As I look at how the band industry is in Chicago, it is clear that there is some sort of “revolution” going on. There are so many new bands that have cropped up. New websites are popping up with new bands every day!
There are more choices than ever before, and it’s enough to confuse any purchaser.
Every band claims that they are the best. They claim that they have the best musicians, the best vocalists, the best (fill in the blank). What is a purchaser to do?
Prospective Brides, Grooms, and other music purchasers: take note! For all the newness and freshness of websites, and for all the slick sales people on the street, the attributes of bands that made a great party 20 years ago are the same things that make great parties today!
In the interest of TRUTH, with no “spin”, Here are some things that contribute to a spectacular party (and have ALWAYS done so!):
1. IF THE BRIDE AND GROOM DANCES, SO WILL YOUR GUESTS! Brides and Grooms: The data is officially in! If you are dancing like crazy during your wedding, so will your guests! If you spend the time walking around to tables, or in the next room taking photos, your party’s energy will be diminished. If you want a packed dance floor, you have to dance too!
2. GUESTS WHO COME TO PARTY! If your guests come to party, they will dance whether the band is “decent”, or better than that…all the way up to “spectacular”. And the opposite is also true…if you have the BEST BAND ever assembled, if your guests did not come to party, you won’t have a great party.
3. VERSATILITY! You need a band that can play Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Michael Buble, Jay-Z, Sly and The Family Stone, Bruno Mars, Journey, Taylor Swift and the Black Eyed Peas. You need it all. If the band can cover all artists, you’ll have a great chance of having a great party.
4. THE BANDLEADER EXPERTLY READING THE CROWD! Coming up with the right songs to play at the right time is essential. Band leaders with experience know that no matter how much advanced planning is done, until you see the guests at your party reacting to the music, as it is happening, it is virtually impossible to predict what guests are going to dance to in advance with any reliablitiy. It doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t plan. One should definitely plan. Bandleaders should definitely plan the songs that the client wants, and what guests generally want to dance to. But one should also PLAN to make choices based on what the guests are responding to and be prepared to place those songs in the best places to get the best dance response. Making advanced set-lists as an “end-all” is an ineffective exercise, because it doesn’t take into account what your guests will actually respond to. No matter what less experienced bandleaders tell you, set lists (picking songs in a particular order) are a bad idea for a party with dancing.
a. If a “Just OK” band plays all the right songs for your guests at the right time, people will dance.
b. If a “Dream Team” band is the best sounding band ever assembled, but plays the wrong songs, or the right songs, but at the wrong time, people will NOT dance, and you won’t have a great party.
(Deductive Reasoning: Playing the right songs trumps the “best sounding band in the world”. )
Solution: Get the Best Sounding Band you can, WHO ALSO has the best intuitive bandleader, who can read a crowd, and play your requested songs, placing them at just the right point in your party. People will dance, and you will have THE BEST PARTY!
Those people searching for live music who prioritize according to the above have the best chance of having a great party. And if you do, (wink) your party will have the right MOMENTUM!