I found this really cool article where Britt and Jim talk about how they make a different live set list each night:
How does Spoon create a set list?(4 posts)
Posted 8 years ago #
That was really interesting. I laughed at Britt's comment on playing the same setlist multiple times.
I never suspected they thought hard about their setlists; they seemed sort of thrown together to me (an impression I get even more from Modest Mouse). Good to see there is some reason behind the rhyme.
Still, starting a set with Chicago At Night seems a little... unenergetic, I guess. I always figured the first song was meant to pump the audience up.
I always thought there was a reason for the madness. I heard them say before about never playing the same set twice. That takes a lot of effort to change it up. They could just learn some songs they feel comfortable with and play them each night.
That's pretty much what they do anyway - they just make sure to have a wide variety of prepared options so that they can afford to switch up the set list every night. I mean this more in the sense that there are certain songs they don't play - those are ones they didn't prepare, either cuz they figured they weren't popular/good/recent enough or cuz they would be hard to present live.
I think you can argue that it takes more effort to put together a single set and work on it over time. Coldplay is a great example of that. They played virtually the same set every night of their last tour, but the idea behind that was to make changes to it until it flowed as smoothly as possible - basically, use each show as a experiment to make the rest of the shows better. Then again, they also had three stages and had to coordinate when they were going to move between them and what instruments/set up they would need in each place anyway. When I saw them, there was definitely a sense of progression or overall construction to what they were doing.
So it's a trade-off: either figure out how to effectively play a different set each night, or put together one set and make sure it kicks ass.
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