Music | Cleveland Music Group
A-ggres-sive Re-quest-er: (lat. Requestus Obnoxious); aka Party Neanderthal – 1) Wedding reception Guest (usually male) with an inability to handle social drinking in any civilized way – usually presenting itself with the alcohol-induced hallucination that unless the creature hears a particular inane song of choice IMMEDIATELY, it will die – usually leading to verbal assault on the band or DJ on duty.
What is it with some people? Throw back a few drinks at a reception and they start treating the band or DJ like their own personal ipod. Don’t get me wrong – we always want guests to have a great time and keep the dance floor full and polite requests are expected and even welcomed at many events. But you know the type – the drunken goon whose beer-goggles (or, in this case, earphones) lead him to believe that unless the band plays the particular song of his choosing, the Earth will crack open like a walnut. Ironically this pickled heckler’s “requests” are never really requests at all, but insistent demands bellowed after every song that isn’t his tune of choice.
And why is it that it’s never like a really unique or interesting song? I’m really starting to believe these buffoons’ musical vocabulary consists of “Hang On Sloopy” and “Let’s Get Drunk and Screw”. I’ve even started mentally giving a prize to the first over-served party boy to loudly demand we play “Shout” (usually somewhere near the top of the 2nd set)!
I realize this makes me sound like a party snob or something, and I really don’t mean to be. I like a good drankin’ song as much as the next guy. But the fact is, these types of guests can be really disruptive to a band or DJ as well as the other guests. Even worse, they sometimes get threatening (I’d love to be a fly on the jail cell wall when this guy tries to explain to the cops that he assaulted the DJ because he wouldn’t play “Sweet Caroline”!). It’s a good bet that this obnoxious guest hasn’t been in on any of the planning for this reception and probably doesn’t know that the DJ has strict guidelines from the clients who are paying not to play certain songs or types of music, not matter how politely the DJ might try to explain that. Not to mention the fact that we actually do like those tunes too and would have played them in due time anyway. They’re great party songs. But for most artists, the more a guest screams at us, the less likely that guest is to ever hear that song at this event. We are there to do a job and like, everyone else, demand the respect that affords.
I guess I’m a little biased. I’m not a song requester type. In all my years of experiencing live music, I’ve never felt the need to infuse any of my personal song preferences into a band or DJ’s set list. I’m sure it’s because I’m usually the one performing the music week to week and I know how constant requests can take your eye off the ball of trying to keep the dance floor full. But when I’m not performing, I’m usually cool with whatever the band plays. I just like watching live bands and DJs perform their craft – good or band, to me it’s always interesting. The actual songs being played have little to do with it for me. It’s either a good dance song or it’s not. And if the setting I’m hearing said music in happens to include some social drinking, that has a much different effect on me than it seems to on the song request bully. After a couple drinks I’m digging every song and become the friendliest dancer on the floor! This band is AWESOME!!!
So if you’re an Aggressive Requester – and you know who you are – take it easy. Just let the band or DJ do their thing and enjoy the night. If you don’t like a song….go get a drink. Scratch that – go get a cup of coffee. But if you think you can’t handle that, load up Hang On Sloopy, Brown-Eyed Girl and Shout on your ipod and jam the night away…from the comfort of your car…..out in the parking lot!
Just kidding – we’ll get those tunes on in the next set!
Geoff is the Sales and Promotions Manager at Jerry Bruno Productions and is a DJ and the bandleader of JBP’s band The Avenue.
Our own DJ Tommy Dwyer was selected today by News Net 5 Cleveland as a “Terrific Teacher!”
Mr. Dwyer was chosen a Terrific Teacher for the way in which he engages with his 8th grade math students at Ridge Middle School. He keeps the students interested in math by combining his love of music into his class. View the video below and read the full story at News Net 5.
Here are our bookings for Valentine’s Day weekend!
JAZZ & SPECIALTY
Solo steel drum at Fairview Hospital for a Pediatric open house.
Harpist Virginia Dickson at Fairview Hospital for an open house event.
The beast was among them…dressed as one of them..and it was hungry.
The newlyweds were flushed with excitement. They had painstakingly planned every detail of the reception….the perfect flowers…the perfect band…gourmet dinner…special dances…the……toasts…
It wouldn’t be long now. It had been too long since the thing had fed. The unsuspecting victims were just now enjoying the salad course. Soon the thing would eat too. Only one thing would satisfy its insatiable appetite…time. And lots of it. It was just waiting for its cue…
…”and now ladies and gentlemen…a special toast from the Best Man…”
The timeline was dead.
Fiction? Unfortunately in too many cases, no. I always remember a “toast” being something along the lines of “over the teeth and through the gums, look out tummy, here it comes!”..but too often a well-wishing Best Man or Maid of Honor sees this custom as their 15 minutes of fame – literally…15 minutes.
One question I always like to ask clients is “what is your goal for this reception”? Most people say that they want their guests to have a great time, to stay and dance and make the event one people have great memories of. In short, they want to throw a great party.
So why do so many people seem to forget what makes a great party?
True, a wedding reception is not an ordinary party…but there are some ingredients for successful parties that are universal, no matter what the occasion. One of those ingredients is the ability for the hosts to take the focus off themselves and put it onto their guests. This may seem contradictory to the very reason this event is happening in the first place- to celebrate the new union of the two most important people in the room. But the happy couple is THE reason everyone is there in the first place and the big white, fluffy dress is a big clue as to who the center of attention is. Making 200 guests – who have already dedicated an entire day to celebrating the rookie-weds – continue to sit through long speeches and toasts to further drive the point home can be the very definition of overkill.
And it can kill your timeline.
The bride and groom are most likely not going to be aware of what time it is – or rather, how much time they’re losing – at any given point of the reception. Nor should they. But the band the bar and the bus boys definitely know what time it is. That’s our job as planners and bandleaders and DJ’s – to keep things moving and on schedule. And ready or not at the end of the night, the party is going to come to a close. Hopefully by this point it’s your guest’s feet that are tired from dancing and not their rear ends from sitting all night. You’ve probably paid good money for the band or DJ. You should get the most out of your investment and let them do what they do best..fill the dance floor. I’ve seen more than a few brides with that surprised look as though the dancing just started, and it seems we’re “already” thanking the audience and going into our last dance.
Besides, wedding toasts are kind of like inside jokes – filled with memories that approximately 2% (according to statistics I just made up for this blog post) of the entire crowd were involved in and thus, care about. Making guests endure long winded speeches about things they weren’t involved in is kind of like inviting friends over to sit through a slide show of your last trip to the Grand Canyon.
Don’t forget the show business aspect of throwing a party. Appeal to the larger audience. More elements that everyone can enjoy – like dancing, eating and drinking – can help ensure a fun reception.
None of this is to suggest toasts should be done away with. But if brides and grooms make it clear to their respective Best Men and Maids of Honor from the very beginning of the planning process that their timeline is limited, things can move more swiftly to the true business of partying. A brief toast can still be funny, congratulatory and heartfelt.
And the time-eating beast will have to eat elsewhere.
At the time of this posting, Geoff was the Sales and Promotions Manager at Jerry Bruno Productions (now Cleveland Music Group) and the bandleader for its band, The Avenue.
One thing that sets Jerry Bruno Productions’ DJ services apart is the fact that we aren’t a DJ factory. We show you video of the DJs we have to offer, and you get to select the DJ you like most based on presentation, personality, price, and character. Scott Jones likens it to “video dating.”
But sometimes it can be hard to choose. Sometimes, who the DJ is doesn’t matter as much as the fact that he or she is professional, reliable, and insured. That’s where our new Best Choice DJ Program comes in: For just $499, you get a 5 hour DJ service with a trusted Jerry Bruno DJ, professional sound, and the assistance and expertise in planning your entertainment from the Jerry Bruno Productions’ staff.
All you have to do to get this great rate is leave it to us! We’ll choose the Best DJ available for your date and handle all the details. Rather than working with the DJ on the details leading up to your event, you’ll speak with our office. We’ll handle it all for you! You get a great DJ and big savings in time and cost.
This program allows you to save up to $1,000 on a DJ from the Jerry Bruno Productions roster of professional entertainment hosts. Ask a sales agent at the office about the Best Choice DJ Program today!
For the past two years, we have placed Third in the Cleveland Wedding Music category of the Fox 8 Hot List Contest. Pretty good. But with over 18 bands, 15 DJs, and countless other groups, acts, and musicians as well as over 1,500 happy clients per year, we’re pretty sure we could reach first or second place this time.
It’s so easy to help us reach our goal. Simply click the yellow “Vote” button on our page at the Hot List contest site. You may have to register quickly, but you will not be spammed.
Voting ends November 6 and we will post the results as soon as they are announced. Thank you!