There are very few things in life that are as much fun as a live premier party band playing great dance music for a special celebration. As well, there are few things that will ruin a special occasion like an amateur band. Live bands are a dime a dozen, but incredible live bands are a rarity.
Finding a group of musicians that’ll provide seamless, high-energy dance music for several hours straight may seem easy, but unless you know what to look for it’s very possible to end up with an inferior band that lacks the live performance skills you see in their fabulous demo video. In other words, you may see a sample video of a band that makes them look like the best thing on the planet, but when it comes time for the live show, they stink.
This begs the question “how do you know when you’re hiring a good band?” There are several things to be on the lookout for, and if you pay attention, chances are very good that you’ll end up with a quality band that will turn your party into something memorable.
There are two ways to go about locating and hiring a band. You can either deal directly with the band or get help from an experienced band booking agent. Most bands these days have their own website, and on these websites you’ll typically find things like photos, videos, testimonials, previous clients, and other pertinent information.
There are two potential problems with contacting and dealing with a band directly. First, your choices will usually be limited, and second, you may get an extremely slanted opinion about the quality of the band. Obviously, when you talk with a specific band, their goal is to convince you to hire them over anyone else. They may tell you everything you want to hear, and may make their band sound like the best in the world, when in reality they may not be so hot.
Even if they have a great video that makes them look unbelievably good, it may all be a trick. Many bands will put out great videos and then send different players to your event than what you see in those videos. Be careful. Some bands that get two or more job offers for the same date will take both jobs, splitting up the band and bringing in inferior players to fill in the gaps. The result may be two or three mediocre bands instead of one good one. Honorable bands won’t do this to you without making it clear it’s what they’re doing.
When dealing with an agent that has many bands on their roster, you have more choices. By viewing the different videos you can quickly get an idea of which ones you like best. Plus, booking agents don’t usually care which of their bands you book, so they will typically be more forthcoming about each individual band. They want you to be happy because they want you to come back to them each time you put on another event and want more music entertainment. For this reason they want you to hire a live music band that you’ll love, knowing that if they deliver the goods, you will return the next time you want to hire entertainment. There is no ulterior motive here, as might be the case when talking with a band directly.
Don’t hold back, ask questions. By simply asking questions like “will I get the players I see in the video?” or “can I see some references from previous clients?” may give you enough insight as to which band will be best for you.