#1
I've recently formed a band, and we've started jamming and preparing for college fests and battle-of-the-bands-events etc.

Thing is, through a weird twist of fate I find myself in the position of band leader as far as picking musical direction is concerned. And im confused as to what songs to work on.

Basically our ultimate short term goal is to perform at Wildfire in Jan, a national level competition organized by one of the IIT's (big ass engineering college with massive rep for those not in the know).

And im not too sure about songs to play.

First some background info.

Bands here fall into two categories-

Nooby show offs who bang 4 chords, grow long hair, make moaning sounds and think they are cool. Most alt rock bands here do that (not taking a jab at alt rock as a genre, just commenting on the bands that call themselves alt rock).

Second category consists of the fellows who take their stuff seriously and know how to play. These guys are either prog rock in the vein of later Floyd, jethro Tull etc and in the other extreme, deathmetal and metal core.

Anyway, enough digressing, basically I want our band to play stuff thats technical, and thats not in the usual vein of performances. I want to avoid songs that are so overdone its not even funny, like Enter Sandman or End of Heartache.

So far, I have managed to decide firmly on just one song so far- Dream Theater's "In The Presence Of Enemies Part 1".

Im toying with the idea of doing Disturbed and Tesseract, but still undecided.

Do you guys have any suggestions as to what to play, aside from originals? Setlists are expected to be half and half.

TLDR: I need suggestions as to what songs to play for a battle of the bands event, decided on only one, DT's ITPOE Part 1.
#3
So...you're a covers only band?
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#5
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Bands here fall into two categories-

Nooby show offs who bang 4 chords, grow long hair, make moaning sounds and think they are cool. Most alt rock bands here do that (not taking a jab at alt rock as a genre, just commenting on the bands that call themselves alt rock).

Second category consists of the fellows who take their stuff seriously and know how to play. These guys are either prog rock in the vein of later Floyd, jethro Tull etc and in the other extreme, deathmetal and metal core.

Anyway, enough digressing, basically I want our band to play stuff thats technical, and thats not in the usual vein of performances. I want to avoid songs that are so overdone its not even funny, like Enter Sandman or End of Heartache.
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Sounds like you already made up your mind, but crowds are going to like the former a lot more than the latter. You know 4 chord alt/pop rock stuff doesn't have to be a walk in the park. By the time you throw in some good solos, arrange and sing 3 part harmonies for the whole set, have fun learning and adding keys, mando, whatever, so that every song doesn't sound exactly the same and so forth, you get quite a bit going on there with the added benefit that it's actually pleasant to listen to for the average (and even experienced) listener.

My point is that when you play it well instead of just "banging 4 chords and moaning," you build a skill set working on that "easy" stuff that you might not have thought of sticking to the usual UG genres. It's also reaaaaaly good listening practice because it's actually harder to stay tight in genres like that then when you're not going warp speed and the drummer doesn't play every single 16th note on the kick.

edit* plus, if the scene there is as you describe it, you could be one of many serious and good prog/metal bands, or you could be the first good alt rock band in a sea of bad ones. Which path would be better for a band looking for success?
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Sep 20, 2011,
#7
Unless you can absolutely NAIL ITPOE (all instruments including vocals) I suggest you don't try it lol. And unless you're in some unusual area where everyone is quite familiar with tech bands and that's the status quo, you might be better off with simpler songs that everyone knows.
#8
We should be able to do ITPOE fine, I already know the whole song perfectly save the outro solo (which im working on) the bassist and drummer are also midway through it.

Thing is, most people who flock to fests like these are quite familiar with metal.....last years winner was a metalcore band that souns like a cross of KSE and August Burns Red (google What Escapes Me). So yeah, im pretty undecided on what to play.
#9
Oh I see. Well in that case yeah maybe you'll be fine with some heavier stuff. I would suggest not trying Tesseract unless your singer can really pull it off, but I love the band so if you can do it then awesome! In that vein you might also try something by Periphery. Also consider some older stuff by KSE (e.g. Element of One is a great live track).

What kind of vocals can your singer do?
#10
Periphery is a wee bit too technical x.x im the lead player, so I have to worry about most of the stuff. And their stuff has a lot of crazy tapping and stuff. Letter Experiment, on of my favorite songs, has this crazy tapping solo midway that makes me go wtf x.x
Element of One? Gonna give it a listen. Vocalist can manage from very clean (a la Creed or KSE itself) to moderate growls (Hetfield, the chappie from Disturbed). Extreme growls/shrieks are handled by the keyboards guy.
#11
I've always found that with battle of the bands contest...

Technical/artistic prowess =/= Showmanship.

Most metal bands either suck, and the ones that are good (When I say good, I mean "alright") most people just sort of watch them. It's hard to get into it.

Bands that win = Funk bands.
#12
If you want to be remembered for your cover, you're not going to be a very good originals band.

How about you write some originals, and play a cover that you all agree upon instead of all that mumbo jumbo in your first post.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#14
Fair enough. You might wanna consider some stuff by Trivium maybe? They have a lot of melodic stuff that's not super hard to play but should get a crowd going. Maybe consider something by Protest the Hero? Bloodmeat would be pretty sweet. Or Blindfolds Aside might be easier to pull off.

lol at Animals as Leaders. It's a good band, but seriously good luck.