Cover bands that play medleys

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by hbarcat, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I'm a big fan of the medley. I've seen them done by the greatest acts in the world and the local bar/lounge/festival groups and down to the garage band playing in someone's back yard.

    Done well, a medley can get the crowd ramped up to maximum enthusiasm and also showcase the band's musical talents and versatility. Most importantly, a medley allows everyone to hear some really popular songs that have been thoroughly overplayed in a new context that brings some originality to the mix.

    I was in a classic rock cover band in the mid 90s and we had about a dozen Lynyrd Skynyrd songs in our toolkit. We would typically play 1 or 2 of them during a gig. At that time, some people still thought it was funny to yell out "Freebird!" , which was one song we refused to play.

    What we did do was play about 8 seconds of the intro and then switch to the LS song we wanted to play. Eventually, we hit on the idea of doing a medley of LS songs that we had gotten sick of playing in their entirety.

    Other band medleys I've done in the past were Black Sabbath, the Rolling Stones, CCR, Pink Floyd, and even Joe Walsh.

    I'd be interested to hear of some medleys other TBers have done before, including detailed setlists if you have them. Or maybe some medleys you e seen other bands play, especially famous bands.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  2. My bands have done a lot of medleys of T.Rex. I mean Marc Bolan & T.Rex. There are so many song choices that fit together.

    Solid Gold Easy Action & Country Honey
    Laser Love & Love Drunk
    Lefthand Luke & Teenage Dream
    Ballrooms of Mars & King of the Rumbling Spires
    Dandy In The Underworld & Pain and Love.
    Beltane Walk & Celebrate Summer

    We don’t really do covers. We just play them all for fun.
    The best thing is, people love them and dance to them, even if they really don’t know them.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  3. mstillman


    Dec 6, 2011
    MetroWest MA
    I usually don't score a "goose egg" on lists of songs on TB, but I guess I need to get out (or stay in) more. :)

    I push for medleys but present band doesn't seem into them. We were rehearsing A Girl Like You with All Right Now in the middle but the pandemic hit.
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  4. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    We do a medley of soul sacrifice/ oye como va/ evil ways. We also did a medley of feeling alright/ can’t always get what you want for a guest singer. Love medleys!
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  5. Yep, drew a blank on every one.....looking them all up now...:thumbsup:
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  6. Though Marc Bolan & Tyrannosaurus Rex weren’t nearly as big in the US as they were in Britain, I’m from Texas (from 7 generations of cowboys) and I took to them immediately. Marc had his own TV show in the UK that ran here in the US, and a weekly music segment on national news in the US for quite a while. Too bad you guys don’t remember him.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
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  7. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I subbed with a band once that did New Orleans is Sinking into Enter Sandman. Crowd went nuts. The first song is a long time hit for an iconic Canadian band called the Tragically Hip. That particular gig took place just up the road from TH’s hometown.
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  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Twist > Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On > Let's Twist Again. The medley constantly interweaves among the 3, not 1-2-3-end.

    Sgt. Peppers (outtro version / extra adrenalin) > The End. Stolen with pride from Sir Paul.

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  9. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Once in a while when we played Folsom Prison Blues, I would sing a verse or two of Pinball Wizard to stretch out the tune if people were dancing. You’d get a couple of people in the crowd giving the thumbs up on that. Picked that little trick up from a buddy of mine.

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  10. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    If your band is talented enough, you can probably get a full 15-20 minutes out of "What I Like About You" (The Romantics, 1980) and "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." (John Cougar Mellencamp, 1985).

    I believe that we also somehow managed to pull off an interesting medley of "My City Was Gone" (The Pretenders, 1982) and Talkings Head's 1978 cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River" (1974).

    With enough effort – and a few transpositions – the possibilities are almost endless.
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    We're planning a Zeppelin medley for our closer at an upcoming show. It's going to start with the drummer and myself playing the intro to How Many More Times and while we're doing that our singer is going to introduce the members of the band. The guitar player is going to jump in for a few cords, then we pause and he starts Whole Lotta Love. When we reach the solo, we switch to Communication Breakdown, play the entire song and then go back into the solo of WLL and finish that song. As it fades out, the drummer and I will jump back into HMMT while the singer thanks everyone for coming out.
  12. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2013
    I Remember Marc Bolan.
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  13. Jon Lars

    Jon Lars

    Mar 16, 2011
  14. My current group does a Move it on Over - Pride and Joy medley.
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  15. Had a band back in the 80's that did a nonstop "trip through time" medley, that sometimes lasted the entire night. We'd start with the 60's, run through those, into the 70's, and finally into the 80's. About a decade per set. People LOVED it! There was NO STOPS throughout the entire set. Closest we came to a stoppage would be a bass and drum breakdown if we were moving from one key to another , or a different beat/feel.
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  16. Plain Old Barry

    Plain Old Barry Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    Once upon a time, my band did a Dio medley.

    Not in order - Holy Diver / Stand up and Shout / Rainbow in the Dark / Straight Through the Heart / Long Live Rock and Roll (not true Dio). The whole thing was ~ 6:30, and it absolutely killed. It began and ended with the hook from Holy Diver. I wish I could play it again...
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  17. Plain Old Barry

    Plain Old Barry Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    I recently learned those two songs, and it's a bass player's dream to combine... :)
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  18. CoffeeLove

    CoffeeLove Supporting Member

    We do a few, and yes, pumps up the crowd
    1) Wipe Out, into Pipeline, into Johnny B Good (huge crowd favorite)
    2) Bust a Move, into Rappers Delight, into Good Times-Chic (same bass line for last 2 songs, so perfect). Huge crowd favorite
    3) We Got the Beat, into Low Rider, back into We Got the Beat.

    Good stuff
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I love a good medley. The only people I have ever met who don't like them were snooty local.musicians. Some of them think they are "cheesy".
  20. MichelD


    May 19, 2014
    I was in a band where we did something like five songs in a medley, all with the same chord progression and beat, think "Hang on Sloopy," "La Bamba," "Twist and shout" etc.
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