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I HATE not having set lists!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Guiseppe, Feb 25, 2008.

Do you use a SET set list in your gigs?

Poll closed Mar 10, 2008.
  1. I don't care...they call it out, I'll play it.

    31 vote(s)
  2. It's nice, but not a necessity.

    41 vote(s)
  3. Drives me crazy having to ask/look for cues

    73 vote(s)
  1. Guiseppe


    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    After going round and round on Friday about what we'd be playing, I put together a suggested list that would address some of the issues that we were arguing. So...get to the gig, get set up, do our sound check, and get blown off when I bring up the subject. I know all the tunes, but I HATE going through the set asking "what's next?"

    What do you think?
  2. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    well, your first poll option sums it up pretty good for me. i'm a very mellow, laid-back person and i tend to just go with the flow.
  3. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Depends on the situation. It's good to have a list to refer to when you're looking to go from song to song with very little if any pause, but if it's a laid back gig with lots of talking, interacting with the crowd and such, it's not such a big deal.
  4. Hate it, specially when I have to change instruments.
  5. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    We like to lay our set out in an organized fashion. Like a DJ lays out songs, to keep the groove going and not mash gears too much.
  6. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    My current band wouldn't survive without a set list. My previous band the singer had a list of songs and he just picked em out as he saw fit and off we went.

    Calling them can be done effectively. For example who ever calls them could try and communicate the next song during the current one possibly if there is a vocal break for example if the singer was calling them. Not all the band have to be informed of whats next. Take for example Around the world by the chilis. The intro is done with solo bass. So just tell me around the world next and the rest of the band should cop on. The person calling has to be quick or have decided before the current song has finished. All the band should be ready and waiting to hear whats next. It can be communicated to the whole band quickly if everyone pays attention. The most important thing is only one person calls and there's no debate good or bad decision. It can run smoothly but everyone has to be in on it.
  7. I feel pretty strongly that an originals band should know exactly what they are going to play (as well as how long it will take to play it and generally how the transitions between songs will come off) before hitting the stage. High paying cover gigs should, IMHO, be treated more or less like originals. The focus in these situations should be the show, not the individual songs. Of course, there are a few exceptional bands that can do a solid job of reading the crowd and putting together a call it as you go setlist that flows like butta. The rest of us mere mortals simply end up looking idiotic as we ask each other what the next song in line is in front of our audience.

    Now, there are those bar cover gigs where you are basically being payed to be a live jukebox. In those cases I'm not sure a setlist does you much good. Those are the gigs where being able to guess your way through obscure semi-hits from long-dead one hit wonders is the core skill set. Personally, I will try to get through my whole life without doing that, it's just too dang stressful.
  8. IMO, set lists get old/stagnant. I like pulling songs out of our asses to fit the crowd.
  9. As much as I appreciate order and knowing whats coming up (especially since I run our entire light show with a foot switch) our band simply doesn't use set lists. This mainly came about because we judge a crowd's reaction to the material we are playing and pretty much let them dictate what we are going to perform next. This way the band doesn't barrel into a heavy rock song right after all the girls in the room just made it in front of the stage dancing to something with more groove. It really isn't an idea situation for me, but it is tried and true and works like a charm.

    Of course, when we do original shows there is a strict set list since I change basses every-other song and need to know whats about to be called for.
  10. We have to have a set list - all original band - and we like to set the flow up just so. We even figure out the segueways into the next song for a few songs. If we don't have one, we end up staring at each other trying figure out what we're playing next.
  11. j.a.e.r.i.p


    Apr 8, 2007
    i like having a setlist because it's a lot easier to plot out the groove of a show with the big picture, however our setlist is subject to change at any moment depending on the crowd
  12. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    I prefer a setlist. Seeing three grown men arguing about what song to play next is not a pretty sight. That said, sometimes a setlist works against the natural flow that often happens in a bar with people coming and going all night long.
  13. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My current band calls audibles. The singer does a great job of picking the song for the crowd's behavior, and with him it works. We developed hand signals for most songs, and its a breeze for us to do it on the fly.

    Doesn't work with all bands, but with the right bunch of guys its a plus that keeps the ball rolling.
  14. As an addendum to my other post:

    I have always felt more comfortable with a list since that fateful night the drummer and the band started different songs.

    Of course at that show every member had a setlist taped to the stage right in front of his feet. The moral: you can write out all the lists in the world and it doesn't do any good if your drummer can't read. :rollno:
  15. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    +1. I like having a rough idea of the flow, but I also like having the freedom of adjusting to the crowd. Singer's job is to read the crowd--if he calls an audible it won't destroy my world. :cool:
  16. +1
  17. Gubna


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco
    my old singer was notorious for having them all planned out ahead of time. sometimes they would appear right before the set, and sometimes we'd work on them for a week or so. we'd play songs back to back, and then have breaks at certain points - but we were always flexible to throw in something else. And I'd definately say that being able to go off the crowd's response is huge - if they like a specific style - give them more of it.

    So, I'd say they are good, but you don't have to stick to them completely. In the case of someone having to change settings/instruments - it needs to be respected, and have those songs at specific points in the set.
  18. That's us, but it's the drummer's job to be the main guy calling the songs. He does an excellent job of reading crowds and calling the right songs.

    Where we are now, I'd HATE to start using a set list.
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    A set list or ONE person that knows what they're doing in calling tunes is what works. What doesn't work is when everyone doesn't know what to play next, one person calls a tune and others don't want to play that tune, or whatever. If the lead singer is calling out the next tune in a few seconds after the end of the last one, then you can pull it off. But don't be calling off tunes that the band doesn't know. :)
  20. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    I'm for a set list. That way we don't forget anything and keep the standard, drop D and drop C songs separate.

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