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The Importance Of Setlist

July 20, 2013

setlistThe attitude of “hey guys, what song next? lol” seems to be the norm when it comes to makes a set list. Five minutes before the show, you scribble down some chicken-scratch song titles on a Taco Bell wrapper and the whole thing ends up looking like a sadistic serial killer’s ransom note. Is that really the way you want to treat your concerts?

As a live performer, you cannot forsake the importance of song order. Like a good movie with a story arc and a climax, a good concert has a good plot. Arranging your set list in a way that creates a plot is the difference between a bedroom jam and a live performance.

Don’t take this literally. I am not referring to your lyrics. I am not suggesting you write a rock opera or concept album. I am talking about the journey that your songs will take people on. The emotions in your songs are already there, you only need to harness them by putting them in the right places.

Now the “correct order” of your songs is subjective, but I think being conscious of the importance of song order is the first step. It is noobish and unprofessional to just make it up as you go. If you were going to go on vacation, would you just hop in your car and start driving or would you actually plan where your going? In the same way, your concert needs to have a destination and you better know how to get there if you don’t want to end up lost and out of gas. Stop treating your concert like a last minute suicide mission!

by Noah Copeland


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