In an industry saturated with choices, one of the most important, maybe the most important in my opinion, is choosing the right band to carry out music agreements with. I wanted to take a minute or two and share these five things to consider when weighing your options. After all, you are the client and you should get what you want, right?!
1) Does the band offer you references from recent clients? This is a very important thing these days especially considering that sometimes many bands review themselves online and are excellent at self promotion however lack the important tenants of real professionalism and performance abilities that can ensure an exceptional event. If the band is worth the money you’re paying them they will have no problem in giving you list of recent clients to call and chat with. Remember, a great reference is the best advertisement for a band so take advantage of that and give yourself peace of mind that you are hiring a quality KC band that can deliver.
2) Is a LIVE band important to you? One hidden secret in this ever-growing arena of technology is that KC live bands supplement their music with backing tracks, making them, well, not really live. Most often this happens when a band wants to stay up on current music yet lacks the musical ability or membership to cover the range of material that most clients are looking for. For the clients who inquire about this, many excuses are offered to justify why it might be “normal” or acceptable to use tracks but make no mistake about it, there is no substitution for a truly live talented group of musicians. Think about it like this: If you wanted a DJ you would hire a DJ.
3) Ask about band breaks. In Kansas City, wedding bands who Play Timbales and other percussion equipment tend to require frequent breaks. I cannot tell you how many clients have mentioned to us how amazing it was that we take only ONE break during the night. The experience that so many people share is that a typical Kansas City band will play for about 45 minutes then take a 15 or 20 minute break. Repeating this throughout the night only shorts the client out of quality time in which their dance floor could be full. And let’s be honest about it, a full dance floor is what everyone wants.
4) Make sure your band is flexible.This is important not only when considering the timeline but also in making announcements and helping direct the flow of the night, working in-step with the coordinators and venue staff. There are numerous horror stories about bands that let ego dictate when or even if they’re willing to make necessary announcements during the night. Some bands will not adhere to such basic requests as announcing last call for bar service or if shuttle service is beginning or ending. These small things are often the difference between a smooth or rough event; just ask your coordinator!
5) Does your band rotate members?This is probably one of the single most troubling developments in the private event entertainment industry. There are always exceptions to every rule however, if a band uses interchangeable members, LOOK OUT! If you went to a reception and saw a really cool band that sounded great and hired them only to get a new mixed group of musicians, you might feel like you were duped; Especially if the sound and performance was subpar as often is the case for musicians that do not play together on a regular basis. This is a reality we hear about all the time. Many bands who do this will express that adding more members for a client warrants a higher price tag or even gives the client a greater range of musical styles to choose from based on their budget. Beware of the excuses. It might happen for several different reasons but again, a quality band does not need to expand, reduce or change members to have a professional sound and performance.
I hope this in some way helps you navigate a bit better when choosing a band. Commitment to a successful event must be shared by the band and the client. That commitment is where success begins.