Meet Phillip Holmes of InVersion Band in Plano

    Today we’d like to introduce you to Phillip Holmes. Phillip, can you briefly wa

 

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Phillip Holmes.

Phillip, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After playing in multiple party bands around the area for many years, I knew I could do it better! The InVersion Band name popped into my head one day like a sneeze. And, it had a clever double meaning InVersion or the “in version” of the songs we play. Being a cover band, the name was perfect and wasn’t being used by anyone else. Slogans like “turning the party band scene upside-down” came along naturally afterwards.

It just seems like yesterday when my wife and I hatched this ‘brilliant idea’ to do our own thing in the band world. Seven years later, all I can say is that ‘we’ve come a long way baby’!

In any case, we’re glad we’re still here and continuing to bring smiles, dancing, and happiness to crowds all over. We also have this sneaking suspicion that 2018 is going to be our best year ever.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been many smiles, tears, bumps, bruises, triumphs, and defeats. I can certainly say there has been some expected and unexpected things along the way. There have been many times where we had clearly failed but were either too stubborn and/or ignorant to know that we had failed OR we knew it and didn’t care. This band was something special and we knew it.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about InVersion Band – what should we know?
InVersion Band is an eleven-piece variety dance band that blends a wide range of great dance music together to get the party started at your venue. We create a dance party band atmosphere and the band is excellent at drawing our audience into the show. If you want to hear everything from Motown funk to current modern dance hits, you’ve found the right band!

InVersion provides an owner operated, caring experience to our clients. My wife Linda has often said that I am an enigma in the musician world as I am a type A personality type and musician. Also, we often are complimented for our excellent communication and extremely responsive communication with all clients and inquiries.

We pride ourselves on a well planned, well-executed show. Also, we’re often told that no matter where we play, our appearance always looks like we’re about to play a private show for someone, even when our shows are at nightclubs.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
For sure the linchpin to this entire thing is my wife Linda. Without her support, none of this could happen. My only son Aiden is autistic, which is very challenging. Without Linda there holding down the fort, the show literally couldn’t go on.

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Questions to Ask Your Party Band Before Hiring Them

Party bands these days seem to be plentiful and the competition for wedding and corporate clients am

Wedding bands and party bands these days seem to be plentiful and the competition for wedding and corporate clients among bands is fierce. Knowing the right questions is critical when shopping them. There are a lot of blog posts out there about what to ask, but the following are real nuts a bolts questions that are critical to your events success.

When a party band quotes you a rate that may seem too high or too low, many things need to be considered. The 'level' or tier that the bands you're considering hiring is a very important factor. If a band is too cheap (too good to be true), there's likely a good reason for that. If they're cost is outrageously high, there may be a good reason for that as well. In some cases, both highs and lows in prices are justified. In others, you may be paying more for no substance or a legacy band name that is very comparable to other bands in the area.

InVersion Band prides itself in mixing a large eleven piece band of highly talented artists, while maintaining an industry average, reasonable cost. Our overhead is lower than most of the big-box bands out there and we certainly pass that savings on to the client. Here is a quick list of of questions and explanation of each item to ask your band to make sure your party doesn't come to a screeching halt in the middle of your wedding or company party.

  • Gear redundancy: Does your band have backups? Just like in any business, backups are critical. Your band should have an extra of everything required to perform at your shows. Successful working party bands play anywhere between 60 and 140 shows per year. Moving the equipment around (as opposed to a venue installation of sound and lighting gear) takes a heavy toll on equipment. The most important pieces of equipment to ask your band if they have backup gear are: mixer / mixing console, sub and top speakers, laptops used in lighting or sequence tracks (this is critical as laptops fail frequently), and last but not least plentiful microphones and cables in case one or two may malfunction at showtime.
  • Substitute musicians: Things sometimes happen! Yes they do. Musicians sometimes think of themselves as super heroes, but alas they get sick, have family issues, and general life issues that may demand they substitute a show. Verify that your band leader can substitute critical personnel such as singers, drummers, etc. on short notice and that those people adequately know their show. After all, when you hired the band, you want the same show you hired. Make sure your band leader is well connected enough to be able to product a quality product with one or more people out.
  • Where and who are they playing for currently: If your prospective party band has nothing on their schedule, you most likely need to NOT walk away, but RUN AWAY as quickly as you can. Most bands in Dallas will have club showcases or other venues that allow you to comes see them. If a band isn't playing anywhere over a month or two, you may want to expand your search to those that are on the current club circuit.
  • Lighting: Lighting in itself can be a valuable add-on to the band's performance. Band lighting can cost the band leader anywhere between $500 to $1000 per show, if they don't own their own lighting. Even if they do own their own lighting rig, setup costs are involved. Make sure that the lighting that you're seeing in the band's promotional video, etc., is the same lighting that they're going to bring to your wedding or event.
  • Who runs sound for the band?: Sound men are in short supply around the north Texas area. Good ones are hard to find. Aside from the gear redundancy aspect, make sure that your bandleader is familiar with their sound personnel, they are reputable,  and the band as worked with them prior. Even if the sound personnel are fantastic, you do not want the band to be working with a sound technician that is brand new to them and / or not familiar with the band. There are a myriad of things that can go wrong during a show. A competent and observant sound man can head off the majority of them prior to even being known to the audience. Knowing the band and their optimum setup is the best case scenario. Untested / unknown sound personnel may not only not sound good, but have been known to show up late, have faulty equipment, or just not show up at all. Obviously, the latter would be a show stopper.
  • Ask the band for their set list. All bands have a master list of songs they've played throughout the years. Band leaders are excellent at reading a room and determining what is working at the venue. If you have objections to certain songs or songs that you really want them to play that are on their list, make sure to tell the band leader. Bands certainly don't want to play songs that the bride or groom have objections over. Then, let them do the rest of the playlist. Being too restrictive of play lists may prevent the band from entertaining everyone of all ages at your wedding or corporate event.
  • Most bands will even learn first dance songs if you give them the material far enough out. It's important to give the band at least 30 days to learn new material. Most bands will have a rehearsal to work out the details of your new requests.

Study the band's rider and what they need. Below are a few more points on what most bands will require. 

  • Adequate playing space is crucial for your band. If you're hiring a band that's more than 3 pieces, your band is going to need at least a 14 x 24 foot area (or thereabouts) to play, dance, and put on a good show. Cramming the band in a corner of your venue will substantially decrease their ability to move around / execute choreography, and lessen their general energy level displayed to your guests.
  • Band Meals: Most likely, your band is going to be there for at least 6 hours. Some of the band members and setup crew will be there from 8 to 10 hours. It's customary to feed them. This should be factored in to your overall budget. Most bands aren't picky and don't necessarily need to have the same meal your guests are having. But a warm meal is customary and appreciated.
  • Power requirements: Bands of any size with lighting, etc., will need three or more, 20 amp power outlets. You'll want to speak with your venue to make sure this is possible and about getting a consolidated power supply ran to the stage. This will make sure that the band doesn't have to run extension cables across the room and tape them down to venue's floor. This is unsightly and you certainly don't want taped down cables showing up in your wedding photos.

InVersion Band at Perot Museum

 

Happy 2018! Now What Happens?

Well, here we are and happy new year to all our friends and family! InVersion Band is officially hap

Well, here we are and happy new year to all our friends and family! InVersion Band is officially happily celebrating our seventh year! All I can say is 'wow'. It just seems like yesterday when my wife and I hatched this 'brilliant idea' to do our own thing in the band world. Seven years later, all I can say is that 'we've come a long way baby'! 

There have been many smiles, tears, bumps, bruises, triumphs, and defeats. I can certainly say there has been some expected and unexpected things along the way. There has been many times were we had clearly failed but were either too stubborn and / or ignorant to know that we had failed OR we knew it and didn't care. This band was something special and we knew it. 

In any case, we're glad we're still here and continuing to bring smiles, dancing, and happiness to crowds all over. We also have this sneaking suspicion that 2018 is going to be our best year ever. We know for a fact that with your help, it will be. 

So.... with all that gushy emotional stuff said, we continue to cheer you all on and ask that you return the favor by supporting live music. Even if you're not watching InVersion Band, as long you're cheering any live band in Dallas or Fort Worth, you're our hero.

Cheers from all of us at InVersion Band and let's make this the best year ever!


2017's Christmas Parties with InVersion Band

This year, InVersion Band's cup ranneth over this year with some really great holiday parties. We ce


This year, InVersion Band's cup ranneth over this year with some really great holiday parties. We certainly love these events and love our customers that call on us to entertain their company's personnel. Having a band at your event can make your party a huge success. Choosing the right band is super important. Here are a few things to look for when looking for the right group to entertain your guests. Aside from sounding and looking great, hiring a band that is well funded / well equipped, is key. There are a million things that can go wrong with a band's equipment and personnel during or before a show. Unplanned breakdowns can throw a wet blanket on your party before it even gets started. Make sure your band has backup systems for their mixers and other equipment that can be instantly substituted if something goes wrong. Also, if the band leader / ownership isn't easy to work with and is inflexible during the event, you could have a nightmare on your hands. Hiring amateurs or start up party bands may be a cheaper option. But, even if the band sounds and looks good, if they aren't event veterans that are prepared for the worst scenarios of gear or other unplanned issues, your party could come to a grinding halt in the middle of the fun or never even launch.

Another BIG factor in planning your private party is choosing your venue. MOST hotels and event venues are extremely well run while others are apathetic to your vendor's needs, or have major technical problems like power issues, or broken freight elevators. Making sure your vendors have quick and appropriate access to the loading docks is imperative. If your vendors have to make dozens of trips through long narrow corridors, it could be difficult for your event to start on time. Also, make sure the venue allows your vendors to get there as early as they require (within reason) to navigate any load-in obstacles. 

Choosing your planner is extremely important. We can't say enough good things about many good planners we've worked with. This week Steve Kemble with A Dose of Sass won our most fabulous prize. He's organized, easy to work with, and most of all FUN! We have recommendations for venues, planners, catering, etc. Just click here!

With that said, here are few pictures of the venues we played this week! We certainly enjoyed playing for our clients this week and hope they all enjoyed InVersion Band! This week, we were at Le Meridian Stoneleigh, The Fairmont and The Perot Museum. 
Kudos to the staff at Le Meridian and The Fairmont for their exceptional service.