I decided to play with Paparazzi for a few reasons...First, the value was better than ALL of the other large bands. The cost was somewhere in the mid $600 range with the group discount. It included a backline costume w/ feathered collar, Mondaywear, food, drink, and some other miscellaneous items. For a comparable package with another large band, I probably would have paid $50 to $100 more.
The entire presentation was beautiful! The photography was well done and I liked that they showed different iterations of each section. My section, Royals was designed by Brandon and Deb (Madd People Mas). I loved the fact that I could see my body type in the costume instead of guessing which string would cover which stretch mark.
Honestly, I hadn't heard a lot of reviews about Paparazzi but the little I heard about was mostly positive. I think the most negative feedback floating around the internet is that the band does not have vibes BUT the lie detector has determined that's a LIE.
Costume collection was effortless and well organized. The only criticism I have for all of the bands, not just Paparazzi is that they need to give more consideration when it comes to scheduling distribution. I had to choose between going to a party on-time or waiting until my pick-up time at 5:30. My suggestion is that bands have distribution start sooner, perhaps two weeks before carnival Tuesday or earlier in the day. That way you can also resell the uncollected costumes sooner.
Nevertheless, it took about and 1.5 hours to complete the process. When I arrived I was welcomed by a friendly young woman who gave me a buzzer and directed me to sit in the first waiting area outside. They had light refreshments and music pumping so the time went by quickly. When I was paged, I went had to go into the mas camp to pay the balance of my costume. I was then escorted to a third waiting area outside, where I received my costume. My costume was just as it was pictured and well constructed! I've had past experiences where the costume started falling apart at the mas camp.
Paparazzi has vibes for days! The DJ's need some work though. I'm not taking shots at their DJ's in particular, all the DJ's at every carnival need to diversify the song selections PUUUHLLLLEASE. Just imagine songs are 3 minutes long on average, we are on the road for about 720 minutes, so at minimum, you can squeeze in 240 songs. Furthermore, we all know that DJ's don't play a song in its entirety so I don't understand why we hear some songs over and over again! The music trucks were also moving a bit too fast and were too close together, at times I didn't know if I should be giving a fast wine or slow chip. Still, the bar was well stocked and the food was good. Shout out to the two ladies that tended the restrooms.
Would I play mas with Paparazzi again? Hell yeah! The few issues I described are not unique to their band, I've had the same issues with other bands. Moreover, the two biggest factors for my decision to play with them were cost and vibes, both were positive so I highly recommend that people give them a try in 2020.
As a small side note to Paparazzi, you have Tribe potential, but you need to ramp up your marketing efforts.