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Modern cover ideas for a three piece rock/party band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by petrus61, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I’m starting the process of refreshing one of my bands repertoire for the upcoming season and was looking for some doable modern rock/pop songs that would suit a basic three piece (guitar, drums, bass). Nothing too hard edged, obviously synth heavy or obscure, but I’m open to left fielders. Preferably material from the last 10 years, but I’m open. Just looking to breath some new life into the sets this year instead of the same tired classic rock staples BL keeps dragging out. I appreciate any input. Thanks in advance!
    foolforthecity likes this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Classic rock staples are classic for a reason.
  3. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

  4. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Muse - Time is Running Out
    petrus61 likes this.
  5. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I’m also very much open to contemporary soul/R&B. It’s really just a matter of what I suppose drunk millennials might like to hear. I’m trying to parse new music that I personally like lately...

    ...from the stuff mixed age bar crowds might dig. You know, aside from Sweet Caroline. I’m kind of clueless as to what has mass appeal right now.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  6. saabfender

    saabfender Banned SUSPENDED

    Jan 10, 2018
    Sounded like “You Know I’m No Good” on the intro.

    That’s a tall order, musically, to be sure. Soliciting song suggestions from a bunch of middle-aged bass players isn’t going to get you very far.

    The difficulty is the instrumentation. You want to play modern music with an (begging your pardon) outdated band configuration. Have you noticed that >90% of live music appearances on late night shows have at least 6 musicians on stage? I noticed this trend over ten years ago. This is something your intended audience is used to hearing. If you want to play their music you need to get close to the orchestration of the day otherwise it’ll certainly fall short with them.

    Get at least one younger guy on keys or guitar or both and see where that gets you in terms of a musical identity. Female singer who can do a little acoustic guitar or piano or something.

    If I just had to put a power trio together, it’d be power trio rock stuff from the age of Classic Rock. At least if you kick ass at that, the kids will respect you for being awesome at being true to your music. Hendrix, Vaughn, Sabbath, Mayer et al. Even stuff from the grunge era can be a big help in filling out the song list.

    I’m just putting myself in your shoes. I personally don’t see a way to solve the musical problem of 30 songs for a young crowd with electric guitar, bass guitar and drums. Rock died in 2007 and all the kids know it. Get some more help.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    foolforthecity and petrus61 like this.
  7. XontheP


    May 24, 2013
    Omaha, NE
    Maybe a pinch over 10 years, but “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” can fire up a crowd, and your guitar player can ham it up with an extended solo.
    Twobass, Reascot, pcake and 2 others like this.
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Recent (since 2000) alternative/indie rock is precisely what my cover band, Six Cowards, is all about. Rather than my cutting and pasting the whole set list here, the link in my sig will take you to it. Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, stuff like that.
    TinIndian, Jimmy4string and petrus61 like this.
  9. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Thanks. That’s more or less what I need are a few ideas. I’m not looking to turn the whole repertoire on it’s head, but to slowly start padding it with stuff that may be a little more relevant to younger audiences. The formula we use is a successful one, but there are occasional gigs where I get a sense that a few new ideas would help us connect and earn some new fans.
    makaspar and hrodbert696 like this.
  10. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    It’s a challenge for sure. I’m not looking to start from scratch with all new material, but perhaps slowly start adding a few songs here and there.
  11. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Sounds like you are bored with your old music. But simply swapping it for new stuff just creates another issue: you'll be playing music you don't know or (probably) love. Kind of like a rocker who suddenly "wants to play jazz." It's being unfamiliar with the whole idiom, not just having to "learn the changes." The other problem is something you can't solve: if you're a decade or more older than your audience, you are "ancient" my friend and that's an emotional barrier that could stop those mellowinneals from even hearing the notes you play. (Also too buried in iPhones, no doubt, but that's a issue you can't solve either!)

    If you discover the secret, let us know!
  12. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Can't agree on that. I'm 52 - I play with a band that does about a third classic rock (Journey, Boston, Heart, Benetar), and the rest newer (Bruno Mars, 3 Doors Down, Pink, Lady GaGa). I think I am the youngest in the band. The crowd gets into it.
  13. The Black Keys: Lonely Boy / Gold on the Ceiling.

    Fun to play and the public generally respond well.
    TinIndian, Jimmy4string and petrus61 like this.
  14. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Totally disagree.
    petrus61 and Seanto like this.
  15. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    Why not try to see if you can mash up some newer songs with classics that fit the same sound?
    petrus61 likes this.
  16. Royal Blood, Highly Suspect, Gary Clark Jr, Eagles of Death Metal, any Jack White stuff.
    TinIndian and petrus61 like this.
  17. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I’m 36 years old and have been playing for 20 years. The other two members are in their mid 40’s and are both receptive to newer material. The issue isn’t learning it, so much as it is identifying it and finding organic ways to incorporate it. We’re more of a party band than a straight up classic rock trio. If I thought it was a lost cause, I wouldn’t be asking. BL is more out of the loop than I am, which is why he asked me to see what I can come up with. There’s a ton of new music I love, but I’m trying to get a sense of what may have a broad appeal to mixed age groups, as I feel the newer stuff I personally enjoy might be a bit on the eclectic side for some audiences.

    I appreciate the input, but I’m really looking for actual song ideas others may have had success with, as opposed to a list of reasons why I can’t or it won’t work. I’m aware of the limitations our format poses, but I don’t think some of this stuff is impossible.
    Oddly likes this.
  18. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    As a millennial in my early 30's, i can say that the tastes of my friends is extremely varied and not easy to nail down too many common themes. But i will attempt to nail down those themes anyway! Also, i would like to note that time period does not have to be the deciding factor. In fact, i'd rather listen to you nail a Prince tune rather than try to do something off the recent top 40 lists.

    -EDM. Lots of my friends are obsessed with EDM, and i even listen to bit of it here and there. If you could do 3 piece versions of more popular EDM vocal tunes, you will get a good reaction. Stuff like Zedd.

    -Jam bands. The songs of classic jam bands like the Dead and Allman Bros still hold a strong presence, but there are alot of new comers in that space too that my friends still obsess over, like Phish. Tons of newer acts, but i doubt their tunes would make sense in your group.

    -"The Classics." i first wanted to say "classic rock" but i feel that you need to look farther outside the "rock" side to figure out the right material. For example, i dont think the Beatles or Rolling Stones are what you are looking for. Sometimes recent events bring certain artists back to the foreground, especially the death of a legend. Putting in some Prince and David Bowie might be a good idea. Who doesn't want to hear Purple Rain?

    -Soulful music. Lots of new rock acts are actually soul/RnB/Funk based, and my generation has opened our ears to it, preferring it to riff based rock music. Lake Street Drive, Alabama Shakes are good examples there.

    -Folk rock. I feel like this type of thing is on the downturn, but there is lots of acoustic based rock music popping up with a very folky vibe. The Avett Brothers and Wilco.

    -Straight Funk. My friends tend to have the most fun at hard funk shows. Like, really dirty funk. Go ahead and review everything George Clinton touched for ideas.
    petrus61 likes this.
  19. Commenting to subscribe. Also interested in what you guys come up with.

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