Hi Covey22, thanks so much for your reply. Actually I am very fortunate in that the three venues I attend most frequently do allow flash photography. So far the only venue I have been to that does not allow flash is the one that holds our Broadway style plays and they do not allow cameras either so it's no problem there.
I do tend to take more isolation shots on the lead singer but if I am going to get better shots taking the entire band then I would do that.
I will look into the lens u recommended as I do not want to spend a fortune because this is purely for a hobby and not a profession for me.
Thanks again for your help. Any advice on the Dummies book I mentioned?