What songs get people going from your set?
And how many times have you performed mustang sally? Just kidding. I think this could be a useful thread.
Here I'll participate too.
Billy Jean, of course. We do a really funky minored version of Billy Preston Going Round in Circles I think it's possibly structured off Robert Randolf's cover of it but could be mistaken, and Shining Star always gets folks hopping.
Good songs in the repertoire off how people reacted for us.
Oh just thought of two more.
Street Corner Preacher by I have no idea...
And Big Bottoms by Spinal Tap.
Please share yours and hopefully this'll be beneficial for some of us.
Sometimes the challenging fun songs to perform go over flat. I just learned Soul to Squeeze and hope it goes over well.
Black Betty always gets people going at my gigs. I hate to say it, but Mustang Sally does the trick more often then not. At least I can still play it when I'm hammered.
Based on my last gig, these were the big hits;
Just Wanna Make Love To You- Foghat (We were asked to play it again)
My Own Worst Enemy- Lit (Dance floor was packed)
Jumpin' Jack Flash- Stones (Got them going early)
She Hates Me- Puddle of Mud (Not much dancing, but a lot of fist-pumping and yelling, and that was from the women)
Rebel Yell- Billy Idol
Sweet Emotion- Aerosmith
Rockin' In The Free World- Neil Young (Closed with this and they wanted us to stay longer!)
We filled the dance floor with couples doing Skynyrd's Simple Man, and were asked to play it again later in the night. Probably should have done a couple more slower songs like that, the more they drank the more they wanted to rub and grope each other.
Songs that bombed (or weren't received overly well);
Summer of '69 (Bar manager said we should never, EVER play that song again....'cause it sucked)
Rock And Roll All Night
Do You Feel Like We Do- Peter Frampton
After the last time we played Mustang Sally, I had a guy come up to book us for a private party at about 2x our normal club rate.
Say whatcha want about Mustang Sally, but I'll take that!
"What I Like About You" - The Romantics
"Play That Funky Music" - Wild Cherry
"Surrender" - Cheap Trick
"Rock and Roll" - Led Zeppelin
"Heartbreaker" - Pat Benatar
We're a band that plays rock, blues, jazz-fusion and avoids "classic rock" staples. The song that gets em going is Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison. It goes over so well we're looking to add another country "anthem".
The Wall seems to always do the trick. We'd add a small medley just before the solo, including Captain Sensible's Wot, Aerosmith's Walk this way and Queen's Another one bites the dust.
The biggest flop we've had was Porcupine Tree's Open Car.
"This is How We Do It" Montell Jordan
"Chicken Fried" Zac Brown Band
"Band on the Run" Foo Fighters version
"Return of the Mack" Mark Morrison
those always make the dance floor fill up for us. as well as any Bruno Mars song.
"Every Day I Have The Blues" BB King
"The Cavern Crawl" Lightnin' Red
"Snatch it Back and Hold It" Jr Wells
"Shaky Ground" Delbert McClendon
I play more modern alt/garage rock, so my covers at my last gig went like:
"I Got Mine" The Black Keys
"Black Math" The White Stripes
For us probably the same as a lot of cover bands. Those being Brickhouse, What I Like About Chew, Plat That Funky Music, etc. Sweet Emotion gets a good response....I've managed to nail the harmony while playing the intro.
Love Billy Preston....need to work up a couple of those.
Emergency by Paramore
No One Knows by Queens Of The Stone Age
Too Close by Alex Clare
Long Distance Call by Phoenix
"Everybody Talks" by the Neon Trees got a really good response at our gig on Friday. We're an original band, but we had like 4-5 covers in our 1.5 hour set and that one got the best response of the covers. Maybe that says something about our original tunes?
The later in the night we play Roadhouse Blues, the better & more animated the crowd reaction. I'm sure the increased alcohol levels play a huge part in that! (the crowd, not me)
One of my former bands, that never made it out of the basement, played a nice, soulful version of Mustang Sally. If my current band could pull that off, I'd be happy to play it. The way my LG/BL plays it is almost unrecognizable. I can't help but cringe whenever he calls it out.
To go in the other direction, the song that can quickly calm an unruly crowd is Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It doesn't matter how you play it, it will almost always bring a crowd under control.
Songs that seem to make people go insane:
"Whole Lotta Love"
All three of these are in set four, and they really do come completely unglued over them.
Clap Hands-Tom Waits
Most of what we play gets someone up and dancing, but our cover of this Tom Waits tune is my personal favorite. It never fails to get all the ladies up doing the washing machine, or the snake dance if you are from Mississippi. :p:D
One girl told me she could feel it so strong in her hips she couldn't help but to let it out.
You need to understand the audience.
Age is an easy trait to asses. Older crowds will respond to music from many decades, while a very young crowed may not be familiar with many great old songs. Do you see a lot of four wheel drive pick-em-up trucks in the parking lot, or is everyone wearing black t-shirts with metal band tour schedules on them. The Harley Davidson crowed is fairly easy to play to. Springsteen, some hard rock, a little blues influenced rock, or contemporary country.
If you play country, you should include at least as much contemporary radio played material, as classic stuff.
Material that people are familiar with is often better than what you personally like.
I haven't gigged for decades, but when I did, some of the most popular songs were ones I hated to listen to, and to play.
Back in the '70s, we did Smoke On the Water. I could not stand it, but people loved it. It was being played on the radio at the time, and people were familiar with it.
I played with an Elvis impersonator for a couple years, back then as well, and I could not believe the positive reaction we would get from the audience, (even when we sucked). The ladies loved it, and danced up a storm on every song.
I think that if you do the bar band scene, you should play to the female contingent of the audience.
But seriously folks.... I agree about checking age and knowing local trends. Often the songs I hate most are wildly popular.... Which, along with appearance and visual style, is probably why I haven't made it as a pop star lol
My drummer and I have a philosophy that hasn't failed us yet. It goes something like this.....
"If you draw 50 chicks, your audience will number over 100. If you draw 50 dudes, your audience will number 50."
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