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  • Cover band setlists?

    So Im guessing that at least a few of you here are currently, or have previously been in cover bands?

    So anyway, Ive recently just joined a cover band on bass and we are sorting out setlists and things to learn. The other guys want to play it safe and just stick with all the classics (eg, Summer of 69 etc) but Im wondering if it would pay off to me more adventureous (ie, somewhat lesser known/newer songs and alternate covers)? I mean, theres nothing wrong with classics and I dont mind playing them, its just if every cover band in town is playing the same songs all the time, I dont see the point of doing that too

    Thoughts?
    Gear:
    Cort m200 (with SD 59/JB combo)
    Ampeg Dan Armstrong
    Gibson Firebird Studio
    Gibson Explorer x2 (natural/white)
    Gibson LP studio
    Squier Tele Custom II
    Godin LG EMG
    Hello Kitty Strat
    Edwards LPC
    Jackson COW 6
    Jim Root Strat
    ESP Eclipse I DBSB
    Billy Corgan Strat
    50s Tribute Goldtop HB
    Squier Mini Strat
    Fender Cabronita Tele

  • #2
    It all depends on the crowd, but in my area (South Florida) sometimes and amped-up top 40 song can be a crowd pleaser. Michael Jackson songs always go over well, and all the ladies in the bars seem to love Bon Jovi. Newish stuff like Foo Fighters, Black Keys, and Kings of Leon usually gets a decent response.
    Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

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    • #3
      Go to BSWTB. The most succesful cover bands are playing top 40 stuff like Bruno Mars, Black Eyed Peas, Adele, mixed in with the classic cover band stuff. Honestly, most crowds don't want to hear "adventureous" stuff from cover bands. You can play more out of the box stuff, but most likely you won't be fighting with the top tier bands in your area for gigs or pay. Your band has to decide what's most important to it, follow that route, and plan your expectations accordingly.
      http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture

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      • #4
        There's tons of great Beatles songs that rarely get covered and always go down well - everyone will recognise them and be pleased to hear something other than the standard fare.

        The trick is finding songs that people will know, but don't get played all the time. Good luck!

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        • #5
          Around here the better clubs only want newer, danceable songs. If you focus too much on classic rock or 80s, you'll be playing the dives. I don't know about your area, but the 20 somethings that are out late, wearing short skirts and tearing up the dance floor don't want to hear Summer of 69.

          Yer Blues got it right IMHO. It doesn't hurt to know some of the classics, but you have to keep it current. Right now we're not adding anything more than a year or two old.

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          • #6
            Listen Spike, play in a cover band. Rock it out. But if you guys do Mony Mony, I will find where you live and fill your mattress with expired nacho cheese... the gross kind that tastes like butter.

            I was in a band that started doing originals, but we eventually got a cover set together to branch out to the more sprts bar type venues and make some extra cash. Our cover set was great imo. We were just a 3 piece and I used zero pedals, so all our stuff was real strpped down and rockin. It all sounded like sweet sweet 70's rock. We chose good songs too like Gloria, Can't Explain, Fell In Love With A Girl, Fortunate Son, lots of Bon era ACDC like Girl's Got Rhythm and Bad Boy Boogie, stuff like that.

            It was kind of a Niche thing and we weren't really a $1000 guarantee at a fancy wedding type band, but we did alright, and people loved it because everyone likes simple rock n roll, but hardly anyone does it right.

            But of course, it all depends on your goals and locality. Just don't do Mony Mony, ok? Oh or Some Kind Of Wonderful. Don't do those. Ever. Please. Think about that chesse in your sheets man, I'm not ****************in around!
            Sometimes you follow your heart. Sometimes your heart cuts a fart. That's the cosmic shame.Charvel So Cals More Guitars Amp PedalsMy Band Site w/ Player

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            • #7
              Listen Spike, play in a cover band. Rock it out. But if you guys do Mony Mony, I will find where you live and fill your mattress with expired nacho cheese... the gross kind that tastes like butter.


              Do it Spike, DO IT!!!!!!!

              Play dat Mony Mony thang
              Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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              • #8
                Learn Mustang Sally.

                A lot.

                lol... no really.
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                • #9
                  I'm in a classic rock cover band (link below) & we try to do songs that:

                  1) the audience enjoys/ dances along
                  2) WE enjoy playing
                  3) show off our strong points

                  The first point above means that yes, we're playing stuff like Summer of 69, Love Shack (pukes) and Don't Stop Believin'; our crowd just loves that schlock. However, point 2 and 3 mean that we also get to play things like Frankenstein, Carry On My Wayward Son, Renegade & Sweet Emotion. Heck, we've even been known to play Lady Gaga or Adele from time to time (our primary lead singers are both female).

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                  • #10
                    Leading causes of modern wars:

                    Oil rights
                    Religious differences
                    Cover band names
                    Cover band setlists

                    Not necessarily in that order.

                    More seriously, try stuff out and see how it goes. The songs you think are going to go over great might fall flat and vice versa.

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                    • #11
                      I'm in a cover band, but we haven't played out yet. We're hoping to fill a niche doing top 40ish 90s songs and 2000s songs, e.g. Weezer, Fuel, Train, Uncle Cracker, Alice In Chains, White Stripes plus some classics thrown in for good measure. We all like what we're doing and hopefully the audience will too and respond to it. We need about 15 more songs to do a full night and some time to tighten everything up. Since we haven't played out yet we'll just have to wait and see how it goes. But no one around here is doing **************** like that and they're all pretty much well known songs so I think it will play out well. If not I love playing them anyway in the garage with our friends and gfs as the audience. Good times.
                      Information is not knowledge
                      Knowledge is not wisdom
                      Wisdom is not truth
                      Truth is not beauty
                      Beauty is not love
                      Love is not music.
                      Music Is The Best.

                      - Frank Zappa

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                      • #12
                        Are you getting together with some buddies to play sports bars on Wednesdays for free beer, or are you trying to go pro? In the former case, just learn whatever you want that gets played on classic rock radio. In the later case, learn everything that has ever been played on any radio station, ever.
                        Arrangements? How about I hit on two and four, and you shut the **************** up?

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                        • #13
                          Around here the better clubs only want newer, danceable songs. If you focus too much on classic rock or 80s, you'll be playing the dives. I don't know about your area, but the 20 somethings that are out late, wearing short skirts and tearing up the dance floor don't want to hear Summer of 69.



                          hrmm...I disagree. Some of the songs that get the best crowd response for us for that age group are bar band standards like sweet home alabama/all summer long, roadhouse blues, the joker, zz top, ac/dc, etc... and bon jovi is also pretty much always a sure thing with crowds of almost any age.
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                          • #14
                            Around here the better clubs only want newer, danceable songs. If you focus too much on classic rock or 80s, you'll be playing the dives. I don't know about your area, but the 20 somethings that are out late, wearing short skirts and tearing up the dance floor don't want to hear Summer of 69.

                            Yer Blues got it right IMHO. It doesn't hurt to know some of the classics, but you have to keep it current. Right now we're not adding anything more than a year or two old.


                            What part of Florida?
                            Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

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                            • #15
                              Listen Spike, play in a cover band. Rock it out. But if you guys do Mony Mony, I will find where you live and fill your mattress with expired nacho cheese... the gross kind that tastes like butter.


                              You know Id never heard of that song until you mentioned it... thanks for that

                              To clarify I just joined an already established band who was looking for a bass player, and I was tired of not being in a band. Im actually loving bass so its all good
                              These guys havent been together long but have a few small gigs under their belt. They are working the "pro" angle and hope to get regular pub gigs in the future. I dont mind this, its just that when I went out the other weekend I heard the same songs blasting out from every venue I walked past... I thought it might pay to stand out from the crowd?

                              Of course no one wants to hear obscure songs theyve never heard of before, but I was thinking more of adding in some reworks of classics to spice things up a bit, like what Me First and the Gimme Gimmes do, but Im not so sure the other guys share this view:




                              or even stuff like



                              I dunno, Im under the impression that people like cover bands because they like the energy of a live performance, as opposed to listening to a juke box, but maybe Ive got it wrong?
                              Gear:
                              Cort m200 (with SD 59/JB combo)
                              Ampeg Dan Armstrong
                              Gibson Firebird Studio
                              Gibson Explorer x2 (natural/white)
                              Gibson LP studio
                              Squier Tele Custom II
                              Godin LG EMG
                              Hello Kitty Strat
                              Edwards LPC
                              Jackson COW 6
                              Jim Root Strat
                              ESP Eclipse I DBSB
                              Billy Corgan Strat
                              50s Tribute Goldtop HB
                              Squier Mini Strat
                              Fender Cabronita Tele

                              Comment









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