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A Starting Point
It's not always easy to know where exactly to begin. Seeing the types of questions we get asked most often will, hopefully, answer a few of your own and help generate a few more. If your specific question isn't answered here, please feel free to contact us directly
+ What is it about live music?
Live music can't be reckoned with. Whether the band is small or large format, live music is simply irresistible. There are so many reasons for this, but here are our top three.
Firstly, it's about the energy. Live music is energy that you can hear--and it's infectious. You know it because you've lived it. There are memorable nights where the band and the crowd are matching their energies and, together, become something more. Those nights are magic that is unmatched.
Live music is also about feeling alive... Live music is all about performances from the heart that show courage and fearlessness. The music you hear is the result of countless years of training and practice, and, yet, in a live situation, there is an awareness, inside each of us, that anything could happen. The fact that the band lays it all on the line, night in and night out, is unmistakably exhilarating. It's the same reason you can't look away from a tightrope walker; it's inspiring, jaw-dropping, and life affirming all at the same time.
And, lastly, it's about being in the moment. Long before recorded music, there was only live music. There was no distinction. In this way, music was the soundtrack of time. There is truly nothing that can make a person feel more present than watching a musician or a band of musicians perform their shared craft. As they hit their cues, transition from tune to tune, or take lofty solos, the present is all that exists. What's more, in an era of distractions, live performances break the spell of screens and other responsibilities while placing the listener, the spectator, and the reveller squarely in the moment and, most often, on the dancefloor!
+ Why The Intentions?
Because we know who we are. We are not a wedding band; we are a dynamic and dynamite Motown, funk and soul band that performs at great events. We play songs that get everyone involved, from the older couple who recognize our repertoire as the songs of their youth, to the younger crowd, rowdy and singing each and every word at the top of their lungs. The Intentions get the dancefloor buzzing by pounding out the greatest songs that have ever been written. We play the material of legends: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5, The Supremes, and so many more. But we also keep it current with renditions of modern classics, inspired by innovative groups like Scary Pockets and Pamplemousse. Many bands for hire are agile and can be many different things to suit your imagination, but that's simply not us. We are, first and foremost, an electrifying soul band and, while we provide many different services, we are always one product, one band with one identity.
+ Where can we see the band play live?
The Intentions call 3030 home. 3030 at 3030 Dundas St. West. is a truly terrific venue located in Toronto's junction district. We have been fortunate to hold a monthly residency for the last five years (typically the first Saturday of every month). It is always a blast and having you at the show would be so much fun! If you're curious about the band, please take this as an invitation and join us for a night of great music and relentless dancing. Just make sure you don't have any important plans Sunday morning...
+ Where have The Intentions played in the past?
The Intentions have performed throughout Southern Ontario, as well as farther afield nationally and internationally. In Toronto, the band has played countless venues and event spaces, including The AGO, Arcadian Court, Argos Rowing Club, Berkeley Church, The Boulevard Club, Broadview Hotel, Casa Loma, Eglinton Grand, Fairmont Royal York, Graydon Hall Manor, Gladstone Hotel, Guild Inn Estate, Liberty Grand, The Manor, Old Mill, One King West, Palais Royale, Park Hyatt, The Ritz Carlton, ROM, Royal Conservatory of Music, Steam Whistle Brewing, Sunnybrook Estates, Thompson Hotel, Toronto Hunt Club.
+ Do you have more footage of performances?
Make sure to check out our offerings page to see and hear what we're all about!
The technical aspects of the show typically address all of the processes, allocations, and pieces of equipment that are required behind the scenes in order to facilitate the best possible performance.
+ What is band production (A/V)
Production refers to all of the audio / visual components that are required for a smooth, dynamic, and exciting show. Production includes all speakers and subwoofers, a digital mixing console, wireless monitoring system, microphones, stands, cables, as well as basic band lighting to heighten the live performance. The Intentions also employ a dedicated audio engineer who sets up all of the equipment, sound-checks the band in the afternoon, controls and monitors the mix wirelessly throughout the performance, and strikes the A/V equipment at the end of the night.
+ What are the band's technical requirements?
The Intentions require a minimum of three 15A power circuits in close proximity to the band. The vocal ensemble, cocktail band, and DJ require two. In order to create the strongest effect, a riser is often helpful, particularly in larger venues or when your event is greater than 150 guests, but is not required.
For outdoor events, the band requires an elevated, tented area.
+ What if my venue supplies A/V?
Nine times out of ten, the A/V that venues supply is an in-house sound system. This system is designed specifically to provide audio for DJ's and speeches. Live bands require significantly more production to accommodate their size and needs, necessitating additional production.
There are a number of venues that do provide their own production suitable for larger format bands, but they are few and far between. That said, we are always happy to work with any production team and will gladly work with your A/V provider to ensure that all details and A/V needs are met.
+ How much space does the party band need?
Stage sizes can vary depending upon the venue and your space requirements. An ideal stage for The Intentions is between 20' x 12' and 24' x 20'.
+ What lighting is included in your A/V package?
Our standard production package includes basic band lighting. This usually consists of some LED up-lighting around the perimeter of the stage/performance area, as well as some spot lighting on the band.
+ What is a typical itinerary for setup on the day of?
At least three hours before guests arrive, our production team will arrive at the venue to begin setup. Approximately, two hours before guests arrive, load in and setup for the band commences. A 30-minute soundcheck follows shortly thereafter, ensuring that the stage is blacked out well before your event begins.
Booking & Coordination
Once you are ready to book the band, our band leader, Jon Ophek, will provide you with a contract and secure your booking with a deposit. He will work with you throughout your entire booking in order to make sure that every last detail is accounted for. There is no passing off internally, and he will communicate with you throughout the planning process to ensure every detail is considered and all logistics are addressed. This relationship is start to finish and you'll even find him on stage, strumming his heart out, delivering the goods.
+ Can we get together and connect in person?
That would be great! Relationships matter and you can really get a feel for a person and tell what they're all about when you get a chance to meet. In the same way that when you plan a trip, you countdown the days and look forward to it with anticipation, our goal is for you to be as excited about our performance, and the party that we deliver. In order to achieve that, there needs to be trust; trust in the show and trust in the individuals. Establishing a connection is the most meaningful way to do just that. Ultimately, providing the entertainment for your joyous occasion is what matters most, but that doesn't mean that the booking and coordination should be anything less than stellar. Our band leader, Jon Ophek, will always find the time to meet with you, to chat with you, and to go over any and everything you want to know.
+ What if one of the musicians gets sick or is unable to attend my booking?
Although unlikely, in the case where a band member becomes ill or is unable to perform, we will have a talented professional waiting in the wings to fill their role. We have a robust community roster of musicians who we work with and understand all of the details within our shows. If a musician is unable to attend a scheduled event, rest assured that one of our members will be able to step right in, without missing a beat.
+ What if I have to cancel?
Your deposit is non-refundable. However, if you cancel at least 90 days in advance, you may use your deposit amount to re-book the same act within 6 months of the cancelled date.
+ What payment methods do you accept?
We accept payment via Interac e-Transfer or by cheque made out to "Jon Ophek."
Your balance can be sent by e-Transfer or cheque prior to your event date. A cheque can also be given onsite prior to performance time.
+ Do you charge for travel?
All travel expenses will be included with your personal quote and are meant to cover the costs of transportation for our musicians and equipment if your event is outside Toronto. Each member of our team is paid $40/hr. of travel, with additional imbursements to the driver ($75) and gas (as required).
If the venue is over two hours away from Toronto, we may require overnight accommodations, details for which vary depending on band size.
For our international bookings, full weekend per diems will be applied.
+ How much is the deposit?
The typical deposit is 20% and is further outlined in your contract.
+ If the band is booked, can I get a "sub" band?
Quite often event bands take numerous shows on any given night and fill their line-ups from their roster of musicians. The Intentions are one band and, while we do have a community of talented professionals that we draw from, on any given night, we play only one show, for only one audience. To review our schedule, please visit our event calendar.
It's all about the music. The songs we perform are timeless and full of life. They have formed the foundation of all genres and styles that have surfaced during the last 75 years. Despite their vintage, they never get old. Playing this material, for such happy occasions, is a true joy. Please be sure that you check out our repertoire and the questions below to get a sense of the powerful soundtrack that we deliver.
+ Will musicians learn new songs for my event?
Of course! Requests individualize and give great character to the evening and significant dances. We are happy to learn two songs--of any genre--at no extra charge, in order to provide you with these special moments. Additional requests are possible but require an additional fee.
+ If I request the vocal ensemble to perform during my wedding ceremony, can I choose what the musicians will play at certain times?
Yes. It goes without saying that the young couples who choose The Intentions are music lovers. As such, you likely have a vision, at least on some level, of the type of music you would like at certain times. For this reason, you can choose songs from our vocal ensemble repertoire to accompany the processional, signing of the register and recessional. What's more, if there is a special song that you were hoping for, we are happy to learn it for you! The ceremony should be many things; by providing you with the ability to make specific selections, we hope to make it both memorable, and meaningful.
+ How customized can I make the setlist for the dance portion of the event?
Over the last ten years, The Intentions have crafted an absolutely dynamite show, composed of three powerhouse fifty-minute sets. Each song and every transition have been designed to engage and surprise your guests all night long and to suit the band’s unique style. Our sets do have built-in moments where songs from our party band repertoire can be substituted, but, overall, with the band playing an average of fifty songs in a night, you're likely to hear all of your favourite songs, and then some. With your two special song requests, and the ability to pick a handful of songs from our repertoire, our performances are shaped by you, making it the night you always dreamed of.
+ Can you play for special moments, such as my first dance, parent dance, etc.?
Absolutely. Live music adds something special to your significant moments. You can choose songs from our repertoire, or use a request to make the perfect selections. To capitalize on the energy and the enthusiasm created in the room, most often, the band will perform a song or two for your special moments and then launch directly into its first high-energy set.
+ How far in advance are song requests due?
In order to facilitate the time required to score the material needed for horns, rhythm, and vocals, song requests are required six weeks prior to the date of the performance.
The Intentions perform three 50 minute sets and take two 20-minute breaks between. Quite often, this translates to the following: SET 1 from 9pm-9:50pm; SET 2 from 10:10 - 11; SET 3 from 11:20 - 12:15. With 12:15-12:30 serving as a buffer for weddings that have been significantly delayed or are running significantly late. Our DJ or a playlist can play over dinner, band breaks, and until closing (1am).
+ How many songs are in a set?
Our sets are written with 15 - 17 songs in each; however, on occasion, it does happen that dinner runs late... in these cases, we do trim our sets to fit into the remaining available time.
+ What happens when the band isn't playing?
There are a number of options available to you:
Our playlist: FREE
During band breaks, we will provide a playlist for your guests to enjoy. Our playlist is intended to keep your guests dancing and to provide a shuffling of genres. If utilizing our cocktail / dinner playlist, jazz instrumentals are featured. Our party playlist is a general mix of Classics and Top 40. Please know that requests are not accommodated with this option. In addition, you will also be required to assign someone, likely from the bridal party, to cue any specific songs during dinner and in between speeches, or pay an additional fee to our sound engineer at an hourly rate (Approx $75/hr.). If you would like to have specific songs played, please see the two options below.
Your playlist: FREE
Clients who choose to prepare their own playlist are asked to prepare sufficiently long sets in iTunes, or Spotify. Devices should be fully charged with password protections turned off. A secondary device with the same playlists is also strongly recommended. In this option, you may also need to assign someone to cue any specific songs during dinner and in between speeches, or pay an additional fee to our sound engineer at their hourly rate (Approx $75/hr.). Before the start of your event, please provide us with your playlists, labelled:
- Ceremony Playlist: 45 minute minimum, with songs for special moments at the very start, e.g. processional, signing of the registrar, & recessional
- Cocktail Playlist: 1.5 hrs minimum
- Dinner Playlist: 2.5 hrs
- Dance Playlist: 1.5 hrs (during band breaks & closing)
Our DJ service is a fantastic way to get every moment taken care of. Our DJ can provide music during your ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, band breaks, and closing. On a day where there are so many moving parts and so many different details, our DJs simplify and enhance all aspects of your event. You can also submit your requests to the DJ in advance, ensuring that you'll get a chance to enjoy all of your favourite songs!
+ How loud will the music be?
The volume of our bands is made to match the moment, the venue, the location, and the number of guests. As you can imagine, the vocal ensemble that performs as guests arrive prior to the ceremony is designed to foster an intimacy which necessitates a certain volume, the band performing over cocktails is designed to provide ambiance and to allow for guests to enjoy themselves and chat easily, while the party band sets its volume for impact and high energy, without alienating anyone. Our on-site sound engineer is able to monitor all levels in real time and ensures that the volume is appropriate at all times.
+ Can you guarantee a dance party?
Yes and no... There is nothing better than performing and playing in a room full of revellers, having the best time, and enjoying themselves to the fullest. It's why we do it. Yes, we have a great passion for the music we perform, but it's sharing it with an audience at amazing events that gives the performance its purpose. To this end, we pour ourselves into our shows. We give everything we have and engage the audience through banter, interactions, and unrelenting energy. For these reasons, The Intentions deliver a dance party to every show. Yet, no matter which band or DJ is providing the music, one of the most important elements is you. Over the years, this truth has played out again and again. It goes without saying that your guests will want to be around you, the newly weds and the bridal party.
Afterall, you're the stars of the show! So the real magic happens when the band performs for families and friends that have an inkling to celebrate, together, on the dancefloor. With you there, and the band playing as hard as ever, the dance floor always takes off!