So since moving to Brissie, I’ve started to see bands who are more popular than I’d usually go see because I’ve got a sweet deal where I get free tickets and think why not. Bands like Fleetwood Mac and AC/DC, that sort of just-for-the-nostalgia thing.
Thing is, I have to review a lot of these, and often they’re artists I’m kinda familiar with (as in I thought I knew them a lot better than I did before I really started looking at their back catalogue properly) and turned to setlist.fm to try and narrow it down a bit when I started to notice a trend.
All bands who seem to not give a shit anymore play fixed setlists. Like properly fixed to the extent that you can look years prior and a one-song deviation is actually a big deal because they really don’t play that song very often. Easiest possible option.
I have to say I was quite surprised.
Even Deftones who I’m off to see soon seem to have two setlists now, which I’m assuming are “gig that matters” and “gig that doesn’t matter”. They’re going to open with Rocket Skates. I know this. I will turn up and they will open with Rocket Skates. They will then play Geometric Headdress. If they don’t play Bored, I will know they think Brisbane is a shithole. They won’t play Bored.
Isn’t this weird? It feels weird to me. I appreciate that some bands have session musicians who may not know the back catalogue as well, or some of the back catalogue will be too rusty to remember, but I’d have still thought you’d like go for “Let’s learn 30” and then mix it up on the night.
This probably isn’t even a new thing, just something that’s been brought to my attention through circumstance and the sorts of bands I’m seeing in Brisvegas.
Anyway, my question is: Is it fair to say that any band who plays to a fixed setlist is a bunch of cunts?