Last night, while the billion+ BBC audience (compare that to CNN's 18 million+) heard and saw the headline news of the 10th day of protests in Burma, I decided to check out of real life and and go to a rock concert.

So it was off to a performance in Amsterdam by The Tragically Hip, a Canadian rock group that packs tens of thousands into that country's stadiums and tonight put an impressive 1000+ in Amsterdam's Paradiso, one of the great and original international venues of The Rolling Stones, Dylan, and the other big '70s and '80s artists.

Paradiso was packed as Gord Downie, The Hip's lead singer, dripping sweat onto the front row, mesmerized the largely international audience with a bunch of songs about places which those caught in rapt attention by his performance would never even begin to undrestand. Like his song, Bobcaygeon, referring to the lakes-laden, cottage country spot east of Toronto. My guess is that not 1 out of 80 in the audience even recognized Bobcaygeon as a geographical location.

Nonetheless the audience went wild. Why? Because of the energy.

Now, believe me, Im not a frequenter of rock performances. My American/Canadian partner Janice and her best friend MK dragged me to see The Hip, as theyre known by their thousands and thousands of Canadian fans. And, of course, I could go on and on about the quaintness of Canada; the fact that it has a population smaller than the Netherlands, etc., etc., not to mention their essential decency and charming naivete.

But the fact that not only did The Tragically Hip electrify the 85 or so flag-waving Canadians in the audience, it extended its brand beyond the Maple Leaf banner to capture the interest of the 700+ other Dutch, English, French and German folks in Amsterdam audience tonight.

Why? Energy. Pure and simple.

The songs were relevant. The performance superb and especially energetic. Contact with the audience was direct and moving.

It was a charged evening, and got me to thinking how important energy, and being in front of and relevant to your audience is. Not only for rock groups, but also for nonprofits.

Hey! These guys in The Tragically Hip (which by the way contributes significantly to Canadian and international causes) know how to work and involve an audience. Both live and on their website.

So… pleased with the concert, and grateful for the break I went home and back to worrying about Burma.

To see the surprise I found out at home continue below…

Continue reading “The Tragically Hip Prove Energy Matters”

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