Sometimes our plans look so good in our own heads that we don't realize that they possibly won't work in real life. That can be said about a great many things, but it DEFINITELY rings true in planning your entertainment experience. We get asked a lot (like really, a LOT) "what is the difference between a band and a DJ?". In the interest of being above board and full disclosure, I own a company that has DJs and Masters of Ceremonies. Our main focus is on creating moments with words and music inside of events (primarily weddings).
One other caveat is that the majority of my DJs are also, you guessed it, musicians. Including myself, we are members of at minimum 5 bands between the three of us. Suffice it to say that we do love live music. So... Live bands are good at setting a mood. Now the question is, "what mood are you trying to set?"
That's where it can get tricky. You see, the thought is that a high energy band is going to be better at making people dance than a highly skilled DJ. Don't get me wrong, a great band is fun to watch. A great band can set a tone. But a great band, unless it is the original band, is always going to be playing covers. AND even if it were the original artist, their performance, with a rare exception, isn't going to play every song exactly the same.
So why is that important? People in general are slightly intimidated by getting out on the dance floor, in front of a bunch of people they don't know, and dancing. That's one reason that venues lower the lights once the dance floor opens. Now if you were to go to a concert and a band did a cover of a song you knew, and changed the key, bpm, or verses around, it might be off-putting to you. People like what they know.
If I, as a DJ, play a different version of a song (remix) that is TOO different from the original it might not go as expected. In fact I've played a cover of Michael Jackson's mega hit "Billie Jean" that cleared the dance floor. It wasn't because I mixed it improperly, it was just DIFFERENT.
Yes, there are some songs that not everyone likes. I get that. But that particular song is pretty much a "no fail" song for getting people moving. Rarely does a banger like that clear the floor. So where does a live band fit better? Read my next blog to find out!