feet from you, soaking up every note, every word, and every beat. A living room concert is one of the most memorable concert experiences a fan (and artist) will ever have. 

And house concerts aren’t just for tiny singer-songwriters. Artists like Vance Joy, David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion), Jeremy Messersmith, Julia Nunes, Califone, Mirah, Laura Gibson, Tim Kasher of Cursive, S. Carey, Richard Buckner, Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and John Vanderslice have set up house concert tours over the past few years.  

With house shows you don’t have to deal with bad sound guys, drunk a**holes, empty clubs, or the headache of promotion. Shannon Curtis has a great book on how to book a house concert tour, called No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender: How I Made $25K on a 2-Month House Concert Tour (And How You Can Too) , which I highly recommend if you’re thinking of getting into the house concert game. You can also check out ConcertsInYourHome, which is a community of house concert hosts around the world. If you are accepted as an artist into the network, you can set up full tours to cities you’ve never visited in great homes of acoustic fans. Or, Side Door, a newer startup that similarly connects hosts and touring artists. More on Side Door in a moment. 

And when Covid shut down the entire live music industry, many DIYers got creative, putting on drive-in, driveway and backyard concerts. We at Ari’s Take put on a drive-in concert in the summer of 2020. This was one of the first concerts to take place since lockdown in Los Angeles County. The artist Annabel Lee headlined the event and celebrated the release of her song “Los Angeles.” We promoted it on Instagram and required fans to text her (SMS service) for more info (which auto- returned a link to buy tickets). We sold tickets (price per car—people packed their household into their cars) through Splash and hosted the concert at a friend of a friend of a friend’s big open lot (because the owner of the parking lot we had originally booked got Covid five days before the show!). Fortunately, we didn’t release the location, via text, until the day before the show. 

We handed out an instruction sheet to every car (via a grabber stick), which had instructions on how to tune in (via the car radio), how to buy merch, social, stream and download links (via QR code, of course). We had a dedicated merch person managing the Venmo account, running around to cars with their merch items.

The show went off without a hitch. Live music had been officially shut down for four months at this point, and this concert was desperately needed by Annabel, her band, her fans and everyone else involved.

After having his summer 2020 tour canceled, Toronto-based singer-songwriter John Muirhead reached out to his local community offering driveway concerts and booked 10 driveway concerts in the Toronto area. And then in early 2021, once he had started to build up his TikTok presence, he compiled some footage from the previous summer into a little advertisement-style video. It spread on TikTok extremely quickly (racking up nearly 30,000 views) and returned more requests for driveway concerts in Ontario than he could handle (hashtags worked wonders). John filled up his entire calendar with these throughout 2021. He charged hosts a guaranteed minimum around $200–300 CAD, and averaged around $7 CAD per head in merch sales. Win!

The Nova Scotia–based company Side Door, co-founded by singer-songwriter Dan Mangan and music industry professional Laura Simpson, connects artists with hosts and helps them facilitate private concerts—both in person and online. All payments are taken digitally, and the money is kept in escrow until the show happens. The host and artist negotiate a payment split on the platform. They have name-your-price ticketing, global transactions, and geotargeting. Artists can even facilitate tours by automatically selecting the locations they are looking to tour to, and the registered hosts in those areas get notifications and can decide whether to host the artist.

Side Door currently has 3,000 venues and hosts registered in North America (mostly in Canada), and more popping up in Europe and around the world. They’ve facilitated shows with Vance Joy, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Barenaked Ladies, Tom Odell, Said the Whale and thousands of others.

The quirk-rock band More Fatter set out on a 43-date backyard concert tour in the summer of 2021. Half the shows were ticketed ($30 through Eventbrite), and the other half were $30 suggested donation. Some shows had 50+ people packed into the backyard. And other shows where they didn’t have much of a base and the host didn’t promote it super well had 5–10. They sold T- shirts for $40 and burned CDs of new demos for $20. They completely sold out of all their merch after multiple reorders. They toured in a 2005 Toyota Sienna and crashed on couches to keep expenses down. In two months, they made $25,000. That’s the thing with house concerts. It’s such a magical experience that you can get away with selling your merch much higher than you would at a club. It’s much more personal. People aren’t simply buying your merch for the item, they’re buying it as a souvenir from the night. And to have a special connection with you when they make the transaction.

THE BOOKING

The beauty of house concerts is that you only need one superpassionate fan per city to set up a house concert. Put out feelers to your email list and on social sites. Set a guarantee plus a percentage of tickets, or you can play for tips. 

You’ll have to designate Fridays and Saturdays (or Sunday afternoons) for house concerts, since most hosts have 9-to-5 jobs and won’t want to organize it for a weekday. But some may. 

Plan your house concerts about two to three months in advance. Give your hosts plenty of time to invite guests and get excited. 

You’ll want to tour with an amp or PA (and all mics/stands/cords) to plug in your guitar, keyboard and vocal mic. The host will most likely know nothing about sound and have zero sound equipment. You should be able to set up anywhere and play. Don’t forget your extension cords and power strips. 

The email I send out to potential hosts usually looks something like this: (Feel free to copy whatever you want)

Ari Herstand Living Room Concert! 

What the . . .? 

I’d like to set up shows in people’s living rooms/backyards/dorm lounges/etc. and have a very intimate experience—something that isn’t necessarily possible in many clubs I play. I’m going to play many new, unreleased songs for these performances—many songs that translate very well to the living room, but maybe not so well to the club. 

Interested? 

If you’d like to host a living room concert, all you need to do is reply and fill in the information below and I’ll get back to you with possible dates for your area. I need you to bring at least 20 people to the concert—hey you have home turf advantage! 

What I charge. 

The concert costs $450 + 80% of admission after $450 is met. This means, if you charge $25 a head (what I recommend) and 30 people show up, that equals a total of $750. I end up with $690 (you end up with $60) at the end of the night. If 12 people show up, that equals a total of $300. I end up with $450 at the end of the night (you have to cover the remaining $150). If you’re confident you can bring 18 people at $25 a head, everyone who lives in the house basically gets a free concert because I don’t charge the hosts and hostesses. Just so you know, this is much lower than my normal “private concert” rate, but because I want people who really dig my music—dare I call them fans—to be able to afford this and not have to pay an exorbitant amount out of pocket, I’ve reduced my rate for these house concerts. I used to take 100% after $450, but I’ve added the 20% to the host idea to give you an incentive to provide simple snacks/drinks for your guests and so you don’t lose money. 

What to provide. 

All you need to provide is a big enough space to hold everyone. Also, make sure my performance space (corner) is well lit with upright bright lamps or something and then the rest of the room can be dim with candles or other lamps. People are most comfortable sitting on chairs, couches, benches, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc., so it would be great if you had enough seating for everyone. Maybe encourage people to bring a pillow, blanket, or lawn chair to sit on if you don’t have enough chairs. Make sure you have a key person who will collect money from everyone at some point. 

The concert will last about 2 hours. The first 45 minutes I’ll play an acoustic, mostly unplugged (chill) set. Then take a 15-minute intermission and the next hour will be a full looping show—plugged in. Make sure your neighbors are OK with this. Won’t get too loud, though. I’m looking to start at 7:30 for most places.

Notes for this experience: 

Please let your guests know that this is an intimate, private concert by a touring musician. 

This is not a party. Promote my music to all guests and get them excited about the music if they don’t already know my stuff. This is not a drinking party with your best bud providing the entertainment. While alcohol is absolutely okay (and encouraged if somehow a Guinness ends up in my hand), this is not a time to get wasted. 

Also, please inform your guests, maybe at the start (because I don’t want to look like the bad guy), that talking is very uncool during the performance. 

Anything else? 

I’ll most likely need a place to crash that night, so if you have a couch, that would be fantastic. If you provide dinner for me, as well, I’ll love you forever. 

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Please fill in this info and I’ll get back to you with open dates: 

City, State: 

Are you in high school or college (please list where): 

If in high school list parent’s name:

and email: 

How many live with you (are they okay with this): 

Do you live in a house, dorm, apartment, etc. (elaborate): 

Expected number of attendees: 

Where will this be held (living room, backyard, dorm lounge, etc. please elaborate): 

Exact Address: 

Contact Phone Number: 

Hopefully I’ll see you soon!  ~Ari 

And once you confirm a date, make sure you send them a confirmation email. Here’s what I use :

Details: 

Saturday, March 17 

Contact: Mickey Mouse 

Phone Number: 612-555-5555 

1234 Beautiful Lane 

St. Paul, MN 55104 

7:30–9:30 (you can change this if need be) 

$25 a person (hosts excluded) 

$450 guarantee + 80% of cover after $450 

Make public (upon request) or keep private? 

Load in: 6:00 

Sound check: 6:30 

Provided equipment: lamps to light my performance area (corner), mood lighting for the rest of the room 

Sleeping accommodations? yes 

**CANCELLATION POLICY 

Because I am routing a tour around this show, once this is confirmed, we cannot cancel it. Please do not confirm this unless you are certain you can afford the concert and/or can get enough people to attend. If you have to cancel the show less than 3 weeks before the date, I will still need to receive 70% of payment. 

Please confirm these details and we’re set! 

Thanks!  ~Ari

Customize this for you

People have organized pot lucks, birthday, graduation and anniversary parties around these. You will have a lot of fun with house concerts, and even if you’re a full band, as long as you tour with a full PA system, you can set up backyard and basement concerts. 

You will build lifelong fans this way. Attendees get a very personal experience, get to hang out with you before and after the show, and typically buy tons of merch. 

Make sure you pass around the mailing list clipboard or iPad and get every single person’s email who comes. If 30 people show up, the next time through you can book a club and you can estimate that each of them will bring at least 1 more person and now you have a solid 60 for your club show. 

Shannon Curtis typically works solely on tips and merch sales for her living room concerts, and it has worked out very well for her. If you’re just starting out, you can go this route, as well. But make sure the host discusses the importance of the tip jar (she advises not to include a suggested donation because if you say the show is worth $10, no one will drop a twenty in). The tip jar (and merch) should be placed right near the front door so it absolutely cannot be missed. 

Companies like Sofar Sounds, Side Door and ConcertsInYourHome organize (or help artists and fans organize) house concerts. Sofar Sounds has set up intimate, living shows with oftentimes famous artists like Hozier and Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. 

House concerts are a beautiful, unforgettable experience for everyone involved. •

Ari Herstand is the CEO and founder of the music business education company Ari’s Take and its online school Ari’s Take Academy as well as the host of the Webby Award winning New Music Business podcast. He is the author of the book How To Make It in the New Music Business which is a No. 1 best seller in 3 categories on Amazon and is being taught in over 300 universities in the U.S. and has been translated into multiple languages. As a musician he has played over 1,000 shows all over the world and has released 4 albums. As a speaker he has spoken at SXSW, Music Biz, BBC One Introducing, NAMM, SF MusicTech, Berklee College of Music and UCLA. He fronts the 1970s original funk/soul immersive concert theatrical experience, Brassroots District.

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Join the Watchhouse Mailing List

By the time 2019 came to its fitful end, Andrew Marlin knew he was tired of touring. He was grateful, of course, for the ascendancy of Mandolin Orange, the duo he’d cofounded in North Carolina with fiddler Emily Frantz exactly a decade earlier. With time, they had become new flagbearers of the contemporary folk world, sweetly singing soft songs about the hardest parts of our lives, both as people and as a people. Their rise—particularly crowds that grew first to fill small dives, then the Ryman, then amphitheaters the size of Red Rocks—humbled Emily and Andrew, who became parents to Ruby late in 2018. They’d made a life of this.

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Still, every night, Andrew especially was paid to relive a lifetime of grievances and griefs onstage. After 2019’s Tides of a Teardrop, a tender accounting of his mother’s early death, the process became evermore arduous, even exhausting. What’s more, those tunes—and the band’s entire catalogue, really—conflicted with the name Mandolin Orange, an early-20s holdover that never quite comported with the music they made. Nightly soundchecks, at least, provided temporary relief, as the band worked through a batch of guarded but hopeful songs written just after Ruby’s birth. They offered a new way to think about an established act.

Those tunes are now Watchhouse, which would have been Mandolin Orange’s sixth album but is instead their first also under the name Watchhouse, a moniker inspired by Marlin’s place of childhood solace. The name, like the new record itself, represents their reinvention as a band at the regenerative edges of subtly experimental folk-rock. Challenging as they are charming, and an inspired search for personal and political goodness, these nine songs offer welcome lessons about what any of us might become when the night begins to break.

“We’re different people than when we started this band,” Marlin says, reflecting on all these shifts. “We’re setting new intentions, taking control of this thing again.”

For full bio and promotional material please click here .

MANAGEMENT Jimmy Rhine [email protected]

BOOKING / EU & UK Stuart Kennedy [email protected] Colin Keenan [email protected]

BOOKING / NORTH AMERICA Josh Brinkman [email protected]

PRESS James Rainis [email protected] Jerome Ware [email protected] Matt Hanks [email protected]

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How To Put On A House Concert And Host Them Successfully (A Guide For Musicians)

How To Put On A House Concert

Having hosted and played many house concerts, I’ve become familiar with the good and the bad of both hosting and performing. In fact, two years ago I went on a house concert “tour” organized by Home Routes – an organization that sets up tours of house concerts for all sorts of artists.

On this tour, we saw the gamut. There were some shows that were rewarding, special, and financially lucrative experiences. There were also others where we kind of felt like we were just a replacement for a TV.

I’ve also recently become involved with an organization called Sofar Sounds – they set up secret house concerts in strange places and film them. It’s a great community, and I love the concept behind it.

But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:

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Why House Concerts?

Artists love house concerts, because they have the opportunity to make “forever fans”. These are the kinds of loyal fans that will donate to your PledgeMusic campaign and buy your merch. House concerts are also really intimate and fun. On top of that, they generally pay pretty well.

Audience members love going to house concerts because they are intimate and private, you can bring your own booze, and it’s usually a fun community of friends putting it on.

Hosts love putting on house concerts because it’s a very fun and artistic way to host a house party, everybody is guaranteed to be in a good mood, and they get to have amazing artists right in their house. When done right, house concerts are amazing for everyone involved.

So here is my guide to putting on a great house concert. This is a valuable skill, because as a musician, at some point, you’ll probably find yourself helping out a friend in need and putting on a house concert for them . Or, maybe you just think they’re fun to organize! Here’s what you need to know to make your next concert a success.

Setting A Ticket Price Is Recommended

House concert basics for musicians

While in certain scenes (such as the punk scene or EDM scene), a donation-based approach is the norm, in most situations, a set ticket price is a good idea. Here’s why:

Musicians Get Paid Fairly

Even though it’s “just a house show “, there is still a lot of energy that goes into performing and then chatting with the audience afterwards. Musicians deserve to get paid for their work, and having a set ticket price means they know what they’re getting into and whether it's worthwhile.

At house concerts, musicians are supposed to get paid fairly. They may even expect it, especially if they've played a few house concerts before.

A House Concert Is More Of A Concert Than A Party

If you’re in to hosting a true house concert , you need to do what you can to make it a truly concert-like experience. Having a ticket price encourages people to pay attention to the music and appreciate the fact that it’s so intimate and personal. People always value what they pay for more than what they don't pay for.

Keep in mind that your goal is to create a “listening room” environment where people are there to listen and pay attention to the artist instead of causing a lot of raucous. House concert etiquette dictates that the audience is there to listen and appreciate the artist.

Tickets Can Be Used As RSVPs

House concerts with seven people are pretty awkward for everyone involved. You want to know how many people are coming and so does the artist. You should also offer tickets at the door, but selling tickets in advance makes it easier to know how many people are coming, and enables you to give the artist something of a guarantee.

You can take cash, eTransfers, or checks, whatever you want. Most house concert hosts will also have a bucket or a hat at the door to encourage anyone who hasn’t paid to pay up then and there.

Generally, ticket prices should be set between $10 and $20. More high-caliber artists may require the ticket price to be $20. That was the ticket price when I went on the Home Routes tour.

Set Up Concert Seating

In order to make sure everyone feels comfortable and to set the right tone for the concert, you need to set up some concert seating. Figure out where the artist is going to be setting up, and line up some seats in front of that area. This gives people direction and lets them know they are at a concert.

Of course, you probably won’t have enough seats for everyone – that’s totally fine! You really don’t need to have a seat for all in attendance. The point of the seating is to offer those who might need seats (older or disabled folks) a place to sit, and to set the expectations for the night.

House concerts are as casual as they are formal. Audience members often stand, sit on the floor, find some space on a couch, or just find a comfortable place from which to enjoy the concert, which is why you don't need seating for everyone.

You may also want to set up some additional extras, like a makeshift stage, a good fog machine for atmosphere , some nice lights or other. These could all add to the mood, depending on what you want to achieve.

Say A Few Words Before The Show

Is hosting a house concert easy?

It’s always nice for the host to say a few things before the concert starts. This way you can really set the tone for the occasion. Talk about the artist, talk about how lucky the audience is to get to experience their music this way, and mention the tickets and the artist’s merch. This will go a long way and help you build and maintain a strong relationship with the artist.

Introductions also have a way of lending more credibility to the artist.

Set Up A Place To Sell The Artist's Merch

House concerts are a great place to sell merch as well as tickets. Audiences are usually very engaged and they get excited. Then they end up wanting to buy merch. Merch is one of the pillars of any artist’s tour finances. Giving them an easy way to sell it will make them very happy.

You can set up a table, or set aside some space on a counter top, whatever is most convenient. Artists will appreciate it if it's somewhere visible and easy to get to.

Encourage A Pot Luck

Everyone loves food, especially when it’s free. However, it’s going to be hard for you to cook food for everyone – that takes time and money. Instead, encourage your friends or audience members to bring an item to share!

Most people won’t mind cooking something small to share with a group. It doesn’t have to be mandatory, just encouraged. The added benefit is if you take this step, you’ll set the tone for all future house concerts, that there should be food!

Provide A Meal For The Artist

Of course, this isn’t totally necessary, but boy do we appreciate it. You’re probably already making food for the concert, so making something to share with the band or artist performing shouldn't be too much work, and is a very nice gesture.

Just ask if they would like to eat with you (most will say yes) and then consider if they have any food allergies. Artists are generally happy to eat whatever you cook, but it can't hurt to double check with them.

Again, this can help create a great experience for the artist, who you should be building a relationship with, especially if you think you might want them back for an encore performance.

Provide Water & Coffee/Tea

Providing some basics will make people feel at home and welcome. They’ll appreciate the gesture. Having drinks gives people something to do with their hands and makes everyone feel more comfortable.

How To Get Booked For A House Concert

Playing and hosting house concerts

First, post on Facebook (from your personal or professional account) that you’re looking to play house concerts. House concert hosts are always looking for new acts to book, and you will almost certainly get a few bookings this way. You'd be surprised by who is in your immediate and extended network of friends.

The next best thing you can do is talk to other artists, especially if you don't seem to be getting any bites on Facebook. Most everyone has played house concerts, and they’ll almost certainly be able to put you in touch with people who host them. Sometimes, artists will even have their house concerts posted on tour posters and websites, which can give you an idea about where to go to get bookings.

Another place to check is house concert directories. These make it easy to find potential venues in any state or province to flesh out your touring schedule.

Some house concert hosts have Facebook pages and websites – these are usually the most organized and professional hosts. To see if there are any of these in your city, search for [Your City House Concerts] on Google. Something will pop up! Again, these are the best opportunities to go after.

Once you find an opportunity that's right for you, just send a nice email telling the hosts who you are and when you want to play. If you’ve played house concerts before, let them know. Better yet, if you have live, acoustic video content, send them that.

Preparing Your Press Kit

Here are a few pieces of press that will make your life easier when booking house concerts:

  • Good press pictures.
  • Live videos of you playing acoustically, or recordings that show how you would play acoustically.
  • A working website and social media presence.

This is about all you need. The main thing to focus on is great music. People will book you if they like your music.

How To Make The Most Of Every House Concert You Play

If you’re a musician, here are a few things you can do to maximize the effect of any house concert you play:

  • Prepare a mailing list signup form, and don’t be afraid to pass it around. The single most important thing you can collect from people is their email address – make sure you’re collecting them at house concerts so you can stay in touch with engaged audience members. Even people that don't buy anything from you on the spot might drop by your website later to pick up a few merch items. You won't know unless you have the opportunity to email them.
  • Have a good merch setup – make sure your merch is well organized and visible. It’s not uncommon to sell $200 of merch at a house concert.
  • Get good at talking to a crowd. Playing house concerts is inherently different from playing a bar. Learn some jokes and be ready to interact with a crowd that has the ability to shout things at you!

Most importantly, house concerts are relaxed, fun gigs – have fun and make sure your audience has fun too!

Playing a house concert is one thing. Hosting is another entirely. Your eyes will open to the practical realities of organizing a great show if you find yourself on the hosting end. This experience will teach you a lot, and will ultimately make you a better artist too. If you succeed in your hosting duties, people will also begin to see you as a bit of a tastemaker and influencer, at least on a local level.

It’s hard to hate an artist that’s doing something good for other artists. If you’ve never hosted a house concert before, you could be missing out on something amazing.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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Crowded House’s Neil Finn on How a Stint With Fleetwood Mac Led to Revitalizing His Own Band: ‘I Realized That We Had a Flag That You Can Follow’

By Chris Willman

Chris Willman

Senior Music Writer and Chief Music Critic

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Crowded House

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(Friday night, the band performs one U.S. show before heading overseas, at New York’s Bowery Ballroom and can also be seen on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” performing the new single “Teenage Summer.”)

You said something recently that was intriguing, about how being in Fleetwood Mac for a couple of years gave you a different perspective on Crowded House — something to the effect of, “Hey, I’ve got my own classic band, actually.” It sounds like maybe you had some kind of epiphany about embracing the band’s legacy and what it represents in the world.

I realized that I had my own band that has kind of a mana , as they say in New Zealand [a Maori word that is understood to mean “prestige”]… some kind of gravitas or something that carries it along … a flag that you follow somehow. And I was also really hungry to be fully engaged. I wouldn’t want to be churlish at all about my time in Fleetwood Mac. It was magnificent. But I wasn’t fully engaged the whole night, which was really unusual for me. And so I was really looking forward to the feeling of being right there at the front and center of something. So all of those factors were part of the decision to get the band back together, for sure.

You did something a bit humbling in being part of that group, but the driver’s seat is where you feel, “This is where I’m meant to be”?

Or just being able to be a part of every note… You know, you’re hearing the spaces between the notes, and you’re not just waiting till your parts come up. I guess I’m used to that in my musical life, so really, I relish that. It’s being in some kind of altered state of consciousness, and if you’re right in the midst of it, you can keep that feeling going and it can become transcendent.

Almost strangely, when we look at the lineup of Crowded House on stage now, it feels like everyone in in it is either formally or informally family at this point. You have your two sons; you have Nick Seymour, an original member going back to the mid-‘80s; and Mitchell Froom, your original producer, on keyboards. It was not unfamiliar to see Mitchell sitting in on keys when you would do L.A. shows over the decades, but he is on board for tours and all.

Yeah, Mitchell is a fully functioning band member now. You know, he keeps trying to organize things like a producer all the time, and I say, “No, just jam!” And he’s enjoying that. I mean, he’s still very meticulous about getting his parts working for the songs, but I think he’s really enjoying being part of an ensemble. It’s a really lovely change of dynamic for him, and of course, his deep attachment and knowledge of the band makes him a very soulful addition. And as you know, my two boys who grew up with the band, it’s in their DNA, and they’ve become two of my favorite musicians on the planet. And with Nick obviously there from the start, I feel like everyone’s deeply connected, which is a really nice feeling. I think bands can redefine themselves, but to do so with such an intimate group of people makes it feel all more special. So it feels like it’s a very cohesive and soulful lineup.

Yeah. It feels like it’s got a lot of future built into it. We’re expanding our shades and the areas we can go to with the addition of two really good writers. Liam and Elroy are both very, very good writers, and with Mitchell’s arrangement skills, it feels like we’re expanding our universe, if that’s possible — expanding our dimensions, anyway — and that’s exciting.

In the past, it has gotten to a point a couple of times, for version one and version two, where I couldn’t see the way ahead. I couldn’t imagine it, and it wasn’t manifesting in rehearsals, so I sort of stepped away from it. The first time [in the mid-1990s], we thought it was necessary to make a grand statement and say, “No, that’s it: we’re breaking up.” The second time [in the mid-2010s], it was like, “Well, let’s just not do it for a while, and not make such a big deal out of it.” This time I see it as an ongoing thing. I think I’ll be doing the odd project off to the side, maybe something with my brother (Tim Finn), or other projects, possibly. But Crowded House feels like it will continue now for a long time, and we can continue to expand it and get better.

Was there ever a time at which you thought that that being under the banner Crowded House was like a limitation, where it felt like it glued you to a signature sound? It feels like you have found this kind of happy balance where everyone can say, “Yes, of course that feels like Crowded House,” but nobody’s gonna mistake it for an attempt to precisely recreate “Woodface” or something.

Yeah, I mean, all the records have their own distinct qualities. Even in our first incarnation, we changed over the different records. You know, the first record was kind of rollicking, and the second record [“Temple of Low Men”] was more reflective. The third, “Woodface,” is a little combination there. And, you know, “Together Alone,” was quite different again. I hope we’ll keep changing from album to album, song to song. Certain things become more sophisticated because you’ve been doing it for longer, and so your observational skills come to the fore. And you can pick subtlety as an asset, once you become better at observing how music works — and hopefully won’t lose the essence of a pop sensibility, which I always have and feels good to me.

When a song you’re expected to play comes up, whether it’s one of the ones you were doing in the Fleetwood Mac shows or the ones that obviously everybody wants to hear on tour now, does your relationship to those change over time, or cyclically? Do you ever think you’l go mad if you have to play a hit one more time, and then you come back around to embracing it, or does that stay the same over the years?

I mean, there’s a couple of ’em that probably are less interesting to play, possibly sometimes because I’m playing acoustic guitar, and that’s the bit that’s not as fun. But the ones that I play electric guitar on, you can find new notes every night and you can influence the sound more. So that’s probably more what it comes down to, rather than the song itself. Actually, having said that, I play acoustic guitar half the night, and I’m quite happy to. But I do love it when I can get the old electric out and me and Liam can go wailing together.

The single, as we understand it, went through a title change. It was originally called “Life’s Imitation” and it took a young family member to change it to “Teenage Summer”?

It took my grandson to point it out, actually. Because he was singing it one day when I was on FaceTime with him, and he said, “I really liked that song, papa… ‘Teenage Summer.’” And I went, dang … this seemed entirely obvious, that suddenly that he’d picked out the key moment of the song, and the children might have to be heard. So I made a late call to change the title. I might’ve been subtly afraid in the early stages that it was a bit too Katy Perry or something to call a song “Teenage Summer.” But, you know, why should young people have all the fun? … I think there’s other hooks in the song, so I didn’t really figure out that that was the one, but that’s the moment that he really related to. And he is only 5 years old, so I figured, does he know what a teenage summer is? But there’s something about that that resonates for people, and certainly a lot of people have said to me since that it sparks some kind of nostalgic yearning, which is cool. You know, I’ll take anything if it makes you feel it.

There are a few songs on the album, like “All That I Can Ever Own,” that seem to refer to a child or a grandchild maybe just the sense of childhood. And there seems to be a real sense of kind of generationality in some of these songs. When you sing, “Every child is a mystic having visions of a new dawn”…

Well, I am particularly interested in the way that children think, and trying to keep up within myself a childlike view. Certainly with making music, being childlike in the way you approach it, to start with, is always a good idea. And then to be able to apply the reason of an adult to the editing of those ideas, that’s where the sweet spot is, if you get it right.

So, yeah, there is a focus on children. And certainly “All I Can Ever Own” is set, in my mind, in the car on the way home from the hospital with this new human being that you are about to really draw into yourself and get to know. And then, the inevitable process of letting it go, as well — that’s a fascinating theme, to my mind.

The new record starts with “Magic Piano,” and the album title, “Gravity Stairs,” takes its name from one of the lyrics. It feels like a slightly tricky song, in a way — tricky, but catchy, which is sort of your way.

Yeah — through life. I think it’s representative of a certain mentality that we have always had, and just with this record, of having some twists and turns and freedom in the way that the instruments are expressing themselves. I think the way Nick and Liam were playing together was like a really melodic little dance. The bass is particularly melodic in that song. They’re unusual chords, and the shifts from minor to major allow some really unusual atmospheres to emerge. It had an unusual structure that took us a while to figure out… I don’t know if I’ve told you too much or not enough!

It’s in the tradition of your unusual chord changes that feel sort of inevitable and sort of surprising at the same time. That feels like a particular gift you have.

I’m with you. I like that too. … The title “Magic Piano” comes from a children’s radio show — I don’t know if you knew that — but it’s just a title. There’s a really great little kids’ story about a kid who hates practicing piano, and his piano starts to talk to him, and then he becomes able to play incredible things on his piano because the piano is sort of doing it all. And so some of the theme was sparked by that. But then, it is a genuinely a genuine love song to my piano. It’s also got other things to it, about music in general — just the effort to achieve lightness and elevation, and how magical that the whole thing is. I suppose I’m also stating my absolute devotion to melody as the lead — how it takes the lead part in my own relationship with music.

A common characteristic of many of your songs is the dance between the light and the dark. They can be bright and cheerful and then there is this undercurrent of doubt that might just become prevalent in the bridge or something, like in “Something So Strong.” So in a new song like “All That I Can Ever Own,” it’s upbeat and positive in a way, but suddenly we get “I might push her away if I’m not careful.” That feels so Neil Finn, in a way, to have that little turn where it doesn’t totally subvert the song, but there’s this sense of how things could go wrong.

To go from the sublime to the business-like… you were in headlines recently with making a deal with Primary Wave for your publishing, which is the kind of deal so many songwriters of a certain stature and catalog are making. Is there like a level of security in that it sort of allows you to really follow your arrow wherever it leads, without having to worry about being as commercial at every moment?

Security’s not quite the right word for me. Simplicity is definitely part of it, and the idea that people really do care about my songs. I wouldn’t have ventured forth if I didn’t sense a genuine desire for them to really make the songs work on a broad basis. The idea they’re out there working for them is gonna be a benefit to me, to the band, and hopefully the songs themselves. And I have no obligations to manage the business of them, which in a way is the burdensome part. You know, as much as people say, “Ah, you’ve got to own your songs” and all that sort of stuff, it actually just means you’re hiring accountants and getting daily correspondence about how songs should be used, how splits should be administered, commissions paid, all that sort of stuff. I’m giving you a fairly comprehensive description of my thinking. But there’s something really lovely and simple about having somebody else taking care of it, and I’m confident they’re taking care of it in a really good way. So I’ll just get on and sing them and, you know, they’re out there in the world anyway. They belong to everybody, in a way. But somebody’s taking care of it.

I’ve got big aspirations for what I might do with the money that they’ve given me as well. I want to do really good things with that, so it gives me an opportunity to reach a little bit further than I could do. I’ve done well and it’s not that I feel like I’m gonna run out of money — that was not my motivation. But I think I can do good things with that money, while I’m got the energy to make good things happen, you know?

Crowded House’s Gravity Stairs Tour North American Dates:

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Crowded House

Teenage Summer

Gravity stairs - out now, teenage summer - out now, dreamers are waiting.

Crowded House

Oh Hi (official music video)

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Thom Yorke: Everything Playing work from across his career

1 - 2 november 2024.

On the Forecourt

English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Thom Yorke embarks on his first-ever solo tour. Along with Radiohead material, the show will draw from his various solo and soundtrack projects to his most recent work with The Smile.

PLEASE NOTE: This event will take place outdoors on the Sydney Opera House Forecourt. The event will proceed rain, hail or shine.

$8.95 booking fee applies per transaction

Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection.

The only authorised ticket agency for this event is  Sydney Opera House . For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the frequently asked questions below.

Sydney Opera House Insiders pre-sale Tuesday 4 June, 9am AEST Become a Sydney Opera House Insider to receive exclusive pre-sale access Sydney Opera House Thom Yorke early access pre-sale Tuesday 4 June, 12pm AEST General Public tickets on-sale Wednesday 5 June, 10am AEST

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There are a number of wheelchair and companion seating locations in our theatres. To book accessible seating contact Box Office:

Telephone +61 2 9250 7777 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm AEST)

Email [email protected]

Find out more about accessibility at Sydney Opera House .

The duration of this event is yet to be confirmed.

Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.

Suitable for all ages.

Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times.

The Opera House is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children that visit or engage with us. Read our  Child Safety Policy . 

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Venue information, covid-safe information, frequently asked questions, one of the greatest musicians of our time performs solo for the first time.

Rolling Stone called him one of his generation's greatest and most influential singers – a claim that bears no trace of hyperbole. Thom Yorke, a Grammy Award-winning English musician, has a career spanning more than 30 years. He has given voice to our modern sense of alienation and reimagined the landscape of contemporary rock. Yorke has pushed the boundaries of rock and explored its outer limits with the shapeshifting sound of Radiohead, his multiple acclaimed side projects and his groundbreaking experimental solo work.

Yorke rose to fame with Radiohead’s 1993 smash Creep , an MTV-era staple that had one hit wonder written all over it until the band went and delivered a string of classic records – including  The Bends (1995),  OK Computer  (1997), and the one-two punch of  Kid A  (2000) and  Amnesiac (2001) – that turned them into the most revered art-rock act on the planet. While Radiohead ventured further into the avant-garde cosmos, Yorke released his electro-heavy solo debut,  The Eraser  (2006), and formed the supergroup Atoms for Peace with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. More hit solo albums followed –  Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes (2014) and  Anima  (2019) – along with the eerie, hypnotic soundtrack to  Suspiria (2018). In 2021, Yorke was joined by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and jazz drummer Tom Skinner in The Smile, a wildly eclectic project inspired by post-punk, Afrobeat and electronic music, resulting in a dazzling debut album,  A Light for Attracting Attention (2022). Barely halfway through 2024 and Yorke has already offered up not one, but two new records: The Smile’s highly anticipated follow-up,  Wall of Eyes , arrived in January and in April he released Confidenza , an original soundtrack for Italian director Daniele Luchetti’s film of the same name.

Returning to Australia for the first time in 12 years, but this time solo for the first time, Yorke will perform on the Sydney Opera House Forecourt, drawing from his various solo and soundtrack projects through to his acclaimed records with The Smile and his iconic catalogue with Radiohead.

Sydney Opera House by arrangement with Supersonic present

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Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer.

The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see  their website  for details.

Please check the  Transport NSW website  for the latest advice and information on travel. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a six min walk to the Opera House. 

The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We’re committed to making your experience safe, comfortable and enjoyable, with a number of measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. We remind our audiences and visitors to please stay home if you feel unwell. If you need to discuss your ticketing or booking options, contact our Box Office team on 02 9250 7777.

The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We have a number of safety measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. While face masks are no longer required, we ask all our patrons and visitors to practise good hygiene. Please stay home if you feel unwell and read more about our flexible ticket options .

The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ticket purchases and collection at our Box Office is discouraged and eTicket or postal delivery methods should be used, wherever possible. However, if you are collecting your tickets from the Box Office, we recommend doing this at least 60 minutes before the event starts. If you have already received your tickets, the venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Please take your seats as soon as you arrive. 

If you are late, we will seat you as soon as we can and, where possible, in your allocated seat. However, to reduce movement in the venue as well as minimise disruption to the performance and other patrons, ticketholders may be seated in an allocated latecomer’s seat. Please be aware that some events have lock-out periods. In these cases, latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance. On occasions, this may not be until the interval, or at all where there is no interval. 

Details of our right to refuse admission can be found in our  General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Events.

In accordance with our venue security procedures, Opera House security will be scanning and checking bags under the Monumental Stairs, prior to entering the building. Bags will be scanned by an x-ray machine, and staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling your belongings, such as gloves. Cloaking facilities will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 60 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. However it is strongly encouraged that you travel lightly to minimise contact and queuing. Any bags larger than an A4 piece of paper will need to be checked into the Cloak Room.

The authorised agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House.

Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable. If you purchase tickets from a non-authorised agency such as Ticketmaster Resale, Viagogo, Ticketbis, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia or any other unauthorised seller, you risk that these tickets are fake, void or have previously been cancelled. RESALE RESTRICTION APPLIES. For more details, please refer to our  General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events.

Please contact Box Office on 9250 7777 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend.

Foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars.

The venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances.

Please bring a credit or debit card for any on site purchases to enable contactless payment. You’re welcome to bring your own water bottle but no other food and drinks are permitted inside our venues. Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and Portside are also available for you to enjoy.

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Sydney Opera House is our top priority. In line with this commitment, the Opera House became a smoke-free site in January 2022. Read our Smoke-free Environment Policy . 

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Led by enigmatic singer-songwriter Matt Johnson, UK new wave icons THE THE return to the Sydney Opera House for two performances spanning their genre-hopping four-decade career.

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Justin Timberlake Halts Texas Tour Stop to Help Fan in Need of Assistance: 'House Lights Up'

"We need some assistance right here about five rows back," the *NSYNC star said in a clip shared on social media

Justin Timberlake is looking out for his fans!

On Saturday, June 1, the singer, 43, was performing his 2002 hit "Cry Me a River" at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas when he noticed a fan seemingly needing assistance.

In a video shared on TikTok , Timberlake was seen briefly halting his Forget Tomorrow World Tour performance to check up on the fan in question.

After telling the crowd to "put your hands up" to the song, he tried to get a member of the security team's attention, pointing to the person who appeared to need help.

Related: Jessica Biel Reveals Why She and Justin Timberlake Moved Away from Los Angeles

The PEOPLE Puzzler crossword is here! How quickly can you solve it? Play now !

"House lights up, thank you! Sorry everybody one second... we need some assistance right here about five rows back," the *NSYNC star said.

"Are we OK? No, no problem!" the musician told the fan after they seemingly thanked him for stopping the show to check on them.

"OK, we're OK," Timberlake said while smiling and clapping.

Per TMZ , an eyewitness said paramedics weren't called to the scene and the fan in question later returned to their seat.

Related: Jessica Biel Says Son Silas, 9, Is Aware His 'Body's Changing': 'We're Talking About Deodorant'

The incident came after Timberlake ended a five-year hiatus on April 29, 2024, to kick off his latest world tour at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada.

Timberlake delivered two hours of back-to-back hits and new favorites from his sixth studio album, Everything I Thought It Was , according to a release.

The musician performed tracks including “My Love,” "Suit & Tie,” “Rock Your Body,” and “SexyBack” as well as performing live debuts of “Technicolor,” “Infinity Sex,” “Imagination,” “Drown,” “My Favorite Drug,” “F---in' Up the Disco,” “Play,” and “Flame” from his new album , which was released on March 15.

Never miss a story — sign up for  PEOPLE's free daily newsletter  to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

Timberlake announced he was going on tour on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon back in January.

The star is set to take the stage at Fort Worth, Texas on June 4, before heading to cities including Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, New York City, and Boston in June. He'll wrap up the tour on Dec. 20, 2024, at Kansas City's T-Mobile Center.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People .

Kevin Winter/Getty; Lion Latch/TikTok Justin Timberlake on stage in Los Angeles (left), halting his show in Austin (right)

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