How many times have you seen that look of disappointment in guests’ faces when you announce that “we only have time for one more song tonight, so please join us on the dance floor…” That simple expression can be caused by a few different factors. The most important reason is that the crowd is sad to see the party end and is left wanting more.
Our goal as DJs is to make the guests feel that they do not want to go home and they do not want to go back to their lives. They want to stay on this dance floor and party until they cannot party anymore. We have removed them from all of their stresses and all of their problems and allowed them to release their inner child.
The importance of selecting a great last song is exactly like the last scene in a great movie. When that last scene is unfolding you’re left sitting at the edge of your chair wanting one more scene. Then, the diabolical producers of Hollywood break your dreams and hopes when they begin to roll the credits as you sit in disbelief, contemplating your feelings.
There are numerous ways to end an event and select a last song; however it is up to us to help our clients select that perfect song which leaves their guests saying, “This was the best event I’ve ever been to.” In my opinion, the definition of being a great DJ is to manipulate the crowd’s energy throughout an event, through the music that is played and the order it’s played in. Further, we should be leading the guests through a series of peaks and valleys that ultimately end at the top of a mountain with a climax of built-up energy. Experiencing the last 3-4 minutes of an event together, with a shared emotion is what leaves the crowd with a great last impression.
WHICH VIBE TO PICK?
There are three types of final songs to suggest to your clients. The first is the slow, meaningful song that represents the guest(s) of honor and what’s important to them. This one typically is not the most popular as it ends the event on a more subdued (but sometimes romantic) note. For a wedding, it can similar to a first dance, where the couple expresses their love for each other via the lyrics.
The second is an upbeat dance song that ends on a very high note. This can be great for the guests to let all of their energy out and experience the last moment with their adrenaline pumping and their heart rates high. The problem with an upbeat last song is that when the last note hits and there is no music (insert cricket noise here), the guests are left with nothing more to do but now exit in the over-abundant silence that is the ballroom.
The last, and most popular way to end an event is to select a song that everyone can sing together and have a shared experience—otherwise known as the sing-along. Any song that causes people to put their left arm wrapped around someone and use their right arm to raise their glass is the perfect one to select. This creates a “we’re all in this together” mentality, where the former stranger that was the person sitting next to them at dinner is now their best friend. Alcohol can, of course, play a small role in this last song approach, but it’s really the programming of the whole event, culminating in the great final sing-along that makes everyone feel like rock stars at the same time.
No matter which option your client goes with, your job is to arm them with all of the options and help them decide how they’d like to end their event. Just like that great movie’s last scene, the client wants their last song to be the most memorable part of their event, leaving the guests wanting more. So the next time you get the “One more song, one more song!” chant, you’ll know that you really rocked it.
Matt Blank is a DJ and the Production Sales Manager at Synergetic Sounds in Philadelphia (http://synergeticsounds.com). Starting his entertainment career during high school as a dancer for a DJ company, he went on to cultivate his natural talent for mixing music and emceeing while at Millersville University. Matt has been published in Philadelphia Brides Magazine and was a speaker the 2012 Mobile Beat DJ Show in Las Vegas.
Filed Under: Exclusive Online News and Content, Issues from 2012, Music
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