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Ran out of songs? Play 'em again!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Oneirogenic, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    This is a first for my band. We were playing to very enthusiastic crowd last night that demanded we keep playing after we ran out of songs! We are an originals band with a 26 song list that keeps getting bigger. Usually by the time we reach the end of our set on a Thursday night the crowd is thinning and it's fine for us to stop. So we took a break then hopped back on stage and played our most danceable tunes again for this lovely crowd. Even the people who had been there all night and the bar staff didn't care. You'd think most people would be sick of an original band after 2 hours. Glad to be wrong this time. Anyone else have to repeat songs to please the crowd?
  2. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    I'm not sure from the stage side, but from the audience side, after years of hearing 'reprise' parts on albums... you can get away with a level of duplication... if you improv over it and 'heavy it up'.

    Also the fun stuff is good to hear... if you play it the same exact way 2 times it'll get real tired though. I think a medley is a great workaround. If you can throw a cover in that 'works' with the song it can have excellent results...
  3. stubborne


    Oct 22, 2009
    Rock Hill, SC
    Jazz free-form odyssey! "He wrote this!!!"

  4. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    to me all music is just one long song,.. divided by the trillions.
  5. Nairebis Utrahk

    Nairebis Utrahk

    Apr 3, 2012
    That's prog logic!
  6. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    When I was with the cover/original band, we would play a new song in the first and fourth sets just for the extra practice. As a one (or maybe two) time occurrence over 4 hours its not too bad. A group will notice a replay of a familiar (cover) song more readily than they will notice a repeat original tune, unless you make a big point of telling them!
  7. Our time filler was a long "Sweet Home Alabama" cover that transitioned into "Werewolves of London". Both of which we had done separately in earlier sets.

    SHA works great to eat up time because your lead player can just run with it almost forever on the solo while you pound out D/C/G over and over again. Great for later in the night when you're kinda tired anyway.
  8. bigalbass


    Dec 12, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    In about 1984 I saw Eurithmics open for the B52's at Forrest Hills tennis arena. "Sweet Dreams (are made of these)" was their only popular song. They both opened and closed with it. I felt that they were'nt trying very hard. The B52's rocked.
  9. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    We did change up the repeated songs. Different intros, extended jams for the dancers, and a cool extended improv outro. Our audience and hardcore fans were pleased.
  10. We had to do this a few weeks ago. My cover band is like 8 or 9 months old. We have 3 soild sets and still working to grow our song list. We played at a bar a few Saturday nights ago and their was suppose to be an opening band that was to play between 9:00 and 10:00. The opening band cancelled Saturday morning and bar owner called and ask if we could start at 9:00. The 4th set we had to repeat songs that we played earlier. Most bars will have quite a bit of turn over of customers by the time you get to the 4th set so the music was fresh to many of the patrons. The other patrons, who were there all night, were pretty sauced up by the time we got to the 4th set and I am not sure they even noticed that we were repeating songs.
  11. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    I opened for U2 on their 1st US tour. For their encore they repeated I Will Follow and another I can't recall. They just plain did not have enough songs to fill a headline slot yet.
  12. We've done this a few times. Chances are that people from the audience won't recognize the song you already played an hour ago and you could always change it alittle.
  13. vinny


    Apr 3, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV.
    If you've got them on the dance floor & know you may be short on material later, keep playing the one you're on now. We've gone back for an extra verse & chorus just to keep them dancing. Do that three or four times a night & you've made up a couple extra tunes.
  14. My coverbands have been known to repeat songs, particularly if there is a contribution to the tip jar involved, or, if it is live band karaoke. Beyond that, there really is no excuse, in my mind, for repeating songs. ALWAYS over-prepare! It will serve you well, and heighten the perception of professionalism. The scene is full of groups who think that they just need to cobble together 3 dozen songs, and the world will beat a path to their door. This is simply delusional thinking. Performance is only 20% of what you do. Another 20% is the schlep, and, depending on your situation, up to another 20-30% is practice/rehearsal. The remainder is all promotion.

    Having said all of the above, if you are an original act, and playing 2 hours, then you are already in headliner territory. You can get away with occasionally repeating a number, simply because the audience is less likely to be familiar with it, and the whole crowd turnover factor can play into that.
  15. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    I've noticed that. One band did '99 red balloons' Then '99 luftballoons' and back again in a stretched out mixup... Great fun, and when done right make the place alive!
  16. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    We do it, occasionally, even though we have enough material to cover a 4-hour show without repeating.

    For example, if we're doing a typical 4-hour show and we roll out a song within the first half hour, there aren't many people there, and we get to the last hour and the room has filled up with people who didn't hear it the first time, we may choose to repeat a song that we KNOW from experience will be a "winner" in that room as opposed to playing something else that we know equally well, but which may or may not go over. We play 80/20 covers to originals and we have been known to repeat certain originals as well as covers. We don't go with setlists so it's all how the BL reads the crowd that night and he's almost never wrong.

    Trust me... if you're doing a 4-hour gig anywhere alcohol is being served, by the time you get to the last set, anyone who was there for the first set may not even remember you played it once already. And even if they do remember they probably won't care as long as they like the song.

    All of which is to say, repeating a song or two over the course of a long night doesn't bother me nearly as much as it used to. But you should do it cause you want to... not cause you have to.
  17. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    I saw van Halen repeat songs for their encore on their first tour.
    I was suprised that they didn't have some covers or unreleased songs under their belt to play.
  18. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    Trust me if we had more songs we would have played them! We play in an unusual market where original bands don't get to where we are very often. We've been getting hired by places that always host cover bands so they expect a cover band set from us. Doesn't work that way...even top national headlining acts don't go over 2 hours unless it's a double set with a break. So we have been hiring bands to open for us and then we play as long as we can. We've been consistently delivering high turnouts over the usual DJ's so the owners are happy. Quality over quantity. I think it also helps that there aren't many top tier cover bands playing the nice bars and clubs around here. Those guys are playing the casinos, weddings, and corporates. The lower level cover bands are usually mediocre at best so that leaves a gap for an original band with a slowly but steadily growing following to jump in. If anyone's curious this is in Northern Idaho. Weird music culture around here.
  19. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    We used to do it sometimes. Usually when a song we played early ( 1st or 2nd set) wasn't heard by a large part of the crowd and it was requested. However, we don't do it anymore. We have probably 7 sets worth of material so there is no reason to ever repeat a song ( Barring a large bribe). My band is a cover band though. I don't know what the consensus would be for an originals band.
  20. I saw the Smithereens last week and they were somewhat surprised that it was a 2 set gig.
    They repeated several of their hits in the second set Crowd didn't mind a bit because they were rockin the joint.

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