I love street dances. I have since I was a child. The small town I lived in had at least one a year, and all us younger kids would be right up in front. At that time, most of the dances were DJ'ed - by my father. Yes, I got to spend those first years falling asleep next to huge speakers, under the tables where the turn-tables were set up. I have fond memories of those days... which is quite possibly why my love of street dances still holds.
I don't care if the band sucks - I'll still be out there dancing. I don't care if no one else is out there (although, since my youngest two daughters started hanging out with me, this is rarely the case) - I'll still be out there dancing. I don't care if the "street dance" is held indoors or out - I'll still be out there dancing. Of course, although I'll still be dancing, I do still judge the bands.
There was one band who played here twice - a few years ago. They were really good... better the first time they were here. The second time, they seemed to have let their "fame" get to their heads (they're a relatively well known band). But, I'd still accept them coming back.
But last fall... the band we had rocked! Boomtown. If you haven't had a chance to hang with these boys, let me tell ya - you really need to hunt them down. These guys... on top of being just a great band musically... they were friendly, fun, entertaining. They made my kids feel incredibly special that night. There was probably never more than 2 dozen people in that small hall that night.... but these 4 kept rocking, and what few of us were there kept dancing. I have a ton of respect for these guys and just absolutely love them.
So, what is it that makes a band great? Well, naturally, ya need to be able to sing/play. But it's more than that. For the street-dance crowd - especially in a small town - the band needs to be friendly, needs to know how to accept (or politely turn down) requests, and needs to play to the crowd as if they are simply one of them. And most importantly - they have to have specific songs on their list (and, they need to know the words... OMG! one band didn't know the words to Jessie's Girl!. That group is now on my "I'll still dance to your music if you come back, but I really don't like you" list).
What songs should be on this list? Well, naturally not all of these will generally make the list - and it does depend on if the group is more rock or more country. But, some of the necessities includes:
Summer of '69
Hurts so Good
You Shook Me All Night Long
Friends in Low Places
Sweet Home Alabama
Fishing in the Dark
I could probably come up with several more that I'd like to hear, but basically these 8 are MUST HAVES! And to be honest - if you're a rock band but can play the country songs in that list, or vice-versa, you've just pleased a huge crowd.
Another thing to consider - if you DON'T know any of these, or other often requested songs, put them on a CD for playing for when you're taking a break. These are classics - quite honestly no one cares if you sing it, or if the CD does, so long as we get to hear it. Going back to my favorite group ever Boomtown - Cotton-eye Joe was a recording... and we had an absolute blast with it, and it just made us appreciate the band even more that they had the song.
And that all said, I have decided to add a few more songs to the "omg I'll love you forever" list - this is for you country boys out there... Luke Bryan - Country Girl Shake it For Me, Drunk on You, or I Don't Want this Night to End... and especially, Love and Theft - Angel Eyes. I don't know WHAT it is about Angel Eyes... But it's a great song, and I would love to dance to it at a street dance.