Let’s say for the purposes of this posting that a Chicago Wedding Band can be called “experienced” after performing 100 events. Imagine the best case scenario for your party. The band is playing all the songs you requested, plus other great songs. And everyone is dancing at your party. The dance floor is packed, the energy is extremely high, and everyone is extremely happy. And this is the scenario at your party, from start to finish! I’m fairly certain that even as a novice bandleader I experienced some parties that went just like that. And at the end of the night, the crowd was chanting “ONE MORE SONG, ONE MORE SONG”, etc. And truth be told, if the guests come ready to party, and the band is playing the right songs, the inexperienced band can be equally successful as the experienced band! One can sound just as fantastic as the other, and with their impact on the party equally strong!
After having performed at over 2000 events, I can honestly tell you that the above scenario happens for the ENTIRE event only a certain percentage of the time. Often, that scenario applies to MOST of the party (but not ALL of the party). And rarely, but still once in awhile, your guests don’t seem to be responding as you expected to the songs that you have requested .
The question you should ask every bandleader is, “What happens if the dance response isn’t as strong as I would like at MY party? Do you do anything to compensate for this? If so, what?”
And you should also be asking yourself the same question. What kind of flexibility and variation is available under those circumstances? Does the band have the ability to lengthen or shorten songs according to the dance response? Is the band playing along with pre-recorded tracks, locking themselves into the exact length of those tracks? If the band plays with tracks, do they have hundreds of alternative material to play with tracks too? Does the band play with pre-determined “set lists” which do not take into account the current dance response? Or, does the band play with “REQUEST lists”, but leaves the decisions about when to play those songs based on guest dance response?
As stated earlier, at parties where everyone is in a party mood, and dancing up a storm, the experienced band and the inexperienced band all can achieve the same successful results. But it’s when things AREN’T going as well as expected that the best professionals will really shine, and will CREATE the energy for the party. And that’s what you want!