Taking off from the last couple of posts in another thread, but thought this should be its own topic.
JimiV and I were just talking about having to adjust setlists on the fly. This is something we do quite a bit based on how the crowd looks/feels. What surprises me is how many bands apparently DON'T do this, or don't do it well. I realize bands are limited to the material they know, but if you're booking yourself for certain types of events it probably is in your best interest to widen the material you know as much as possible.
One thing I always try to do is ask what the expected age-range of the guest will be, and how that will break down. I then put together a songlist based on that and still often re-arrange it on the fly. At the show we did last weekend it was pretty obvious it was an older crowd, so the newer stuff gets pushed aside for the classic material. At one point I'm talking with the event coordinator about this and she mentions that the band they had last year OPENED with "I Kissed A Girl" and they were a complete fail. Really? That band wasn't able to look out at the crowd and see that that song probably wasn't going to be their best choice for an opener??
Hmmm....and hmmm.... I dunno. To me this seems like pretty basic Cover Band 101 stuff. Other bands seem to still struggle with it. Or just refuse to do anything other than "their show"? Whatever. More gigs for me if that's the case.
End result: this email yesterday from the event planner: