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Set lists ?

Filed Under : Rants , Other

Posted By : Off The Rails | Comments : 28

How do you know the best order to put the tracks in ?

I am in the process of arranging tonights set list, we have quite a varied set list, I was going to put the 1st set together mostly of the less rockier material e.g. Beatles, Stereophonics, Snow patrol etc, and in the 2nd set deep purple, Free, Ufo, zz top etc, thinking that starting off a bit more easy on the ear and finishing with some proper rocking stuff, then one of mates said "dont you think people who are into the more rockier stuff will think you just do that type of material and leave thinking thats all you do ?", at which I replied "do you think you should play lets say the searchers walk in the room and then Led zeps rock and roll in the same set ?", then in the 2nd set lets say stand by me and then UFOs Doctor Doctor in the same set ?", he replied yes.

How do you do it ?, would you do your 1st set with the less rockier stuff, and the 2nd set mostly rockier stuff, or would you mix it all up in both sets ?, some honest opinions would be most helpful.

Cheers Tony


# Posted by VANKWISH - 12/03/2011, 14:08 (GMT)

your a nosey fekker aint cha!!!! how many questions you gonna ask in 2 days???? ;-)

# Posted by Burly Chassis - 12/03/2011, 14:16 (GMT)

If it is in D then end of set. That's about it. Did do a gig where we didn't decide up front and just called 'em out and ended up missing out stuff we wanted to play.

# Posted by VANKWISH - 12/03/2011, 14:20 (GMT)

try this,


works for me.
good luck wi that.


# Posted by Off The Rails - 12/03/2011, 14:21 (GMT)

@Marc 4 is the number, but you never know I might do a quiz yet with 20 questions on it.

# Posted by VANKWISH - 12/03/2011, 14:26 (GMT)

it'll keep us out of mischief mate.

# Posted by Mr Cottonhouse - 12/03/2011, 14:30 (GMT)

Yes we mix it too. If it's a pub then I wouldn't save all the best until last. Get some crowd pleasers in the first half whatever the genre. If you play 4-5 classic rock songs back to back, then you run the risk of losing any of the audience who don't like it. That doesn't apply to classic rock bands but you would hate to lose people in that way when you have a genre change coming up in a few songs that they might really like.

# Posted by Mr Cottonhouse - 12/03/2011, 14:31 (GMT)

@Vankwish - when do you play the 'medium' songs? hehe

# Posted by Off The Rails - 12/03/2011, 14:32 (GMT)

mmm this harder than I thought, I usually live it to the singist to sort out !!!.

# Posted by The Wes Paul Band - 12/03/2011, 14:33 (GMT)

We mix it up too. Always start with something to blast em away, and keep it like that for the first few numbers, then you can bring it down slightly in the middle of the set, but finish on blasting rocking numbers again - it's all about peaks and troughs!

Also, we decide on a set list before hand but most of the time we don't actually stick to it, just use it is a guide and chop and change the songs on the night according to what the feel is like in the audience. If everyone's digging the rock stuff then chuck another one at them even if it says do a slowie on your set list.

# Posted by VANKWISH - 12/03/2011, 14:34 (GMT)

normally the enchores, coz where fekked by then!!!

@Tony, get Carole to do it.

# Posted by Daz (scopyons) - 12/03/2011, 14:36 (GMT)

with HOTD we have a set list that
A. has typeface so small no one can read it (Myfault)
B. has tunes on it we dont play anymore
C. we never stick to it

works for us

# Posted by Off The Rails - 12/03/2011, 14:38 (GMT)

@Cottonhouse Shakers, I think your right about the mixing up the classic rock songs, thanks for the tip.

# Posted by Off The Rails - 12/03/2011, 14:40 (GMT)

@Marc shes gone out !!!

# Posted by Burly Chassis - 12/03/2011, 14:43 (GMT)

Artists surname reverse alphabetical.... unless its in D

# Posted by Mr Cottonhouse - 12/03/2011, 14:50 (GMT)

@off the rails - or any genre.

# Posted by Smitten Kitten - 12/03/2011, 15:15 (GMT)

ever gig we write a set list and then it just goes to shambles and we re arrange everything after the first few songs hahaha

# Posted by Off The Rails - 12/03/2011, 15:29 (GMT)

Tony I'am back

Marc I wipe their A**ses any way so ya way not.


# Posted by Guitarist Andy (Formerly of Th... - 12/03/2011, 18:38 (GMT)

From personal experience, starting out with a couple of rather rocky songs works well (grab peoples attention and get the crowd going) then bring it down about halfway/middle third of the set with the lighter/slower stuff before bringing the more rocky stuff back in towards the end for an solid finish :) worked for us, not sure how you would use that to create 2 smaller sets though.
Andy :)

# Posted by Off The Rails - 12/03/2011, 18:57 (GMT)

Well Marc I have done the set list mixed it up with rocky and slow stuff so see how we go tonight thanks guys.


# Posted by THE STORIES ,The very best! of... - 13/03/2011, 00:27 (GMT)

live & learn on the road thats all we can say ..the more you are on the rd the more you can suss out what to /not to play & when & what tunes your audience likes ...

# Posted by John Wilkinson: - 15/03/2011, 12:03 (GMT)

Our typical set list:

Behind The Lines/Dukes End (Fast)
Turn It On Again (Footstomper)
No Son Of Mine (Slow rock)
Land Of Confusion (Footstomper)
Many Too Many (Ballard)
Jesus He Knows Me (Fast Rock)
Follow You Follow Me (Ballard)
Abacab (Footstomper)
Another Day In Paradise (slow)
Mama (slow but MASSIVE ENDING)
Drum Thang (basically a drum solo)
Way 2 Heaven (Footstomper)
In The Air Tonight (slow but MASSIVE ENDING)
Throwing It All Away (singalong time)
Collins medley ( Can't Hurry Love/ Two Hearts/ Sussudio) (Dancing time)
Domino (10 minute epic)
Afterglow (Slow)
Los Endos (Sort of like musical karate)
The Carpet Crawlers (Really slow)
Tonight x 3/Invisible Touch (Footstomper)

I Know What I Like (singalong time)
Take Me Home (singalong time with MASSIVE ending)

Bit different for a tribute band I admit, but pace in a set list is very important.

Best wishes


# Posted by Off The Rails - 15/03/2011, 12:39 (GMT)

@john fv,looking at your set list you seem to mix things up a bit, we did that last saturday and it seemed to work ok for us, mind you your preaching to the already converted, there is`nt much I dont like done by Genesis and having already seen you guys it was very entertaining.

cheers tony

# Posted by John Wilkinson: - 15/03/2011, 14:22 (GMT)

Cheers Tony.

Best wishes


# Posted by Havoc 51 - 17/03/2011, 12:39 (GMT)

To be honest most bands will tell you that you can play the same set both halves and get completely different reaction.

Our approach is that people will dance when pissed so put the ballads & the sing-a-longs in the first half, and let people dance on tables second half.

For the next few gigs the set is likely to be along the lines of

Only thing that looks good on me
Mama told me not to come
Mustang sally
Get back
Too Hard To Handle
an original track
Sweet Dreams
Quo Anniv Waltz
Black night
It's My Life

Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
Van Halen you really Got Me
Billy Idol - Mony Mony
All Summer Long
Play That Funky Music
Somebody Told Me
Sex On Fire
I predict a Riot.

For the more tame venue we'd swap some of the raunchier tracks for more familiar ones. Plus we choose the pace of any original stuff to choose the venue.

For a classic rock gig it's similar to

Too Hard to Handle
Shoot Shoot
Original track
foo Fighters - Learn to Fly
Sex on Fire
whole lotta Love
Ace of Spades

It's my life
Keep on rocking
Original track
You really Got me
Let there be rock
Black night
Another ACDC
Burn it to the ground

# Posted by Jez - 17/03/2011, 13:50 (GMT)

Make sure you all have the same list!!! I remember doing a guitar change between songs (from electric to acoustic - nobody said anything by the way!!) and the rest of the band went into "All the small things" by Blink 182!!! I was looking at previous gigs set list!!! - never changed back so quick! :0)

# Posted by John Wilkinson: - 17/03/2011, 14:15 (GMT)

Printed set lists are a MUST.....


# Posted by Steve McCartney - 17/03/2011, 17:35 (GMT)

We use the two smaller sets approach as well with each working out about 45-60 minutes. As others have said pacing is very important and, being a DJ in another life, I try and find a nice flow to songs that easily drifts us through genres using original tracks to ease the transitions. For instance if I wanted to go from a hard rocker to a funky one I'd slip something like all along the watchtower in coz thats a good mid way between rock and funk (at least the way we play it) lol

Always start the first set with a bang - ie 2 or 3 raunchy, crowd pleasing buggers. I always find two slow songs in a row is a bit of a death wish - at worst we'll follow a slow paced one with a medium range one or at least something that builds to an all out crescendo.

The second set is a bit trickier and should be played more by ear using reactions from the first set as a guide. We can often afford to chill out the first half of the second half :s with a couple of slow to mid numbers (crowd pleasers like ain't no sunshine are good here) then finish the set with an all out 4 or 5 song onslaught.

I just realised i been waffling a bit but to conclude we have one simple rule: half your best in the first half, half your best in the second and ALWAYS a corker first and last.


# Posted by Willow (of somebig™Fish) (Reti... - 17/03/2011, 17:41 (GMT)

try this one ,..........

whistle tune

always works for us


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