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March 21, 2008 12:32 PM   Subscribe

What are some generic things that a band might say to the audience at a concert?

I've been asked by a band to write down some things in the local language (Chinese) for them to say to the crowd during their concert, and as a hardly-a-conversationalist nerd-type I'm drawing blanks. Can you help me to brainstorm a few good ideas? So far I've got GOOD EVENING, WE'RE VERY HAPPY TO BE PERFORMING FOR YOU IN SHANGHAI, THANK YOU, I HOPE YOU WILL LIKE THIS SONG, I LOVE YOU FOLKS, STAND UP, THANK YOU EVERYBODY, GOODBYE. Yup, pretty lame. Help me think of more, thanks! Multiple best answers could be awarded.
posted by msittig to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
"We have [CDs, t-shirts, whatever] at the merch table."

"This one's from our old/new album."

"Everyone clap! [along with the beat]"
posted by nitsuj at 12:35 PM on March 21, 2008

You almost covered my suggestion- complimenting the city.

"It is great to be here in Shanghai."
"It is a lovely evening in the lovely Shanghai."
"You are a great crowd here in Shanghai. I/We love Shanghai."
posted by Monday at 12:37 PM on March 21, 2008

Sure is hot in here.
You're too kind.
This next song was written for...
If the government would let you, this next song is available on the web for free at our website,
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:38 PM on March 21, 2008

First answer that comes to mind is that they will want to introduce themselves at some point. "Everyone give it up for Ricky The Destroyer on bass..." etc.
posted by Kloryne at 12:38 PM on March 21, 2008

The ever popular "Hello... (quick glance at city name written on masking tape behind guitar) uh, Springfield!"


"Coming in on the bus, we heard that nobody likes to rock harder than... (quick glance at the city name written on tape behind guitar) uh, Springfield!"
posted by Kioki-Silver at 12:41 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

In my family, there is only one prayer:

"Remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses"
posted by stubby phillips at 12:44 PM on March 21, 2008

Why not ask them what they usually say to their audiences at home? Presumably the Chinese audience wants to see them being normal, not a performance re-engineered for the venue.

Keep in mind there's the danger they'll try to learn these Chinese remarks and not be understood at all, or worse, appear to be saying completely different. When another band, the New York Philharmonic, visited Seoul, North Korea last month, conductor Lorin Maazel practiced a little speech in Korean, not one of his languages, but in the end decided not to risk it and spoke via an interpreter.
posted by beagle at 12:48 PM on March 21, 2008

One that I've heard a million and five times and I've hated it more each time:

"We're going to play a Chinese song now. It's called 'Tu Ning'"

Don't do that one.
posted by stubby phillips at 12:48 PM on March 21, 2008 [7 favorites]

Hoho, you folks are awesome. Lots of good ones in just a few minutes.

M.C. Lo-Carb, I'll favorite your answer but can't mark it as best. She caused a lotta trouble for bands coming to Shangers recently.
posted by msittig at 12:49 PM on March 21, 2008

Having been to Shanghai, and knowing that English is taught in the schools and required, I would stick to English other than a "hello" or "thank you" in Chinese.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:55 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

To beagle, it's a last minute sorta thing so it's too late to talk to the band. That's why they need to be generic. And I know that it will be hard to have them "speak Chinese" by reading off of a paper next to the mike stand written in atrocious phonetic Chinglish, but I was at a concert last year where Kenny G delivered an entire 3 minute speech reading off a cheat sheet in (don't tell him) atrocious Chinese and the audience was cool with it.

Baphomet: nice; I wonder if "mosh" is in my dictionary.
posted by msittig at 12:56 PM on March 21, 2008

What kind of band is it? Would they be likely to say silly crowd-pandering things like "Are you ready to rock?" Will they be playing tunes that the locals might sing along with, in which case a call-and-response vocabulary like "One more time," "Louder, now," and "I can't hear you!" would be useful.

"This one goes out to..."

You live there, eh? I'd want to give them things to say that, beyond merely being Chinese, would ingratiate them to the locals. A sort of "how 'bout them Mets?" line. I don't know if you'd get up and say "Wow, that there Nanjing Road sure is crazy!" or "Your Jade Temple is beautiful" but definitely something more than Hel-lo Shang-HAI!
posted by mumkin at 12:59 PM on March 21, 2008

Are you ready to rock?!?!
posted by owtytrof at 1:03 PM on March 21, 2008

A lot of bands say something like "Hi, we're [band name]. We're from [city where band is from]" after they play the first song.

Also, sometimes they will say something like "Give it up for [bass player's name] on bass!" Most of the bands I listen only say this as an ironic joke though, because it's kind of cheesy.

Near the end of the show they also generally warn the audience that they are only going to do one or two more songs.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:07 PM on March 21, 2008

"God bless you all!" Didn't all the old arena rock bands say that one a lot?

Also "awwright!!!!!!!!!!!"
posted by mr. creosote at 1:18 PM on March 21, 2008

"Now, are you ready to do some more rocking? All right, let's tear the house down with some loud guitar sounds!"

And there's always "Put your hands in the air! And wave them like you just don't [or do] care!"
posted by ignignokt at 1:28 PM on March 21, 2008

If they're playing with other bands on the bill, it is customary to recognize them, either "Stick around, Band X is up next" or "Give it up for Band Y. Weren't they great?".
posted by mhum at 1:33 PM on March 21, 2008

"Thank you Shanghai!" at the end. Hold guitar up in air.
posted by sully75 at 1:44 PM on March 21, 2008

I can't help but think of the awesome Polysics show in Vancouver I saw last year, featuring such heavily-accented-English gems as:
"Thank you VanCOUVAAA!"
"We are Polysics, from Tokyo, Ja-PAAAAAN!"
"We are going to rock you fucking WOOORRRRLD!"
"Everybody go CRAAAAZY!"

That was about all he had, so he said each one several times throughout the night. But points for enthusiasm.

Along those lines I would suggest you pay attention to delivery. Despite a very limited vocabulary, Polysics knew what to say and how to say it. "everybody GOOOOOOOOO crazy" would not have had the same effect.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:58 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

"We're going to take a little break, but we'll be right back to play some more for you."

This is an important thing to say so your audience doesn't leave.
posted by Miko at 2:00 PM on March 21, 2008

"We can't hear you!"

"[PLACE X] has the most beautiful women in the world!"

"Come closer!"

"Come up on the stage!" (while pulling someone out of the audience).
posted by klangklangston at 2:04 PM on March 21, 2008

Everybody loves swear words -- teach 'em a couple.
posted by loiseau at 2:23 PM on March 21, 2008

Thanks for all the great answer folks, even the "controversial" ones. For various reasons, some of which were mentioned by others above, I'm keeping the list short and simple. I've uploaded the list for your reference with characters and pinyin added:

And yes, I cringe at the made-up romanization too. It's the best way to go on short notice though.

(PercussivePaul's answer happens to not be useful in my situation, but I favorited it because... the Polysics! My first real concert was Cornelius at the Whiskey in LA back in the late 90s.)
posted by msittig at 2:24 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Can you ask a local what is typical generic concert patter in Chinese? Perhaps there are some different things that are said, or the way they are said are different than you might translate the English version.
posted by winston at 2:38 PM on March 21, 2008

"You knew we weren't gonna close without an encore, didn't you?"

"We want to see some dancing out there!"

"Alright, now here's the chorus-"
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:38 PM on March 21, 2008

I've always wanted to hear the singer say: "This one is for my dog, who chases cars. Last week he caught one. So here we GO!" and then party on for someones dog.
posted by dabitch at 4:37 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

I totally love hearing foreign bands speaking in my native tongue, even poorly, which I find all the more endearing. I think it is hard to get appropriate attention after the band's final, final song, because they want to leave the audience screaming and hollering, so...right before the final, final song, I would have the band leader say, rather slowly and seriously:

"This is our final song tonight."


"We are HONORED to play on this stage... and for all of you."

If there is some sign language that works here, suggest they do that in unison as a band. Not sure what would work there, but I think a hand to heart and a bow of the head would work anywhere.

Then tell them to play like it was their final, final song on this stage or any stage.
posted by LiveLurker at 5:59 PM on March 21, 2008

If it's more than one set, "We'll be back after a short break."

To let the audience know it's almost the end of the night, "Here's our last song for the evening, thanks for being a great audience."
posted by lothar at 6:00 PM on March 21, 2008

I have found "Welcome, friends." to be effective.

posted by wsg at 6:33 PM on March 21, 2008

"I don't think we've played this one on the tour!"

"Thank you, [city], you've made a rock and roll miracle!"
posted by johngoren at 7:32 PM on March 21, 2008

"They tell me Shanghai is the rock-n-roll capital of the world!"

"They tell me people in Shanghai like to PAR-TAAAAYYYYY!"

"They tell me people in Shanghai like to get HIGH!"
posted by Tube at 8:45 PM on March 21, 2008

[a few comments removed - please go to metatalk to add your jokey non-answers or to discuss Tibet]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:38 AM on March 22, 2008

I know I'm a few months late to the dance, but here's my 2 yuan, thanks to Google Translations.

这首歌是所有美丽的女人,观众! (This song is for all the beautiful ladies in the audience!)
你觉得我怎么办?(Do you feel like I do?)
posted by not_on_display at 12:47 PM on December 15, 2008

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