Set List Sharing

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BOOG, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Something that kind of mildly irks me; I wanted to rant a little and get your take on it…

    Background: The (cover) band project I’ve been working on for a couple of years is finally getting some traction and we’re starting to get gigs.

    Situation: Other musicians in the area I know ask me what our set list is.

    To me, this just feels like them looking for answers instead of doing your homework.

    I’m not unresponsive to the inquiries but, I wonder if any of you out there have the same feeling and how others handle their responses.
    Pet Sounds and Peter Torning like this.
  2. ArtechnikA

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

    Feb 24, 2013
    Come to our show.
    Bring a pencil.

    I might share some song titles.
    But there is a craft to building a set list - they're on their own for that.
  3. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    See, I kind of feel like that, too.
    SoCal80s and Peter Torning like this.
  4. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Lol, that is some major insecurity right there on their part. I would never imagine asking a group for their setlist unless i was preparing to play a gig with them!
    dasherf17, viper4000, Pocket4 and 8 others like this.
  5. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I wouldn't mind sharing set list with anyone. There is more to playing good gig than simple list of song. If someone thinks this will help them copy success, they are free to try ;)

    Edit for better understanding: No two bands play song exactly the same way. So, some combinations can work for one band, and not for another. Also, one singer can pull off one song, and another better one can't.
    Set list is much more than good combination of songs, it's a wisdom that evolved from band experience.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2021
  6. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    And this is where I find myself on the fence.

    “That” band can’t be “this” band so, like I said, I respond but, to me it errors on imposing or being a bit invasive. I think to myself, “go do your thing and stop worrying about what I’m doing over here.” It kind of reminds me of pesky neighbors that have to make a comment about what is new in your yard or garage.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me and that I tend to stay out of other peoples affairs and expect the same consideration.
    Neil Folkard and Joedog like this.
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Once in a great while on TB I've seen threads where people are possessive and secretive about their cover band's magic set list. I really never got it. It's covers, you don't own them, and you're playing them in public. There's no proprietary magic voodoo to protect. Someone wants to know what we're playing, sure, I'll tell them. Heck, a lot of bands post their set lists on their websites.

    Having said that, also, I never understood the point in asking another cover band for their set list. What do you think you're going to find or change from looking at it? No big mystery what songs are popular, and finding out what songs ANOTHER band can pull off doesn't tell you anything about what YOUR band can. So it seems like a weird question to me. But who cares?

    If you really feel like it's a violation of your secret sauce to share a set list, the solution is simple - don't use one. Read the room and call it as you go. I've been in steady-gigging bar bands that do that. It works if you have the repertoire and the flexibility.
    marmadaddy, 40Hz, mildbill and 9 others like this.
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I will add, though, if for some reason you're in a multi-cover-band show, then you absolutely SHOULD share set lists. I really don't like it when two cover bands play the same song in a night - makes it a who-wore-it-best competition, which I don't think is the vibe I want.
    SoCal80s, CJL, marmadaddy and 7 others like this.
  9. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Like I said, it’s a mild irritation. Thanks for your input.
    Seanto and hrodbert696 like this.
  10. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Valid point. Not really what I was talking about but definitely a consideration always worth thinking about in that situation.
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  11. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I have to be honest, I have never been asked to share set list. So that's not typical, for sure.
    I HAVE discused set list lots of times with fellow musicians, in a general way with reference to some songs.
    Honestly, idea to ask someone for a copy of a set list sounds quite amateurish to me.
    But again, I would share any of my set lists if asked.
    BOOG likes this.
  12. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Most definitely, talking about songs on a set list is always good conversation with other musicians.
    Thanks for validating my point. That is exactly it, “amateurish”.
    RattleSnack likes this.
  13. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    The only time we’ve bothered sharing our set list with another band is when we play a show with them. We don’t like overlapping songs and neither does the audience. There are plenty of songs to choose from, no reason to make an audience sit through Sweet Home Alabama twice (or once really… lol)
    BOOG, mstillman, hieronymous and 2 others like this.
  14. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Do you play Brown Eyed Girl before or after Mustang Sally?

    Inquiring minds want to know. :laugh:
  15. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Set list, no. Discuss what songs, arrangements, or kinds of songs that work at a a particular place, sure
    BOOG likes this.
  16. I can't remember ever being asked for a setlist for no apparent reason....but I would probably share if asked by someone I knew. Why not? As mentioned before they can always come to the show. The song list is no secret. My experience with sharing information is this. I could sit a band down and spell out every little thing they need to do, and they will agree, then they won't do it. Had an experience 20 years ago. I quit an 80's band to start my own. After a year or so we were getting better gigs than the original band. One night the other founder of that band and his wife (who played keys in that band) came to one of our shows at a place they had tried unsuccessfully to get into. They sat near the back and stayed all night. Unbeknownst to them, my brother from out of state was sitting right behind them and heard their entire conversation all evening. Imagine the following going on for 4 hours: "This song is going over really well..." "Yeah the crowd is loving it...." "yeah...but you know I like that other song that we do by the same artist better..." "Yeah I do too..."
    They saw what we did. Agreed it was working. Then convinced themselves that what they were already doing was better. So I don't worry about sharing anything, secret or not. You can give them the recipe but they won't follow it anyway.
    BOOG likes this.
  17. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I've been asked for a copy of our set list by club owners.
    One Way, BOOG and Bajo Clarkko like this.
  18. Plain Old Barry

    Plain Old Barry Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    I've seen plenty of set lists left taped to walls from previous occupants of a stage. I never got the secrecy, either.
    lfmn16 and hrodbert696 like this.
  19. JohnnyBottom

    JohnnyBottom Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    Here is our set list for tonight. bass payers dream for sure. Knock yourself out. :)

    We Can Be Together
    3/5 of a Mile
    Good Shepard
    Greasy Heart
    Its No Secret
    Milk Train
    High Flying Bird
    Hey Frederick
    You Me and Pooneil
    Wooden Ships
    Feel So Good
    Somebody To Love

    Law Man
    Star Track
    Plastic Fantastic
    Shes Got Funny Cars
    Crown of Creation
    3rd Week in Chelsea
    Eskimo Blue Day
    Fat Angel
    Other Side
    White Rabbit
    Let us Get Together
    Pet Sounds, Rabidhamster and BOOG like this.
  20. ArtechnikA

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

    Feb 24, 2013
    IMO, it's not about the secrecy, because it is obviously publicly available to every member of the audience at the show.
    It is about the lack of respect and motivation that comes from expecting a work product for nothing.
    I can't keep the information from you, but I can expect you to meet me halfway by coming to the show and doing your own research.
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