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Wedding Music; How To Sift Through The Noise

So it’s time to get serious about vetting bands. You sit down to review a stack of band material and assume the SONG LIST is the most important, right? Meh….

SONG LIST:

Jokes aside, the song list is relevant (not to be confused with the play list, more on that below). But song lists are also one of the least helpful tools when reviewing bands. Here are the top 3 reasons you should take song lists with a grain of salt:

1) You don’t need to peruse thousands of songs to verify whether a band knows your first dance! Any legitimate band will learn several new songs for you or will have the capability to DJ music.

2) The most highly rated general business bands perform roughly the same music. Top 40, 2000s, 90’s, 80’s, Classic Rock, Country, Swing and Jazz are all genres employed by reputable Boston Wedding Bands. As such, the difference between one song list and the next isn’t earth shattering.

3) A band performs 38-44 songs max in a 4 hour dinner/dance reception. So when one band has 100 R&B songs on their list, and another has 250 R&B songs, what does it matter? If they played 10 R&B songs, that would be 1/4 of all the music at your wedding!

PLAY LIST:

Play list is a term used to describe the body of songs that a band actually performs at an event. You should ask the following of any band you’re considering:

How do you manage your play list? What kind of input will I have?

With the exception of formal dances, most bands reserve the right to select the songs they perform, with your preferences in mind. They want a lot of feedback so they can accommodate you. They may play as many as 10- 15 of your specific favorites. But they also require you place trust in their ability to call songs throughout the night.

Let’s face it, when you read a review that says “ THE BAND PLAYED THE BEST MUSIC AND HAD EVERYONE DANCING ALL NIGHT”, it wasn’t because they recreated the groom’s favorite mix tape. And sometimes, bands have to play music that guests respond well to, even if it isn’t the bride’s favorite song.

And if the above doesn’t work for you, that is cool too! You just need to have an open dialogue with each band you consider to ensure they meet your needs.

NUTSHELL: what we’ve seen work best is a compromise between two parties. You trust the band, and the band promises to take your tastes into account.

– The BWB Team

Band Turnover; What Are My Options?

We’ll let you in on a not so little secret:

The band industry is rife with turnover!

We live in a society that is continually moving and changing, as are it’s people. Many performers will move on to opportunities with original artists, record deals or writing positions, while others will re-locate in pursuit of their own dreams. As such, no band or company can guarantee the appearance of any one performer or vocalist at your event. Anyone who tells you otherwise is being disingenuous.

Nonetheless, there are steps you can take to protect your interests…

1) Ask about a band’s policy regarding member changes, specifically, vocal turnover. What you want to hear is:

A) you will be notified in the event of a vocal change and

B) you will have the option to opt out with a refund in the event you are unhappy with the changes.

2) Consider the band or company’s ability to maintain the integrity and success of their bands, over time. Think about it; if a provider has been successful for 15+ years, they didn’t get there by using the same personnel for 15+ years! This would suggest they have the juice and network to recruit, train and place top-tier talent. Here we find another instance where tenure really matters.

3) Go in with your eyes open. You are not buying a person or persons, but instead, an experience; the guarantee of an incredible party. This can be achieved with different personnel, if necessary. And if you are emotionally prepared for the possibility of turnover, it will help you make a more informed, less emotional decision as to whether the band is still right for you.

Lastly, there is also the possibility for performers to experience physical or personal emergencies. It should be the responsibility of any provider to ensure a substitute of equal or greater talent in the event of an emergency.

The more you know, the more you grow.

-The BWB Team