Do You Want An Artist/Band to Play All Their Singles In Concert?

I’m curious if people actually prefer to hear all the singles of someone they go to see live or not.

I know why they do this. These are the songs that get radio-time and are used to promote the band and all, so I imagine a lot of people go just to see those songs performed. I get that, and it’s fair. Bands have to play what the fans want.

But are the people who go just to see the singles really, truly fans?

What about the people who are actual fans, who own every album, know every song, not just the singles?

Playing singles caters to the people who likely will only go see a band once, while the bigger fans will likely see them at any opportunity they can. But there’s no point to see them again, unless you don’t mind seeing the same set list.

It’s weird to me that artists cater more to people who like them less, but then again, there might be more of them then repeat viewers. But I doubt it, because every concert I’ve ever been to, 90% of the people somehow know every single lyric of every single song that every single band plays.

If you go to see your favorite artist, chances are they are going to play each and every single they’ve ever had. This isn’t so bad for newer artists with a couple of albums. But for the ones with lengthy careers with over 10 albums, and likely two singles from each, that’s 90% of their set list for each tour, and each concert. The other 10% is likely songs from their newest album.

It’s fine to see them once, but what’s the point ever again? Usually, the singles aren’t even their best songs, though this will be different for literally everyone, what with each person having their own tastes and all, but it’s a real shame to know you will never even see them perform anything but their singles.

There are a few bands I would love to go see a second time, but not to see a near-identical set list, despite having hundreds of songs to choose from.

And then there’s those wily artists who have so many songs that are typically long that instead of playing an entire song, play one verse and the chorus, then jump into another song.

This drives me insane! I personally would rather hear 12 full songs instead of 25 fractions of songs.

One of the only bands I’ve seen that actually play varied sets is Alkaline Trio. As a result, I am about to see them for the fifth or sixth time.

alkaline trio live blue lights

These guys have a ton of songs from nearly a dozen albums, and each set is unexpected, for they seem to choose from all of them. Of all the times I’ve seen them, they only played one song at each concert, it was their closing song, so I guess they always close with that, and they played another one of their most popular songs all but one of the concerts I’ve seen them in. I may have seen a couple more played twice over the years, but for the most part, they’ve played different songs, which is why I keep coming back for more. Heck, they even did a tour of songs they hadn’t played in a while a few years back.

Most other bands, after I realize they’ve played nothing but singles is one and done. I won’t go see them again.

So what do you think? Do you like it when artists play singles and nothing but? Or do you prefer a varied set to encourage seeing them again?

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