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What song to end with?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Fender05, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Fender05


    Oct 20, 2008
    My band has been having a friendly debate lately, so I figured I'd pitch it to you guys, see where you land on it.

    The question is: Should we end our set with a cover?

    We're an original melodic heavy metal band out of Chicago. We have a solid hours worth of original material, and typically end our set with a well known metal cover that we play pretty well and that the audience knows.

    There's two ways we see this. One is, always end with an original. The last thing you want people to hear as an original band is an original song, so pick your best, and save it for last.

    The other is, if you play a cover, and play it well, then people will remember that more, and say "Oh, I remember that band, they had that bada** cover of (whatever song)"

    We're trying to make a name for ourselves, trying to get people to take notice. It's hard enough being a metal band in a country that largely doesn't respect metal as legitimate music. What do you think is the better way to end the set? Should the decision change based on set length (i.e., should we end a half-hour set with an original, and an hour set with the cover)? Thanks in advance for your input!
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    I agree that an original band should end their set with an original song regardless of set length. Play the cover tune 2nd to last. The audience will remember the awesome cover version, but walk away having heard your best original. That'll stick with them too.
  3. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    ^^^ This I'm not a huge metal fan but I've been turned on to a few groups who have done some covers very well having now if you are playing covers all night I think it's cool to end with an original.
  4. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Why not do a really original version of a cover. Who knows, your cover may end up being more popular than the original.

    Look at what Elvis did for the song Blue Suede Shoes. It was originally done by Carl Perkins and reached number 2 on the charts when he did it but everyone still thinks of Elvis when they hear that song. Heck, Clapton even took one of his own originals (Layla) and completely rearranged it for acoustic, many would say the new one sounds even better than the original.

    If your band is writing your own music then you've got all the talent you need to do a new arangement of an older song. Think outside the box and try a new take on a popular song that your audience has never heard in a metal format.

    So how bout it, lets hear a metal take on Blue Suede Shoes. You could call it "Stay the F_ _ _ k off my Doc Martens". Have fun with it, the audience will love it!
  5. Test and try it both way, and then stick with whichever seems to workout best.
  6. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    I'd say open with your best to get the crowd as pumped up as possible, then 2nd last play the cover, and finish with your second best song. Hopefully if you get them excited enough the whole set will be brilliant for them
  7. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Do a cover if it's either a) better than the original or b) has good surprise value, such as a song from a very different genre of music.

    My band always closes with Glory Box by Portishead. This is primarily because of reason A. It's our style of music, but (in my opinion) it crushes the original like a grape.

    We could opt for reason B, though, and do our trip-hop version of I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones.
  8. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Old showbiz axiom: "Leave 'em wanting more!"

    Whatever your final song is, it should be something that gets people up off their feet & singing along.

    IIRC, Heart used to play a cover of Led Zep's "Rock and Roll" as their encore.
  9. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Finish with your best uptempo number. And then do 2 great numbers for your encore.
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Start strong and finish strong, with originals ;)

    You could always start off the "end" of the show with the cover...then play two more originals, ending the show with the best.
  11. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    we play halloween by the misfits last, because everybody likes halloween and everybody likes the misfits, but i'm more of a performance art metal musician than a pro so take what i write with a grain of salt
  12. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Close with the strongest (or second strongest if you open with the strongest). Original versus cover does not matter. Plenty of famous bands played covers live. The majority of what you play is original - the audience is not going to get react because one if a cover.
  13. Dude, do what's right for your band. You've already played an hour's worth of original songs right? It won't matter if you end with a cover, unless the cover is dramatically different than your other songs...like Mandy or something. :)

    For example, I'm in a surf-rock band. Up until our last drummer moved away, we'd typically do two one hour sets of original songs, and on the encore, do two more original songs, and finally, Wipeout.

    People love it, it ends on a high note, and honestly, we had to do Wipeout last because no matter how much our drummer loved doing it, he'd have nothing left in the tank afterwards. We practically had to carry him to the car at the end of the night.
  14. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Look, I've been refraining from saying this, but isn't it obvious?

    There is only ONE song to end with.

    And it's in my sig.
  15. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    How about playing a cover 2nd last (As suggested) and then flow into an original--kind of play them as two parts of one song. (And you can have a little patter to indicate the other song.)
    Maybe transition by playing the cover differently than you started, but in the style of the last song (original)?

    I think that would be cool.
  16. thedane


    Sep 25, 2011
    So...you guys do melodic metal. Hard and loud, right?
    You wanna blast the heck out of them at the end?
    Bust HELTER SKELTER turned up to 11 on them and see if it doesn't SMOKE!

    You can thank me later.
  17. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Lubbock, TX
    Closing Time - Semisonic

    Saddam A-GO-GO - GWAR
  18. end with your best song, then as your wrapping that song up, launch into a badass cover.

    worked very well for us. people ran in from the parking lot on more than one occasion to jump on stage and try to steal the mic
  19. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I always wanted to end with this one:

  20. I like this idea. Or if you know there's going to be an encore, save your cover for that.