“If music be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare
Here’s what DJs and Bands alike don’t want you to hear: There are weaknesses in hiring either a band or a DJ!
DJs have some considerable strengths: they are usually cheaper than a professional band, they can set up into a smaller space, and they can play a large range of music.
However, they can’t interact with an audience the way a REAL LIVE band can. They can’t stop and start songs and address the crowd on the fly in the personalized way a great entertainer can. They aren’t creating the music, but rather re-playing what has already been created. Their sound is good, but it’s not the great WOW factor that a top-notch professional band provides.
The Band, on the other hand, can elevate the party to the next level with energy and WOW factor that’s hard to capture unless you’re there at the moment. If the band is professional, they will know how to emotionally connect with the audience and engage them in the show. The sound of a group of talented human individuals coming together just can’t be replicated by a computer and the experience of a live band is distinct from a Dj.
However, there are some significant challenges to the band, they take up more floor space, they cost more (generally), and if they aren’t professional, they can ruin your wedding. This is why the truly professional bands in most areas (especially Toronto) are so busy and booked up. It’s not uncommon for my band to have bookings years in advance because the demand is greater than the (quality) supply. Another issue with bands is that they have a smaller repertoire of music they play from, but the songs they do know are usually the best of the best and are performed at a high level with more impact (See Mistake #5 about Quality Vs. Quantity of songs)
I hope this report helps you steer away from the “dark side,” that is budget DJs and amateur part-time bar bands. However, if your budget is tiny and there’s no way to expand it just realize that you are taking a bigger risk with a “budget” band.
Here’s why: A terrible DJ will just play terrible songs too loudly and kill the vibe. A terrible band will play terrible songs and sing them off-key, at a volume that hurts your ears and scares people out of the room.
With that said, a professional, experienced live band can be so much more impactful and memorable than even a great DJ. They are making eye contact, involving people in the show, inciting a dance party and it just sounds terrific. The live band is a WOW kind of experience.
The good news is this: most professional bands are now offering a DJ service to incorporate into their live music sets. This truly is the best of both worlds and highly recommended for when bands take a break (all bands are going to need a few short breaks throughout the reception dance).
I would ask any prospective bands if they also offer a DJ service between sets or if you’re able to bring your music playlist to play during breaks. Ask yourself: What scenario would be the best possible experience for my guests?
A band? A DJ?
Why not both?
About the Author:
David Fraser is the founder and band leader of DCF Weddings based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He specializes in live music that’s exciting, entertaining and engaging and has been involved in the wedding industry professionally for over eight years.
To meet David and learn more about his services visit http://meet.dcfweddingmusic.com