Saturday was opening day of the LSU football season, which may not mean that much to most of the country, but down here, LSU football is religion. We watched the game at my house with a group of friends then went downtown afterwards. Our drummer was sitting in for an AMAZING band. Lots of funk and blues. Incredible musicianship. I wanted to catch a half a set or so, so I went to see them while the rest of the group went to a danceclub a block down the street.
Scene 1: Live Band
First they are playing a club that usually gets a really nice crowd. We play there regularly. Again, AMAZING musicianship. Not a weak member of the band. Stuff any of us would listen to and be amazed. But... First, it wasn't the most attractive collection of people. They were wearing flip flops and shorts or jeans. Basically looked like the walked off the street onto stage. No show at all. They just stood there and talked to each other between songs. No lights. No special effects. Felt like we could have been hanging in someone's garage listening to them. There were, at most, 20 people in the club. Bartenders are bored, so I bs'd with them for a while (we play there regularly so I know them all)
Now I expected downtown to be dead, so I really didn't pay this any mind. Opening night of football season, and the game is in Dallas (so a boatload of people traveled there) AND it's labor day weekend (so a boatload of people are at the beach). So I just chalked it up to the wrong night to be playing. After 30 minutes or so I made my way to the nightclub.
Scene 2: Nightclub
Place is PACKED. Wall to wall people. DJ is rocking, never a break in the music. Room has AMAZING lights lighting the dancefloor, plus all kinds of cool special effects. And, most importantly to the club owner, the bartenders are running like crazy trying to fill all the drink orders. No time to so much as say hi.
To me what I witnessed as very little to do with DJ vs. Live Band. It's all the other stuff that drove people away from venue 1 and kept them at venue 2. YMMV