FAQs | Wedding Band Boston Massachusetts
WHAT ARE HELPFUL FACTORS IN CONSIDERING THE SHINE BAND?
Extensive professional experience and musicianship of course! Click on your choice of over 60 easily downloaded songs here at our website. Also check out The Shine Band’s videos, extensive playlists, locations played, reviews and all the extra info on the site, it really helps to give a complete idea of who we are and what we can do. We’ve performed at over 1600 weddings and special events because we play the songs you want, and know how to work with everyone from start to finish. Establishing a reliable reputation year after year is crucial and we literally have hundreds of references that would be glad to tell of their experience. Though many couples have not heard The Shine Band at an event before their wedding, many of them have heard about us! Please contact John, our band leader anytime—he’s available to give you a direct answer to any of your concerns.
WHAT IS YOUR PRICING STRUCTURE?
Our rates vary depending on the season. Generally speaking, Saturdays in the months of May through October are the premium dates, as you would expect. The Shine Band offers price reductions on almost other dates such as Fridays, Sundays and off-peak Saturdays. Travel charges are sometimes applied, there is no tax required, and the band is almost always available to perform for more than four hours at a very reasonable overtime rate. Feel free to send in an inquiry for a quote.
WHERE WON’T YOU PLAY?
Tough one! After performing at the myriad of the top venues as well as older mansions, restaurants, historic sites, tents of all sizes, porches, beaches, boats, barns, backyards, and in almost all weather conditions—there isn’t much left! The smallest wedding we’ve done is for 13 people, with the largest party having about 1,500 guests. We have no special power requirements and are consistently relied upon to troubleshoot performance-space issues. The Shine Band is based in Boston and generally plays in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO YOU GET BOOKED?
The popular dates (Saturdays in May through October and holiday Sundays) always go first, about 9–18 months in advance. The other dates follow in no particular order. Sometimes we are booked just a few weeks before a wedding. There’s no harm in checking availability!
DO YOU EMCEE AND ASSIST DURING THE WEDDING?
Definitely! We can announce using an excellent Sennheiser wireless microphone as little or as much as you’d like. We give careful assistance to those who are not used to giving a toast or speech in front of a lot of people before as well. The Shine Band is also known for helpful planning advice at any time before or during your event. An informative Reception Worksheet is used to create your own custom-made timeline. Our extensive wedding experience comes in handy all the time throughout many normal and unforeseen situations. We pride ourselves on good communication, and email or phone calls are promptly returned with clear answers.
WILL YOU LEARN OUR SPECIAL DANCE SONG IF YOU DON’T ALREADY PLAY IT?
Absolutely! Simply email/send a copy of the song and the sheet music—which can normally be found fairly easily for less than $10. Band members are very adept at reading and writing music, and can arrange a song to fit your needs if it needs to be abbreviated or lengthened.
DO WE PICK THE SONGS YOU PLAY?
After performing at over a thousand weddings, we’ve found several things that work best. Getting an idea of the music styles that a couple most prefers – and ones to avoid – is essential. Almost all weddings require a true mix of genres to entertain guests of different age groups and tastes. Often one reception needs a very different musical menu than the previous one. This is not a problem, and we never play the same setlist twice! Sometimes a bride or groom enjoys sending back our playlist (printable from our website) with songs they’d love to hear, and a few they do not want. (There are some on the list we aren’t wild about either, but they are “necessary” in some cases!) The Shine Band is very careful to pay close attention to this. Obviously, a live band featuring different vocalists (and spontaneity!) is different than a DJ format or queuing up a recorded playlist. Our experience in reading a crowd has come in handy so many times that the following saying often rings true in musical performance: “The more you plan, the less goes according to that plan …”
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU PLAY?
The Shine Band always keeps up with music trends—we wouldn’t work if we didn’t! If the band notices that folks are requesting a particular song at weddings, we’ll simply add it to our vast repertoire. We cover almost any genre. There are some styles that are very difficult to pull off as a live band. Techno and hip-hop/rap, for instance, rely so much on pre-recorded tracks that it’s nearly impossible to duplicate live. If those styles are desired, playing them on a break by CD or iPod has proven to be both inclusive and effective. We love balancing the very contemporary with the classic, and find the dancers do as well!
CAN YOU OMIT THE CHEESY WEDDING SONGS?
This is another Shine specialty. Playing familiar dance music for all ages is a must, but you don’t necessarily have to play “YMCA.” Here’s a recent account from a functioning director who worked at a wedding with The Shine Band: “You guys were horrible! The staff and I play a game of ‘Wedding Music Bingo,’ marking off all the typical, tired-out songs we hear bands play at weddings here. You only played one, which I understand was a major request—and I lost Bingo! Honestly, your band was so impressive to keep everyone dancing without all the schlocky tunes!”
WHAT ABOUT BREAKS AND BREAK MUSIC?
The idea is to play as much live music as possible. In a four-hour block, The Shine Band generally takes 2 breaks: a short dinner break (about 25 minutes) while guests enjoy their main course, and a short breather later on between dancing (about 15 minutes). Excellent pre-recorded music is supplied on all breaks—usually an easygoing variety during the main course, and up-tempo dance music on the second. Sometimes a couple will supply us with a with their own break music on CD or on an iPod playlist.
WHAT IS OFFERED FOR CEREMONY AND COCKTAIL MUSIC?
We have a flute & guitar duo for ceremonies (if the wedding and reception are at the same location). The same two musicians from the band also play as an excellent sax and guitar duo, featuring a nice mixture of jazz, blues, swing, Latin, and pop instrumental music—at a reasonable rate and perfect volume level in or outdoors.
WHAT DO YOU WEAR?
We wear tasteful wedding attire including tuxedos with a splash of color and classy evening dresses. Occasionally, folks prefer us to dress a little more casually.
DO WE SELECT AN ENTRANCE SONG WHEN WE ARE ANNOUNCED IN?
As you might imagine, singing a song and announcing names at the same time doesn’t really work. We normally play a very fun, upbeat instrumental bluesy tune behind the announcing and adjust the music volume accordingly to help keep the excitement level. Folks love it! Every now and then we are asked to play a specially requested song on CD or iPod as a bride and groom is introduced, not a problem.
The Shine Band is amazing. They were so easy to communicate with during the planning process. The dance floor was packed the entire night. All of our guests are still raving about how great they sounded. My husband and I were worried because we couldn’t see then perform ahead of time, but believe me….they are even better in person! – Sarah 11 /2016
SHOULD THE BAND PLAY A SHORTER VERSION OF OUR PARENT DANCES?
Most of the time yes, as an average song length of 3.5 minutes can really feel like a long time alone with your Mom or Dad or relative on a dance floor with everyone watching.
WE WERE AT A WEDDING AND THE MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT WERE SO LOUD!
It wasn’t us! Band members do not need earplugs—we actually all have our hearing still very much intact. We are very careful to make sure that people can enjoy speaking with each other, especially before and during dinner. Occasionally we are asked to insert a short dance set in between courses. Most of us have been to a wedding or function and had a bad time (or even left) due to the loud volume of the entertainment. The Shine Band takes pride in knowing how to be in the background and when to get folks up and dancing. Experience counts!
- Each member sings lead AND plays at least one instrument: great value
- Regular group: Female & Male vocals, sax, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums
- Trumpet can be added for horn section sound
- Performance at almost every preferred venue in New England
- Reasonable Rates!
- Helpful planning expertise, easy to work with, answers calls & emails
- Quality pre-recorded music supplied on (non-excessive) breaks
- The best of BOTH contemporary and classic music
- Maintains appropriate volume in both large and very small rooms
- Cocktail & ceremony duo for the band available if needed
- Knows when to be in the background AND how to pack the dance floor!
In order to perform a huge variety of live music for people, a band has to have a huge repertoire. If not, they shouldn’t plan on working much. Tired wedding fare is not an option for most. Brides, grooms, family members, guests all expect more. Deservedly so, especially around Boston, Massachusetts –one of the country’s true music capitals. From Frank Sinatra and swing material through Motown, classic rock, Latin, the 80s,90s, 00s, alternative, country, pop dance, ballads, Top 40 –on through what is on the radio right now- a top band must play all the styles. And play them really well. One of the things The Shine Band enjoys most is to perform a giant spectrum of material. It keeps things fresh, no two performances are the same. Folks ask us to concentrate on both familiar kinds of music as well as the tasteful material one wouldn’t always expect at a wedding. We’re glad to tailor the repertoire for you and are adept at reading the crowd. Please take a look at our song list page to get an idea of The Shine Band’s exceptional range.