Beautifully Awkward Music Performances

When it comes to performing music on stage, there are two ends of the spectrum: the planners and the instinctive performers. The planners are the ones with lots of choreography, stage props, costumes, and special effects to impress the audience.  The instinctive performers are the ones who go with the flow.  Habits and impulse drive their movements on stage, although the performance may still take place on a stage with a well-planned setup.

TV on the Radio performing live at Music Hall of Williamsburg

{link:}TV on the Radio at Music Hall of Williamsburg{/link}

I am a big fan of special effects and awesome lighting. However, when it comes to the actual performance, I typically find the instinctive style more intriguing. As a musician myself, I am entertained when other musicians look lost in the music. This type of performer inspires me because I know they are truly in their element, and not fully conscious of what is happening around them.  Rather than actively trying to impress the crowd, they are sharing a piece of themselves.

It can often be quite a challenge to identify whether a performance is purely instinctive or somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. However, one sure way to tell is when a musician moves in an unusual or awkward manner.  At that point, you know the musician is not using any of his or her brain-power to focus on looking “cool”.  It’s a beautiful thing when you realize a musician is thinking, breathing, and living nothing other than music for the moment.  The only thing on the performer’s mind is the sound waves being propelled into the atmosphere.  The fact that these musicians are completely centered on the music is what makes fans come to love their one-of-a-kind stage presence.

Here are a few videos of awesome instinctive performances:

Radiohead Performing “Bloom”


TV on the Radio Performing “Wolf Like Me”

(I caught a TV on the Radio concert here in Louisville a few years ago. If you ever have the opportunity to see them, it is well worth it!)


Bon Iver Performing “Perth”


Coldplay Performing “Paradise”

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