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.

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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?

Artists Whose Talents Greatly Increased Between Albums, Part 4

Phew, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. You can check out part 1, 2 and 3 listed here if you’re curious. Now let’s see what other great talents need to be recognized.

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“Common Courtesy” (2013) by A Day To Remember

Genre: Metal, Hardcore, Pop Punk, Screamo, Progressive

A Day To Remember have always been okay to me, with the exception of one of their albums. They had a rocky start for sure, struggling to find a consistent, flowing sound. But their incredibly catchy clean vocals always made them fun and easy to listen to. It wasn’t until this album came out that they really showed what they could do. This is the album that everyone was waiting for, using the perfect blend of hardcore and pop punk that they have been searching for for years. Every song is creative, unique, emotional and just awesome. The music is the best they’ve ever done and there isn’t one dull moment on the album. After fans had to be kept waiting for years due to a legal battle with Victory Records, we weren’t left disappointed. For an album debuting their own, brand new record label, it couldn’t have been more perfect.

 

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“Still Searching” (2007) by Senses Fail

Genre: Post-Hardcore, Punk/Pop

I can still remember the first time I listened to this album, and I still get amazed every time I hear a song off or it 10 years later. Their debut album was a decent, enjoyable album, nothing too special, but good. And I loved it anyway. Then Senses Fail took us by surprise with Still Searching. It was like listening to a completely new and redefined band, yet still having their original central sound mixed in there. Every song is nothing short of amazing. The worst song to me is “Can’t Be Saved” and that is like one of their biggest singles. So take that into consideration to figure out how good the rest of the songs are. The album isn’t over done. It’s straight and simple, with catchy music with nice hardcore and metal riffs blended in…in short, it’s post-hardcore at it’s finest. They aren’t the most talented band out there, but they do the best they could, and the effect was something most bands can ever only hope to achieve.

And while we are talking about Senses Fail, let’s take it further. When Still Searching came out, I was actually kind of sad. I knew nothing could top it. They would only decline from there. The album was just too perfect. But no, Senses Fail proved me wrong.

 Image result for senses fail life is not a waiting room“Life Is Not A Waiting Room” (2008) by Senses Fail

Genre: Post-Hardcore, Punk/Pop

Not even two years after one masterpiece, they release another. I loved this album before I even opened up the case. I mean, look at that awesome cover. I was excited right from there. I went into this album wondering how far it would fall short from it’s predecessor, but was pleased to find out that it took it one step beyond. It was basically the same exact style of song writing and performance, just only done better. Their talents all improved and this album shows it. The lyrics and vocals are so emotional and personal, and fit and blend so well with the music. I could listen to this album every day. Life Is Not A Waiting Room and Still Searching are easily in my top 5 favorite albums. Sadly, the decline I so feared happened after this album. They are now so bad I won’t ever likely buy another album from them again.

Image result for as i lay dying an ocean between us“An Ocean Between Us” (2007) by As I Lay Dying

Genre: Metalcore

As I Lay Dying’s first album was decent for a debut. Their second was worse, using so much uninspired, typical stock metal for music. It wasn’t until their third that they showed the world what they could do.

An Ocean Between Us can only be described as perfect. It starts off with a nice clean instrumental that builds into harmonizing, distorted guitars. This 1 minute long instrumental sets the tone for the whole album. It just builds up and gets better and better. Right after the intro song, it immediately jumps into track 2, and right away you notice an energy and ability the band has never come close to showing before. The guitars, the drums, heck, even the screams are all vastly improved. Each song is intense, never slowing down, just melting your face with some of the best metal riffs and break downs you will ever hear.

The band has come together to perfect a sound we could only dream of. They even threw in a lot more clean vocals that fit in perfect to the high energy mash of metal. It’s just a perfect, wonderful, wonderful album. And they didn’t slow down after this, either. They released two more albums with just as much high, non stop energy and amazing musicianship. All three albums are something that every metal fan needs to here.

 Image result“Recovery” (2010) by Eminem

Genre: Rap/Hip Hop

I am not exactly a fan of rap, but Eminem has always blown me away. His unique take on the genre has enticed me to follow him ever since he exploded onto the scene in the late 90’s. His first three major release albums are nothing short of incredible. He is a truly gifted writer and presents his lyrics in humorous, clever, unmatched ways. Whether he is yelling like a maniac or doing something more personal and serious, you can’t help but be drawn in by it. His fourth and fifth albums were not as good, but still had some memorable songs.

But I didn’t truly start to see just how gifted he is until Recovery. This album was a few steps up from anything he’s ever done before. Everything about it seemed more mature. He wasn’t talking about drugs and killing people, Kim and his mom all the time anymore. It was more down to earth and personal. He’s still got some goofy songs, but they are all so good. He also brings in a lot of guest vocalists to enhance his choruses. Even his beats were infinitely better, mostly consisting of real instruments and actual song structure instead of just the typical 2 measures of a computer created beat repeated over and over for 5 minutes. The way he uses this music and reacts and emotes his voice to match it makes everything that much more interesting. Sometimes I almost forget I am listening to a rap album, instead hearing a band with a fast talking vocalist, which is probably why someone like me who is not a particular fan of rap loves this so much.

This album set the tone for the new Eminem, and he has done nothing but get better and better ever since.