is it a wise act to announce your setlist or is it better kept secret while revealing only the bands ur covering and a coupla tracks and keeping the rest for concert day?

my singer insists that people prefer to know what covers they will be hearing while i think if they knew the whole setlist theyll just skip the show out of laziness and the (i'll just watch it on youtube) attitude, he says if you dont announce the setlist ppl will think its a crap list and thats why ur not revealing it, and that ppl like to know what theyr going to be hearing

what do you think? and more importantly, what do you do?
Last edited by Alijonroth at Sep 1, 2011,
i dont care about knowing the setlists before the concert.
Actually, i like being suprised at the concert :P

edit: my singer just tells what song we are gonna play right before we're gonna play it xd
It depends on the situation. If I were to play at school, I'd announce a setlist to admin and teachers, just to be safe. If I were playing anywhere else, I'd post a setlist an hour before the gig starts.
Then I whispered in her ear, fear me dear, for I am Death.

Why are you hiding?
Because the demons from my dreams are everywhere..

Are you arguing with a German guy about how to speak German?
my singer just tells what song we are gonna play right before we're gonna play it xd

or when the rest starts to play then i hear which song we are playing
i rather not know and it be kept as a surprise, i mean if a band where gonna tell me their whole setlist ide think stfu and play bitches
It depends on the situation.
If you were playing at a concert then I'd say announce what song you're going to play before you play it (or some people do it afterwards - but i think it's more common to do it before).
On the other hand, if you were to play at a restaurant to provide background music then just play. It wouldn't be appropriate to say, "Uhm..excuse me. Sorry to interrupt your nice dinner conversation for the fourth time in seven minutes, but I'm going to be playing..."
(Bars are probably a different story)
But it all depends on where you are playing and to whom you are playing.
We have a list of songs we'll cover on our site. No guarantee which ones will be played. And we generally hold out on 2 or 3 for a surprise.

I wouldn't recommend telling people every song your going to play in order. Like if you were a GnR tribute, you'd obviously could say come check out awesome renditions of Paradise City, Welcome to the Jungle, and SCoM (hitting the songs, that your "have" to play to GnR fans). And then say something, like then we will dive deep into the GnR vault and pull some songs out of the dust.
so theres no established norm right? i could release the names of like 3 or 4 highlight tracks and keep the rest as a surprise? cuz that feels more logical to me
We never did. We played together so much that we all could start a song and everyone else could join in, cover or original. At rehersal, we'd go over our set for that night and that's mainly what we played. Sometimes we'd ask the audience what they'd like to hear. During a break sometimes I'd jump off and get a drink and ask someone at the bar what they'd like to hear.
If you're playing a local show early on...not to be rude, but I really doubt anybody could care less about your setlist. At most, I'd see if you were covering more than 1-2 songs (and, if so, just not show up unless you're a cover band), and that's just because of how many poorly prepared 50-50 bands there are.

Ask yourself: other than people directly related to the band (family, friends, boy/girlfriends), would anyone want to tape you without prompting and put it on youtube? If the answer is 'No', I wouldn't bother anyone with minor details. If they really want the setlist, they can ask you for the sheet it's written on after the show.
modes are a social construct
Last edited by Hail at Sep 1, 2011,
You're overthinking it. You're a covers band. Rarely would someone come to watch a cover band. Instead they'll come to the pub to drink and have fun, the band just happens to be there. Your job is to keep them there, not to draw them in.

It's not like they'll arrange to meet their buddies at the bar, check your setlist, then decide not to go. They're not going to push the drinking back an hour to coincide with your awesome ACDC cover. The only people who really need to know your setlist are the people hiring you, if they ask. They want to know what they're paying for.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.