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What makes a Cover Band Great

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Playing To The Crowd

Great cover bands engage the crowd in a two-way conversation. They might invite everyone to sing along, give kudos to the bartender, or acknowledge a patron’s birthday. Involving the audience creates a bond with those in the room and earns the crowd’s loyalty.

If the cover band plays music that lends itself to dancing, a great band knows which songs to pick to fill the dance floor. The ability to read the room and switch things up when the crowd is unresponsive is another characteristic that sets top bands apart from others.

Knowing Their Band Brand

Bands that understand their brand, or what makes them different from others, tend to be successful. Why? It’s simple. If a band knows its strengths, music style, and genre, it can present itself in a way that attracts a crowd that loves that vibe. For example, bands who play heavy metal covers do best playing to a room of metalheads.

A band’s uniqueness might be their versatility or how they add their own touch to popular songs in their genre. They play to each member’s strengths, such as highlighting the electric guitarist’s solo or creating moments to let the deep bass of the backup singer shine.

Using Set Lists

Your favorite cover bands will hit the stage with their set lists planned to keep the good vibes coming. A set list is a band’s way of giving the audience a seamless experience, as each band member knows what song is coming up next. Set lists allow musicians to tweak what isn’t working and adjust their list as they gain their crowd experience.

Compiling a winning set list involves considering the genre the band is booked to play. A carefully planned list allows the band to set the tone of the room and sweep the audience along on a musical trip.

Finely Tuned Tech

While getting the tech right doesn’t sound romantic, it’s an essential part of making live music magical. The right equipment, set up correctly, makes it possible for everyone to get lost in the music. It eliminates distracting hisses, mic feedback, or awkward silences mid-song while band members scurry to make loose connections work.

Getting the technical side of a cover band’s performance right is as important as the amount of time spent rehearsing. Good equipment, sound checks, and correct stage volume levels all combine to show off the band’s skills in the best way.

Making Each Set Fun

When the band has a good time, it spills over to the audience and benefits listeners in all sorts of ways. There’s something joyful about watching a group of musicians jam together, wielding their instruments with skill and passion. Musicians who tap into fun while playing set the tone for people and create an atmosphere where they can relax and enjoy their dining experience.


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