Blog#4 Choosing Songs For 'ENERGY' Part 3/3 'Constructing a Set List'

Welcome to 'Energy's' 4th Blog.

This weeks blog is the last of a series of three blogs considering how we choose the songs that we perform.

The 1st blog of the series considered the 'Golden Rules' we use to choose songs to rehearse and perform, the 2nd was when you might make an exception to those rules.

This weeks' is how constructing a setlist might affect your choice of songs.

Mixing It Up
Whenever we perform we typically play to a very eclectic audience that varies hugely in age.  For example, many generations of a family are typically present at a wedding reception and all of them want to hear songs that they like and are familiar with.  This means performing songs from a wide range of not just Era's but Genre's as well, ensuring everyone hears something that will encourage them to get up and dance.  The following songs represent every decade from the 60s onwards and typically appear in our set list for most of our bookings.

Twist & Shout - The Beatles- '60s,
Ballroom Blitz - The Sweet - '70s,
Footloose - Kenny Loggins - '80s,
Common People - Pulp - '90s,
Mr Brightside - The Killers - '00s,
Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars - '10s.

Light & Shade
Performing a healthy mix of light and shade is essential.  Songs like Mr Brightside - The Killers, Changing - Paloma Faith, and Kids in America - Kim Wilde (three different decades right there), all meet our golden rules but they're very intense, fairly heavy and anthemic and a whole evening of those types of songs could be rather exhausting.  Songs that provide a healthy balance to the above could include 'Love Really Hurts', or 'Oh What A Night', 70s soul/pop tracks that have a light happy feel.  We provide a journey of different types of songs in a set list every time we perform.

The Running Order
We've always believed that a running order that mixes up genres and eras is generally best. This keeps things interesting for both the audience and the band alike.  Imagine if a band started with the oldest track that they performed and worked their way through to present day.  It would be far too predictable and the songs too similar when placed next to each other.

Opening The Sets - The First Song
Songs that are particularly easy to dance to and light in feel such as 'Valerie' (not too dramatic or anthemic) are brilliant to ease people into the evening and encourage them onto the dance floor.  Mr Brightside for example would be too fast and intense as an opening track but is brilliant later on when people are warmed up and dancing.

Closing The Sets
A great opportunity to go out with a bang.  Powerful anthemic songs such as 'Don't Stop Believing' work brilliantly here.

Summary
Creating a brilliant set list for a wedding/party/function band is not as straight forward as you might think.  Choosing fantastic songs using our Golden Rules (Blog#2), knowing when to occasionally break those rules, and then how to construct an eclectic varied set list with the right songs in an appropriate order is very important to ensure that we sound fantastic all night long, and that people want to get up and dance and have a great time.  It's ultimately not about what we want to perform but what people want to hear and dance to that makes our bookings great and our clients happy.

Thanks for reading,

Phil

Band Leader and Drummer




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