It doesn’t take a lot to call yourself a professional these days. In fact, any band or musician that has gotten paid to play can call themselves a professional (and they do… often). So what’s the difference between a reliable/quality group and some college buddies that got paid $50 once to play at their grandmother’s birthday party?
1.) I meant to do that!
Experienced musicians have been at it a long time; they know how to react (or rather not react) when curve balls are thrown their way. Weddings, Corporate events, City festivals… they all have one thing in common: something usually goes wrong. Flowers don’t show up, guests aren’t cooperating, plans get modified. A good party planner knows not only how to foresee potential problems, but they also know how to roll with things that are unpredictable.
Musicians are the exactly the same; the good ones can take a potential disaster and turn it into a creative twist. Guests getting a little too drunk? A good band might organize a limbo contest to give them something to do. You can call that “controlled embarrassment” 🙂 . Timeline or plans change? A good band knows how to make last minute changes to their set, their feel, the mood, etc. Bottom line, you want a band that can plan ahead as well as improvise when things get rough.
2.) Something sounds … iffy
Ever been to an amateur mic night or a karaoke bar? You have those awful singers, a couple awesome singers, and then there are a bunch of those “I’m not sure if they’re good or not” types. If you are an experienced musician it may be obvious that they are off on their timing or their pitch (or maybe they just lack confidence and make you feel a little uneasy right along with them). Most people can just tell that it’s not quite right. There are a lot of amateur and professional groups out there that have the same effect. You hire them thinking “I saved some money on this local band” and then you leave the party not quite sure how you felt about the whole evening. Something sounded… iffy.
An exceptional band will make you feel great right as soon as they start playing. There are no “maybe’s” or “kinda’s,” you can just tell. Your body will tell you because you’ll be wanting to dance–you can feel it.
3.) Leave it to Me
This one’s pretty simple: a good band knows what to play. If you have some idea of what you’d like to hear throughout the night, they’d love to hear it; but if you just want people to dance, a great dance band will take the reigns and read the crowd. This works because of many years and performances of playing to similar crowds. Just like you can tell if a band is sounding good, they can tell if an audience is feeling good. If something’s off, a good band can quickly make adjustments and get people dancing again.
The same works for background groups, be it string quartets, jazz groups, classical guitarists, whatever. A good musician knows what mood they’re setting and they know if it is conducive to what is happening around them.
4.) According to Plan
A good group is organized, on time, thorough, and all-in-all, makes you feel at ease. The booking agent or manager will know what to do to get the band all the information it needs and the group follows the plan. One thing we see time and time again from unreliable bands and/or agents is their inability to get things organized. Bands won’t follow plans or agents/managers will ask for the same information 5 times. You may end up repeating yourself to 3 or 4 different individuals multiple times which can be infuriating.
At Utah Live Bands, we manage and book the best and most experienced experts around. We effectively and efficiently organize and the bands expertly and professionally deliver quality performances time and time again. We’ve been around long enough to know the good bands from the great bands and rest assured, the bands on this website are the latter.