Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lamenting the Wedding DJ

So, I was at my buddy D-Hibb's wedding last night, and it was an absolutely glorious affair. It was the first Italian wedding I'd ever had the pleasure of attending, and I have to say, I loved everything about it: the quick ceremony, the shots of Amaretto in the receiving line, the multi-course meal that lasted for 3 hours, the ice sculpture, the midnight dessert buffet... The fact that the tables surrounding me could have doubled as my high school reunion didn't hurt, nor did the fact that I wound up drinking enough Gin and Tonics to kill a small Bolivian Guerrilla platoon, but regardless, the night was one of the most enjoyable I can remember having in quite some time.

But if the evening fell short in any way (through no fault whatsoever of the bride and groom, it should be noted), it was in the DJ booth. There just wasn't the kind of rockin' good time flow that you'd like to see at a wedding reception. In fact, the only string of success I can remember was the trifecta of Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" (always a highlight when the oldsters imitate this dance), followed immediately thereafter by Bob Seeger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" (I'm pretty sure there's a law similar to primae noctis which states that no marriage is legally valid unless this song is played at the reception), the set wrapping up with Kenny Loggins' "Footloose", providing my buddy Davie Walsh the requisite stage for his Kevin-Bacon-Knee-Slide, unquestionably one of the highlights of the night. But aside from that little flourish, it just seemed like the DJ never found his groove. He didn't even have Guns 'N' Roses' "Patience", which is only one of the all-time great love ballads... Simply inexcusable.

In any event, these indiscretions got me to thinking: Is there such thing as a good wedding DJ? Because believe me, I've been to my fair share of nuptials, and I can't ever remember stumbling out of the reception at the end of the night, thinking to myself: "You know what? That DJ knocked it out of the park tonight!" It just seems like at every wedding, I find myself looking at the tumbleweeds blowing across the dancefloor at various points in the evening and wondering whether or not I might be able to do a better job.

Because maybe I'm missing something, but how hard can it be to play what the people want to hear?

I'm telling you, give me my techniques, my laptop, and an internet connection, and I can guarantee that I'd have the dancefloor jammed all night long. I mean, if you just stand up there and take requests all night, isn't it a lock that the people will wind up dancing to the songs they want to dance to? What better way to feel out your audience than to let them tell you what they want to hear. And in this day and age, shouldn't any competent wedding DJ have access to every song on the face of the earth? Because at the off chance that someone requested something that wasn't already on your hard drive or in your vinyl collection, wouldn't it be easy enough to download it and play it right there on the spot?... Hell, if I were at the helm, I'd even have a projector in place to show the YouTube clips of the songs I was playing, like some kind of Much Music video dance party, circa 1993.

So consider DJ Eric Foreman officially in play for your next wedding. I have no idea what a regular, run-of-the-mill wedding DJ charges, but you can go ahead and pay me in Gin and Tonics.

See you on the dancefloor.


Anonymous said...

I already booked my D.J but I would sign you in a heart beat. Dave Walsh is the man! Kevin Bacon eat your heart out.


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