Stage banter

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Which bands have the best stage banter and which ones the worst?

I always cringe when I listen to Metallica's live albums from the 80's because of Hetfield's cringey speeches. Nightwish also struggles badly with cliche speeches (both Marco and Floor). Deris from Helloween is also cringey af.

Opeth or Mikael Akerfeldt to be more precise are always fun as he doesn't just repeat the same script for the whole tour.

I also don't like it when, for example, black metal frontmen are too cheery in between songs.
 

terrell39

Ancient Mariner
The more concerts I go to, the more all of them sound like they are saying the same things; just going through the motions. For example Kamelot's singer I saw recently was very cliche when he talked to the crowd. Their opening act, Battle Beast, singer did a GREAT job of pumping the crowd up because I could feel the hunger and energy (as opposed to a singer who's been touring for too many years).

Then there is the other end of the spectrum: Alice Cooper (who doesn't say ANYTHING in between songs; I guess because his shows are like a play)

Some, like Brian Johnson (AC/DC), have such strong accents, I have a hard time making what he is saying until he starts singing!

I'd say Mark Osequeda (Death Angel) is very good at preaching about the brotherhood in metal today vs other forms of music.

Sammy Hagar also is great at communicating with the crowd. I enjoyed how down to earth the late singer for Molly Hatchet was when he spoke to us.

Surprisingly, the singer for Loudness did a good job of talking to us. He spoke about how long a flight they had to look forward to back to Japan from the US as well as asking if it was ok to sing the next song in Japanese (Street Woman).

Dave Mustaine is always entertaining when he aims his attitude at a member of the audience who is foolish enough to get his attention. Blitz of Overkill is always good for a laugh from his comments.

Of course, once Bruce Dickinson gets going, oh boy...
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Mikael Åkerfeldt is excellent at stage banter. Relaxed and witty. One of the many reasons why attending an Opeth gig is a good idea.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Mikael Åkerfeldt's stage banter is both one of the highlights and kind of a nuisance. It's hilarious every time and always very personal because nothing is planned, but at the same time he spends at least 10 minutes per show doing it and that's time enough for another song in the set.

I think Russell Allen is pretty good. Doesn't sound too forced or too planned, he also doesn't do a ton of banter which definitely helps.

I actually think Bruce does a great job of making obviously scripted banter sound lively while also throwing in a few gig-specific details into every show.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Bruce is the best by a long way. Don't get me wrong, he has said some cringey shit through the years but for the most part he has a way with words.

I'm not a fan of brodude stuff like "ok you muthafucka's I want to see some action in the pit" etc. or when Halford or Dio and the likes try and squeeze the title of the following song onto the final sentence of a load of gibberish
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
The funny thing about Opeth is that the stage banter used to be awful. Check out the Lamentations DVD, he barely talks to the audience at all. There are long awkward pauses between songs while the band tunes or whatever. He's come a long way since then.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner

He was in a terrific mood that night. Joking about spending all their money on special effects in Trondheim and only affording a seagull for the Oslo gig instead of an albatross.
I was there. One of the best Maiden gigs I have ever seen (and I have seen many).
 

Brigantium

Paladin of Voltron
Staff member
Bruce is up there with both the best and the worst, really. I really like Ghost for stage banter, but it's 100% scripted.
 

phantomoftheicarus

Bleeding Freak
Personally, I've always found James Hetfield's banter to be the best, thought he was wonderful when I saw them live, personally interacting with the audience, asking kids if it was their first time at a show, cracking jokes about the other members and the audience etc. Also like his banter on albums such as Seattle 89 too

Not always a fan of Bruce's banter, too overenthusiastic and wordy sometimes
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
I quite enjoyed Bruce's stage banter. Bryan Adams was also fairly good but he also was doing his Reckless albums anniversary which was recorded in Vancouver after all. Also Jon Bon Jovi when I saw him solo was quite interactive with the crowd considering he put the concert on after the promoter for it filed bancruptcy. Joe Elliot is also quite good with stage banter but it is scripted for sure but he delivers it in a way that feels genuine.
 
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