Thursday, April 16, 2015

Live Band or DJ? Why Not BOTH? Just as long as ..........

Live Band or a DJ for your event? When in doubt? Have BOTH as long as...........

                                                          (picture by


This topic is discussed frequently in discussions and while making decisions concerning the entertainment for an event. In a recent post, Top Notch focused primarily on the main factors one should consider when using a band over a dj for an event or wedding, however, assuming the band is not solely a party/cover band, the idea of utilizing both forms of entertainment can be a great idea.

Top Notch had the privilege of working side by side with a band this past Saturday for the wedding of Johnny and Liz at the Stockroom in downtown Raleigh (link to the Stockroom here ) . From DC, Justin Trawick and the Common Good truly were a phenomenal band to work alongside. They arrived on time, their sound system set up was not large nor obtrusive and the volume and style of their sound was perfect for this specific event and venue. There is no denying the fact that everyone loves live entertainment. The band was fun, they were lively and they kept guests on the dance floor the entire time they played. The band played 2 sets, each lasting approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Before, after, and throughout the reception, I and the band were in consistent communication so there were no long pauses in entertainment as we switched between forms of music for the guests. Furthermore, Justin Trawick and the Common Good played a conglomerate collection of various tunes including many originals, and even some unexpected cover material (including House of Pain's “Jump Around” and Biz Markie's “Just a Friend” and more.
As I was watching the band perform and the guests dance, I realized 1 essential factor that made this event thrilling, fun and exciting with a DJ and a Band working together under 1 roof. That factor was this....

“The band was not a party band hence, they weren't playing nor attempting to play what I was playing”
Aha!! I carried that concept with me as the days after Johnny and Liz's wedding event passed and realized that every event that I have considered successful where Top Notch has worked with a band, had this factor in play. Top Notch has worked with salsa bands, mariachi bands, souther rock bands, etc and the same concept applies. In contrast, Top Notch has deejayed multiple events where the opposite of this concept is true as well. Sure, Justin Trawick and the Common Good played cover/dance songs, but they performed them with their on spin, their own style, their own flavor so to speak, and that style allowed many who enjoyed to dance to fun swing music, and even upbeat rock to enjoy themselves on the dance floor. I was wary of their sound, and therefore purposely avoided playing any songs nor style that I knew they intended to play or that would fit their style of music. This left the door open for my set to contain many of the more current dance songs, hip hop and line dancing for guests to enjoy. Because we were not necessarily competing for the same crowd, we were able to work together to provide a great mix of entertainment and music for all of the guests to enjoy. In conclusion, there certainly is nothing wrong with combining a live band and a disc jockey together for an event. As long as both are working together, understand the styles and what the other brings to the table and do not intrude with the other's forms of music, the event with both forms of entertainment can truly be epic for all guests in attendance!

For tour dates, song samples and album information, you can check out the Justin Trawick and the Common Go here!


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