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How Many Is Too Much ?!?! Set list rant....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by chuck65, Nov 22, 2019.


  1. chuck65

    chuck65 Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2010
    Orange Park FL.
    Typical gig , multi genre Cover tunes , four sets , forty songs.
    How many songs by the same artist is too many ? I say two is enough , but the vox guy keeps on wanting to add songs by the same artists.
    With there being hundreds of songs out there that “ sell beer” and “ move feet” , I feel variety is the spice of life.
    Being in north Florida, certain bands are staples and crowd favs. But there has got to be a stopping point .
    Doesn’t there ?
    Rant over.
    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    California
    I’d say 4.
     
    Evil Funk, RSBBass, Orion1985 and 7 others like this.
  3. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I’d go with that. Any more and you’re a tribute act!

    I think the max of any one band I’ve ever performed was two songs per set.
     
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Four sets???? You guys take three set breaks??? I've never even heard of such a thing. Most bands are going the other way to just one. Anyway....

    What artists are we talking about? If it's Journey or Michael Jackson you could do 10 of their songs and everyone would still love them. If it's a less popular artist, not so much.

    So show us the set list. Or tell us the artists and songs your singer wants to do above two for each. That really does matter to this discussion.

    When Chris Stapleton was on fire we did four of his and everyone loved all of them. We still do three.

    Way back when Hootie was on every radio on Earth, you could do the whole Cracked Rear View album in your set and the crowd would have loved it.

    Back in the 80s a classic rock band could have spread the whole Led Zep 4 album throughout their show and the crowd would have gone nuts.

    You got a killer horn band? You could do half a dozen Earth Wind and Fire songs and be just fine.

    Certain artists, in certain genres, transcend the norms and "rules" of set list alchemy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
    12BitSlab, Wisebass, Mr_Moo and 19 others like this.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Depends who, depends on the gig (sorry, sometimes "it depends" is the best answer). I was in a modern country band that would do 4-5 Jason Aldean tunes per gig, and a rock band that did the Abbey Road medley, and maybe one other Beatles song per night. If the act is popular, I think 3 is a safe start.
     
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  6. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    SEPA
    We usually do at least 3 SRV, but no two together; couple of Hendrix.
    We do a 3-song clutch of Robin Trower; couple of Chicago.
    One guy we play with does half-a-dozen originals from his CD - usually sprinkled throughout the evening.
     
    chuck65 likes this.
  7. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    There is no "one size fits all" answer.

    In my Rockabilly band, in a four hour gig we probably do 6 Elvis Tunes, 6 Carl Perkins Tunes, 4 or 5 Hank Williams Sr. tunes. In my Blues(ish) band we do 4 Stevie Ray, 4 Allman Brothers, 4 Skynyrd tunes.

    IF the tunes are well known/popular and
    IF they are going over well and
    IF you do them well

    Why put a number on it?

    On the other hand, if you are talking about deep album cuts no one has every heard, by a band no one has ever heard, ONE is probably too many.
     
    strat59, Mr_Moo, Davbassdude and 8 others like this.
  8. chuck65

    chuck65 Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2010
    Orange Park FL.
    AB31E799-8211-40EA-AA53-4C1FCDBF1077.png
    We are a newly formed band . This list is from rehearsal once a week , five songs at a time , so it is an evolution from set one to set four. We are in week ten . Gigs booked for 2020 as well as a couple this holiday season.
    I’m new to all of this music . I come from the days of Ozzy , Rush , Zep, Boston , Iron Maiden ect .
    This is fun and interesting, I just kept seeing some of the same artist being added each week and was just curious if this is common .
    Back in the “day” two of each was enough for us .
     
    Davbassdude and Mike Whitfield like this.
  9. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I’d be more concerned that guitarists are getting the songs right.
    Most of those songs are fun to play for me if the right people are playing them.

    That being said, my set list is way different. I enjoy every song we do in a big way.
    Life’s too short to play stuff you don’t want to.
     
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  10. chuck65

    chuck65 Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2010
    Orange Park FL.
    I feel the same way . Since this is all new to me , it IS fun ! LOL !
    Two well seasoned Ax men ! One just wants to play Rhythm and the other just wants to play lead , so no dueling egos !!
     
  11. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    This ^

    If people respond and it builds up your band, do as many as people want to hear. If it's an artist the singer likes, but doesn't have audience appeal, do as much as none! :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
    Wisebass, Mr_Moo, lfmn16 and 2 others like this.
  12. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    We do 3 RHCP songs, 3 Billy Idol songs, but I agree, too many and it becomes a tribute. So many to choose from, so why not mix it up?
     
    chuck65 likes this.
  13. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Depends.....my band plays a LOT of Tower Of Power, E,W&F and Chicago tunes (we're a horn band). The Chicago tunes are almost a set by itself as we generally play them back to back kinda like a tribute. The E,W&F and Tower Of Power stuff are mixed around 3 sets.
     
  14. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    That’s fantastic. I personally like your set list. Sure it’s been done before but people want to hear it.
    Of course each venue is different so you may have to change things up.
    I won’t sing so I have to go with the flow. The biggest compliment for me is when my band lets me pick songs.
    I like to play stuff that shows off the bass now and then. “Gallows pole” and “Jet city Woman” are 2 I love to play.

    It sounds like you have a good thing going so enjoy it.
     
    chuck65 likes this.
  15. mrcbass

    mrcbass

    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    For me, anything more than one song per set of an artist starts to lean towards being tribute like. The alternative is to block two or three of an artist together - then no more for the night.

    Bottom line is pleasing the crowd and hopefully the venue, so if they are enjoying your list, who really cares?
     
    Mr_Moo and chuck65 like this.
  16. Set list is fine as it is right now. I don't think you have too many by one artist. As you guys continue on, the set list will grow and you will be able to start picking and choosing the songs you (guys) feel will be best for the type of audience you are playing to. The only suggestion I have is to add a few more "modern" pop songs to your list. You can "modify" a bit to fit your band's sound. For instance, I just joined a rock cover band recently. I thought a few of the songs they wanted to do were strange and "dumb" choices. They informed me that those particular songs "go over well". So, I conceded and they are actually pretty cool to play... three that come to mind: Sucker (Jonas Brothers), Cake By the Ocean (DNCE), Shut Up and Dance (Walk the Moon). We put are own "spin" on them and they sound pretty cool. I am sure there will be more songs we will do that I will not be very fond of, but it's not all about me. Good luck and stick with it. HAVE FUN!!!
     
    Mr_Moo, chuck65 and JRA like this.
  17. 2112

    2112

    Apr 30, 2005
    Once the bourbom, scotch, and beer start to flow I doubt the audience cares. We've done 4 and 5 Journey songs across a night and never heard who nor boo about it. And I doubt we would as long as the songs are popular and we don't try to do Side 1 of Jethro Tull's Songs from the Wood or launch into a free-form jazz exploration.
     
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  18. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    our set list for tomorrow night Elks Club

    Set 1
    Call Me the Breeze
    One Way Out
    Breakdown
    Spooky
    Get Together
    Amie
    Midnight Rider
    Take it Easy
    Heard it in a Love Song
    Mary Jane
    Gravity
    Sail on Sailor
    Beginnings
    Walkin in Memphis

    Set 2
    Green Onions
    Boyz R Back
    American Girl
    Long Train Runnin
    Hurts So Good
    Ramblin Man
    La Grange
    You Wreck Me
    Tennessee Whiskey
    Sweet Home
    Wagon Wheel
    Against the Wind
    So Into You
    Sweet Caroline
    Gimme Some Lovin

    Set 3
    Black Magic Woman
    Brown Eyed Girl
    Listen 2 Music
    Boot Scootin
    Gimme 3 Steps
    Mustang Sally
    Two Tix to Paradise
    Got A Line on U
    Evil Ways
     
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  19. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Once the third set starts, few will be able to remember what was played in the first set. You could do it all over again.
     
    Mr_Moo and chuck65 like this.
  20. staurosjohn

    staurosjohn Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Nottingham, MD
    3...

     

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