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Show me your setlist

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by TJBass, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Had a gig in Ramona last night that didn't go very well. We do mostly obscure blues, songs that many people don't really know, and we seemed to "blues them out the door." Not exactly what I thought would happen!

    So what I am looking for is to see how your setlist are arranged, what setlists make people get up and dance as well as keeping them in the bar.

    I'm not looking just for blues, any type of music setlists would be great, just to get an idea of what we are doing wrong.

  2. Try playing hot blues...SRV, J.J. Cale or Skynard type sutff to pick up the pace of your set.

    It's close to impossible for people to not rock out to a catchy tune like "Gimmie Three Steps" or SRV's "Pride and Joy" or J.J. Cale's "They call me the Breeze".

    Blues, to me, is pretty predictable, and if it's too slow, your audience might get bored and walk out to smoke a cigarette while you drone on.

    **If you're in a cover band...play popular music.**

    I'm in a original band right now, but we have added 4 covers to our set list. None of them are obscure songs because I think that would defeat the purpose.
  3. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Well, since you asked....


    Very, very good tunes.

  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Use lots of "strong songs":

    - covers that people know (and might want to dance to if that's your bag)
    - songs that allow various members of the band to showcase things they're good at (and make sure each song has a different 'trick')
    - songs laden with catchy hooks

    If the audience isn't full of ardent blues fans, then the danger of doing lots of obscure tracks is that, to the average listener, they might all start to sound the same (in which case, where's the motivation to stay to the end of the set?).

    You can also add a bit of spice by how you present the tunes. If each of them has a story, why not share a bit of it. Don't turn it into a lecture, but give them something to listen for (which, in turn, makes each song more identifiable).

  5. Our set list contains a bit of variety, I think ! You can find it at http://www.blues-rock.biz just follow the link. We usually choose from the list, but do tend to get carried away and sometimes play for several hours - and people stay ! I can understand your reaction to losing an audience but don't let it be a knee jerk reaction, don't change your whole set because of it, the venue probably wasn't suited to your band. In general I would always say stick to your guns so don't move to far away from what you're really about.
  6. lowtonejoe , nice call on the "Crawfishin'" by Tab. We do that song as well as "Downtown" - they both go over extremely well, and fun to play.....
  7. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Fun to play and it seems fun to dance to also!


  8. I don't think I'm going to let it be a knee jerk reaction but I do want to have people jammin near the stage, thats the reason I'm up there. Unfortunately I think I'm in another situation where I will be taking my band with me and leaving the guitarist alone. I'm lucky I have a couple guys that are looking for the same thing I am that will follow me, so I think its time to move on yet again. The guitarist is headstrong and just wants to relive his past bands, hence we don't have much say over the music selection. I know this guys is good but he just can't get over the tunnel vision, and I can't get over not having people groovin to our music.
  9. BluezBassist


    Aug 5, 2004
    I got a good piece of advice regarding setlist structure from a teacher. Make sure you mix up the keys. If you play too many songs in a set that are in the same key, the audience might not realize that they just heard a few songs in G, but to their ears, they all will sound an awful lot alike.

    With my band a few songs that always get a crowd up are:

    Keep Your Hands To Yourself - Georgia Satellites
    New York Groove - Ace Frehley
    Hard to Handle - Black Crowes
    New Orleans is Sinking - The Tragically Hip
    Tuff Enuff - Fabulous T-Birds

    We struggle with setlists too though. The same set on two different nights will get two different reactions. I guess that's where you have to be able to read the crowd and give 'em what they want...and close with Roadhouse Blues...If they don't like that, they don't deserve you...

  10. and close with Roadhouse Blues...If they don't like that, they don't deserve you...

    right on!
  11. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Most recent shows...

    1. QUEST OF FOOLS – Villas
    2. PULL YOU BACK – Villas
    3. MORE THAN I CAN DO – Steve Earle / Villas
    4. YOU KNOW BETTER – Villas
    5. WAY TO GO – Villas
    6. IT'S ONLY LOVE - Beatles
    7. TICKET TO RIDE - Beatles
    8. ANOTHER STAR - Villas
    10. TOPPERS -Villas
    11. ALWAYS ENDING - Villas
    13. I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW - Villas
    15. JUST LIKE A GENIUS - Villas
    16. PERSONAL PROPERTY - Villas

    SET 2
    1. DREAMLAND - Villas
    2. TO BE IN LOVE - Villas
    3. YOU'RE LAUGHING - Villas
    4. THE WISH - Villas
    5. BABY IT'S YOU - Burt Bacharach
    6. EXCLUSIONS - Villas
    7. ALISON - Elvis Costello
    9. SAVOY TRUFFLES - Villas
    10. D-TRAIN - Villas
    11. SO LOW - Villas
    12. IT HURTS TO BE IN LOVE - Gene Pitney
    13. BIG TEARS - Villas
    14. WHEN WE WERE FRIENDS - Villas
    15. WE'LL SHOW 'EM -Villas
    16. HE THINKS HE'LL KEEP HER - Lucinda Williams
  12. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Theres already a thread pertaining to this

    a search yields many great results.

    song list thread

    This list of mine isnt quite etched in stone yet, but the bulk of the songs are gonna remain on it. Dont hate me cause its such a great list. :p

    Song List (R&B/Dance)

    1. Superstitious – Stevie Wonder
    2. I Wish – Stevie Wonder
    3. Lets Groove – Earth Wind & Fire
    4. Jungle Boogie – The Commodores/Earth Wind & Fire???
    5. Burn Rubber – The Gap Band
    6. No Parkin’ (On the dance floor) – The Gap Band??
    7. I Feel Good – James Brown
    8. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown
    9. Misled – Kool & The Gang
    10. Lets Get It On – Marvin Gaye
    11. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
    12. Diggin’ On James Brown – Tower of Power
    13. It All Comes Back – Tower of Power
    14. Boogie Man – KC & The Sunshine Band
    15. Get Down Tonight (Shake Your Bootie) KC & The Sunshine Band
    16. She Bangs – Ricky Martin
    17. Livin La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
    18. Brick House – The Commodores
    19. Oh No – The Commodores
    20. Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin (Vh1 Divas Live with Maria Carey)
    21. Play That Funky Music White Boy – Wild Cherry
    22. Cant Get Enough of Your Love – Barry White
    23. Walk The Dinosaur – Was Not Was
    24. Soul Man – The Blues Brothers
    25. Jungle Love – Morris Day & The Time
    26. I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
    27. Super Freak – Rick James
    28. You Cant Touch This – MC Hammer
    29. Maria, Maria – Santana
    30. Roll With It – Steve Winwood
    31. Please Believe In Me – Phil Collins
    32. Electric Slide - ????
    33. Escape – Enrique Iglasias
    34. Hero – Enrique Iglasias
    35. Musicology – Prince
    36. Mambo #5 – Lou Bega
    37. I Need You – Mark Anthony
    38. Something Got Me Started – Simply Red
    39. Dirty – Christina Aguilara
    40. Everybody Plays the Fool – Aaron Nevill
    41. Black Cat – Janet Jackson
    42. Pimp Juice – Nelly
    43. Crazy – Seal
    44. Ladies Night – Kool & The Gang
    45. Oh What A Night - ???
    46. Turn Your Love Around - ????
    47. This Love – Maroon 5
    48. Bad Mama Jamma – Stevie Wonder
    49. Secret Lovers - ???
    50. Breezin – George Benson
    51. Give It Up – KC & The Sunshine Band
    52. Dancing in The Street – Martha & The Vandells
    53. Rubber Band - ???
    54. Red Red Wine – UB40
    55. Funky Broadway - ????
  13. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    This is so true. Some of my favorite songs to play don't necessarily generate the same passion in patrons of the establishment. We are primarily classic and modern country with some classic rock and do a slow ballad called "Silver Wings" by Merle Haggard. I would say that this is a sad, whiney, sappy sort of number, but the dance floor fills everytime that we play it. "Who's your daddy," "Good hearted Woman" and "Your mama don't dance" get a similar response, but are much more fun to play.
  14. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Unless your band is very serious, consider arranging a few songs to let you play around with different "tricks". The 'jones gave its first outing to Cramp Your Style (by All the People) at our last gig. It's a really simple song - a short tag at the top and then a repetitive, grooving riff throughout (mainly in E although it changes to A for a couple of bars). At the bottom of the page, it's tag, rinse and repeat.

    So, on Thursday evening, we finished the song by playing the tag. Pause. Play the last four bars and the tag. Pause. Play the last four bars and the tag. Pause. Play. Etc.

    It's not an original idea (I picked it up from one of the tunes on King's X's "Faith, Hope, Love" album and I've heard it elsewhere) and we didn't overdo it (only four or five repeats) but it worked really well. Things like that are playing games with the audience - gently teasing them but only so that they stay awake and keep having fun.

    You can overdo gimmicks and they won't work for every band or on every song but there's nothing wrong with a having a few surprises up your sleeve in most situations.

  15. WickdMOnkey


    Nov 18, 2003

    There is a link to all of our setlist. We try to mix our originals in with covers that are well known and typically people stay on the floor and dance to our originals. We also try to play covers that maybe your typical band wouldn't play but at the same time people hear it and think "oh yeah I kinda forgot about that song"
  16. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Otis Redding my brother :)
  17. BluezBassist


    Aug 5, 2004

    I had a look at your sets...They look awesome. How many songs do you have in your catalog to pick and choose from??
  18. BluezBassist


    Aug 5, 2004

    Point taken... I have much to learn Obi Wan...
  19. Here are a few that always light up the crowd for us:

    (I play bass on these)
    Brick House - Commodores
    Play that Funky Music - Wild Cherry
    Red Red Wine - WD40

    (I play keyboards on these)
    Fast As You - Dwight Yoakam
    Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
    Tom Sawyer - Rush

    (I sing lead vocals on these)
    My Sharona - The Knack
    When I Come Around - Green Day


    edit: One that we used to do, that people loved and is my favorite cover song thus far is Josie - Steely Dan
  20. "Fortunate Son" - CCR, and "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World." 'Nuff said.

    Edit: Pearl Jam covers these songs live at almost every show. Their live version of "Fortunate Son" is great (some versions of "KORITFW" are good as well). They almost always end on "KORITFW," and it's a good closing song.

    "Roadhouse Blues" is hard to beat, though. You can't go wrong with that. I would OPEN with it. ;)