December 14, 2017   |   Dance Band

Great Dance Bands Do These 10 Things

Finding the right band for your special event can be a daunting task. With so many groups to choose from, all with seemingly good reviews, professional videos, website and audio samples, how do you really know if a band is legit? First and foremost, trust your ears. Then look for these Top 10 traits of great dance bands.

Top 10 Traits of Great Dance Bands

Finding the right band for your special event can be a daunting task. With so many groups to choose from, all with good reviews, professional videos, website and audio samples, how do you really know if a band is great? First and foremost, trust your ears. Then check out these top 10 traits of great dance bands.

#10 The Words

High-level professional vocalists will memorize the lyrics. This means no IPads on mic stands for the front line of vocalists. The results are inspired and heart-felt performances, not karaoke style lyric reading.

#9 Hear the Difference

Great bands don't skimp on sound production. Instead they use powerful PA systems with subwoofers and side-fills for maximum room coverage. In volume sensitive situations, an accommodating band will use drum shields and electronic drums to reduce volume. In-ear monitors further reduce stage volume, so your guests can talk during dinner without being overpowered by the band. Beware of any band with a musician operating the mixing console from the stage. This is not professional sound production.

#8 Lights. Camera. Action.

Great bands have dance-floor lights, which MUST be accompanied by a light tech. Guests will enjoy a concert vibe with color chases, strobes, and fades applied to the beat of the music. Videographers and photographers also benefit from the use of a qualified light tech. Colors and brightness can be adjusted to create the perfect shot. You should never be required to pay for stage wash lighting, as this is a basic service of any professional band.

#7 Break Music

Accommodating bands won't require you to provide an iPod or iPhone to play on breaks. Instead, you should simply submit a list of the music you want played, and have your band load their own laptop and playlist for playback. Beware of any bands tasking you with these responsibilities.

# 6 So Fresh and So Clean

Great productions have a clean look on-stage and off. This means no random cables all over the stage, no dangling cords from lighting, and no piles of guitar cases and road cases side-stage. Expect your band to keep the stage clean for photos and video.

#5 Multiple Vocalists

If you require a band that performs multiple genres, and you don't want the same cookie-cutter generic vocalists singing all of them, then you're going to need several vocalists. Look for bands that have authentic vocalists specializing in their respective genres.

#4 Three-Part Harmony

Drunken sailors are okay with no vocal harmony, but a trained and discerning ear demands more. Any great dance band should have at least 3 vocalists singing in harmony on nearly every song.

#3 Choreography & Interaction

High quality bands should have choreography and demand LOTS of interaction. The entire front line of vocalists and horn section should be entertaining, not just performing. Band members should join members on the dance floor, and guests should join the band on stage for epic sing-a-longs. Nobody likes a boring band.

#2 Reviews

Nearly all professional bands have positive reviews. That's why it's important to read all the reviews from as many different sites as you can find. Recurring negative reviews are a good indicator of what to expect on your event. Talk to venues, planners, and other vendors about your band, and make a fully informed decision.

#1 Real Music

Great bands can do a simple thing: perform live music. While backing tracks may enable a smaller 5-person group to approximate the sound of a 12-piece band, there is no substitute to using real musicians to authentically recreate your favorite songs. With a live performance, arrangements can be modified to accommodate last minute schedule changes and set lists can be created on-the-fly to ensure the best song is always played.

But first and foremost, always trust your ears. Is the audio great, or just good?

Houston Variety Band
Best of the Best

The Drywater Band is simply the best of the best singers, musicians, and entertainers! If you want your guests of all ages to be on the dance floor and having the time of their lives, then hire this band. They are extremely versatile and know how to read and work the crowd. Prior to our wedding, we reviewed their song repertoire and submitted a song request form with many songs from a range of genres. The band nailed every song from country to pop to oldies to R&B. We had family and friends at our wedding that are musicians themselves (in bands, degrees in Music), and they were extremely impressed with The Drywater Band, and so was everyone else!!

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