Coverband: adding new songs (opinions)

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Gasp100, May 4, 2015.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Dovetailing off of my other thread about possibly "closing shop" I've decided to give my current core of players a list of new tunes and some rehearsal date options to see what comes to fruition. I figure if they bail, have issues, etc... I will have my answers. If they don't respond then I would expect them to show up and be prepared.
    Here is what I've added, what do you think? Many of these are cover list standards and meant to fill in some "essential song" gaps that I think we suffer from:

    STYLE - TAYLOR SWIFT
    JESSIE'S GIRL - RICK SPRINGFIELD
    HURT SO GOOD - JOHN COUGAR
    GONE GONE GONE - PHILLIP PHILLIPS
    GLAD YOU CAME - THE WANTED
    PARIS (OH LA LA) - GRACE POTTER
    THE HARDER THEY COME - JIMMY CLIFF (Me or Kev sing?)
    99 RED BALOONS - ROCK VERSION
    CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA - OASIS
    DEAD OR ALIVE - BON JOVI
    I WILL WAIT - MUMFORD & SON

    I value the collective TGP opinion (especially other established cover band guys) and will always be entertained by coverband hater comments as well

    :dude

    If you think of any better songs/replacements/additions that are killing it for you onstage you are welcomed to add to the thread!
     
  2. Baminated

    Baminated Member

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    What's your objective as far as what crowd ?
    Ages?
    Dance? Passive listening ?
     
  3. chillybilly

    chillybilly Member

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    Full disclosure - I/we have played some of these and still have some in the setlist.

    However, in my view the Mellencamp & Springfield numbers are sprinting headlong into Margaritaville/Mustang Sally/Wagon Wheel territory i.e. everyone's sick of playing them and hearing them, especially the bar staff and venue owner(s). There are tracks from those artists/era/albums that are just as good (e.g. Hand To Hold Onto from Mellencamp and I've Done Everything For You from Springfield), have a freshness and may be recognized by more audience members than you might estimate.

    You will find no bigger fan of Oasis than me, said the man with a Union Jack guitar resting on a stand in the corner, but frankly I have never understood the choice of Champagne Supernova as a cover tune. Even the Gallagher brothers themselves gave uninspiring performances of it throughout the band's live career - although they kept it on the setlist due to the popularity of the single. It works on record with all the subtle instrument tracks and the crescendo but the tempo is dirge-like and just seems to plod along in a live setting. Many bands - not necessarily yours - do not manage dynamics well and so a Supernova cover is often oversimplified into a Pixies-style soft-loud arrangement.

    The rest seem good choices (we do Paris as well) although Dead Or Alive seems to be more of a tongue-in-cheek number for bands (and audiences) these days as opposed to an earnest evocation of the Wild West.
     
  4. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Just make sure if you play Champagne Supernova you play the ENTIRE outro or it just doesn't count.
     
  5. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    At the risk of TGP mockery, here's the setlist we played at our casino gig on friday - everything seemed to go over quite well, apparently - we're back there again this friday:

    SET ONE
    HOLY DIVER
    SEX TYPE THING
    WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND
    CRAZY TRAIN
    BARK AT THE MOON
    PANAMA
    CUMBERSOME
    MR BROWNSTONE
    GIVE ME ALL YOUR LOVE
    JESSE’S GIRL
    DON’T TREAT ME BAD
    MY OWN WORST ENEMY
    KRYTONITE

    SET TWO
    NOTHING BUT A GOOD TIME
    TUSH
    FIREWOMAN
    PARALYZER
    BULLS ON PARADE
    LIT UP
    DON’T STOP BELIEVING
    STONE IN LOVE
    ENTER SANDMAN
    WHEN I’M GONE
    REBEL YELL–GEORGE 5STRING
    SAVE A HORSE
    DEAD OR ALIVE
    FIGURED YOU OUT

    SET THREE
    YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME
    GASOLINE
    NO ONE LIKE YOU
    SHE HATES ME
    JENNY JENNY
    MAN IN THE BOX
    STILLBORN
    FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT
    MOTHER
    CRAZY BITCH
    5 STRING-CRYING LIKE BITCH
    SLITHER
    SOUND OF MADNESS

    Audibles: Rock you like a hurricane, Whiskeyhangover, anyway you want it.

    - georgestrings
     
  6. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys, good constructive criticism.
    Georgestrings I like your list but it's way to hard rock / macho for what I need for my upcoming shows. That makes sense because you guys are kind of selling that appeal (which is great). We are female fronted dance/pop/classics oriented.

    What's your objective as far as what crowd ?
    Ages? -- starts out older / dining, maybe happy hour, then younger crowd
    Dance? Passive listening ? -- passive listening first set into dancing 2-3 set


    This next gig is a tough one, on the water 7-11PM. So it's an early start for us and they usually want pretty mellow (even semi-acoustic) first set to try and entertain the people eating there / drinking and work into the evening crowd. This place is south of us and nicknamed "Cecil-Tucky" which I guess refers to some hick type of vibe. Here is what I have for the first set:

    SET #1 (acoustic)
    MIDNIGHT RIDER (D)
    SOUL SISTER (E)
    TAKE IT EASY (G)
    GONE GONE GONE - PHILLIP PHILLIPS (good beat, too modern?)
    HO HEY (C) <meh>
    FREE FALLING (F &#8211; CAPO3)
    I WILL WAIT - MUMFORD & SONS (again, good beat too modern?)
    ROLLING IN THE DEEP (Bm) <old, singer does it well... meh>
    WAITING ON THE WORLD <IDK>
    THE HARDER THEY COME - JIMMY CLIFF <love this tune, trying to catch Reggae/water vibe... might be a huge mistake LOL>
    AMERICAN GIRL <barf... but a segway into second set to pick things up>

    Then as the sun sets it should get more rocking and hopefully (dancing):
    HARD TO HANDLE (B)
    AIN'T IT FUN (A)
    LOCKED OUT HEAVEN (C#m) <VERY TIRED!>
    HURT SO GOOD - JOHN MELLENCAMP <probably right, scrap>
    RUDE
    JUST LIKE HEAVEN (A)
    BOYS OF SUMMER (Em)
    COUNTRY GIRL SHAKE (E) <if I had a whole night of this we'd be golden>
    I WANT YOU TO WANT ME
    PARIS (OH LA LA) - GRACE POTTER <girl power?>
    STYLE - TAYLOR SWIFT <new - too new?>
    HUNGRY LIKE WOLF &#8211; K <tongue-in-cheek / fun>
    DRINK IN MY HAND - G <bro country, let's drink>
    HIT ME WITH BEST SHOT <snooze...>
    ALL ABOUT THE BASS <girls>
    JESSIE'S GIRL - RICK SPRINGFIELD <girls>
    YOU OUTTA KNOW (F#m) <we play this well, a little to heavy?>
    ANTS MARCHING <female singer... IDK>
    LIPS ARE MOVING <girls>
    GET LUCKY - G <VERY TIRED... but suprisingly worked last gig>
    SHAKE IT OFF <getting old, girls>
    BILLIE JEAN <classic, medley'd with next 2>
    SHAKE YOUR BODY <see above>
    UPTOWN FUNK <see above>
    DANCING QUEEN (A) <IDK>
    RAISE YOUR GLASS (G) <SUPER TIRED... stretching for dance>
    MY OWN WORST ENEMY <tongue-in-cheek, fun>
    99 RED BALOONS <IDK>
    WAGON WHEEL (A) <barf... might make this request only>
    CHICKEN FRIED (G) <bro country>
    SUGAR GOING DOWN <heavier song with mass appeal, I'll take it>
    YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT (G) <classic>
    FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES (A) <as "country" as we get>
    DON&#8217;T STOP BELIEVING (E) <barf... will close if people are rocking>

    *CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA - OASIS -- this is my answer to Wonderwall which is way overplayed. Maybe just stick with WW.
    *DEAD OR ALIVE - tongue-in-cheek for sure, was going to put this in acoustic-y set but probably better near end for sing-along
     
  7. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    No prob, bud - I wasn't sure what you were going for, and figured that even if you grabbed a couple off it, it might help...


    - georgestrings
     
  8. RockManDan

    RockManDan Member

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    after having a million band arguments and being proved right as many times as im proved wrong, im in the camp of just trying songs that have a reasonable shot at being good, but dont be afraid to be ruthless when you cut. Most pop-ish songs are pretty quick to learn, so if you find it just doesn't fly after a show or 2, just drop it, no hard feelings. Ive had songs i hated that reluctantly agreed to do, then found out i like the song when playing it to a crowd that loves it. and just as many that i was sure would kill, and it was like crickets.

    none of those are too hard, just give em a shot, sell them as best you can, and see what the reaction is...
     
  9. MONSTER ZERO

    MONSTER ZERO Member

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    Consider some "Pretty Reckless" stuff. I saw a cover band at a benefit gig we did, do Heaven Knows a couple weeks ago and the crowd flipped over it especially the ladies.
     
  10. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    wow! we'd be fired if we did that set at any casino. you'd scare 90% of the "blue hairs" out of their granny panties

    you may as well throw in "killin in the name of" with the complete outro for good measure

    lol

    did they have a cancellation? most casino gigs we have are on rotation and booked heavily at least a year in advance.
     
  11. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    Hahaha - I know, right??? This isn't like any casino gig I've ever played, either - they built an "entertainment complex" that's seperate but still attached to the main casino, and use it as an events hall... The people who were there for us friday night were there for the kind of rock show we put on - didn't see a blue hair in the crowd, but plenty of 20s-40s aged people on hand...

    We were already booked there on the 8th months ago, but they asked us to do another show on the 1st as well - here's a link to the place, if you're interested:

    http://www.turningstone.com/nightlife-lounges/the-gig


    - georgestrings
     
  12. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I was going to say it seems like George is doing era or theme type of tribute band which is probably more like a special event versus your straightahead casino gig. Although I've seen some pretty good variety bands at some casinos as well. I'd love to tap into that vein of gigs but they're all handled by booking agencies.
     
  13. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    No real theme or era to it, atleast intentionally, anyways... We started out by going with a mix of 80s rock and modern rock, and it just sorta gravitated to what it is currently by playing what our crowd likes, and consistantly reacts well to... The guitarists and I have been in 2 different rock bands together over a span of about 7 or 8 years, and have probably played close to 200 different songs together - so, we've got a decent catalog built up...

    Like most, this casino books thru an agency - but in this case, the agency contacts us with dates, and we try to accomodate them with availability whenever possible - they always treat us very well, and it's a great gig...


    - georgestrings
     
  14. stevel

    stevel Member

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    This.

    Keep a close watch, or get a band wife or whatever to keep a close watch on what doesn't work (video is best so you can do it objectively!).

    Ideally, you want a set full of songs that work all the time, for all crowds, but you know, if 85% of it kills you're doing OK.

    And yes, Wonderwall would be the better choice.

    There are a ton of songs out there - you seem to have some solid core classics, a nice mix of new stuff, but then you've got some real sleepy things in there (Hurt So Good).

    I don't see anything too early in your set - I can tell you things like Great Balls of Fire, or even The Twist will always get people up.

    You also don't have any of the great Motown tunes (Build Me Up Buttercup, etc.) that appeal to that age group.

    Ants Marching - no, actually that's good because right now there's this "forgotten" age group who are basically 30 somethings who were big into DMB and that scene who are now "left out" because, aside from the Jurassic rock bands, many bands are either playing uber contemporary stuff (which you've got covered) and the 80s stuff - so the 20 somethings and 40 somethings are covered, but without stuff like DMB, you're ignoring (as are most bands) your 30 somethings.

    I think it's a good list. There are a few I'd probably have on the short list to be axed, but if things are killing, leave them. Even Shake it Off - leave it until it's really dead, or replace it with the next big thing that comes along.

    What I'd do instead of cutting, is to try to add in more songs that are either targeted more to specific audiences, or add in "better" (more popular, more up-tempo, etc.) songs, or are "alternates" for what you have on the list (so keep Champagne Supernova, but pair it with Wonderwall and see which one does best, or alternate them, or play them both at the right venue, etc.)

    What we used to do is, that Pink song, then when something like Raise Your Glass came out, we'd pick that up, then we'd pick up Shake it Off, then we'd either pick up the next new thing or alternate those three, or go back to the Pink, because that had finally gotten old enough that people were no longer tired of it, but it "hey I had forgotten that" mode.

    I don't know all of the songs on your list, but I don't see any solid tummy-rubbers.

    You need your "Wonderful Tonight" - 1 or 2 ballads in each set.

    Sometimes, especially early in the night, when people are reluctant to get on the floor, you play that ballad that ALWAYS works, and that warms up the crowd for you. Then you start hitting them with the bona fide dance classics - gradually throw in your rockers, then party down with the wild stuff as it gets later.

    Don't ignore stuff like Louie Louie, or Wooly Bully - those will still kill in many places (when Hard to Handle won't....)
     
  15. snouter

    snouter Member

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    STYLE - TAYLOR SWIFT
    JESSIE'S GIRL - RICK SPRINGFIELD
    HURT SO GOOD - JOHN COUGAR
    GONE GONE GONE - PHILLIP PHILLIPS
    GLAD YOU CAME - THE WANTED
    PARIS (OH LA LA) - GRACE POTTER
    THE HARDER THEY COME - JIMMY CLIFF (Me or Kev sing?)
    99 RED BALOONS - ROCK VERSION
    I WILL WAIT - MUMFORD & SON

    Yikes. I actually heard a cover band do Jessie's Girl followed by Hurts So Good. And after another generic song, to top it off they did Kryptonite. Yes, listening to that tedious pop material was painfully boring. How those became standards is remarkable, MTV playing them constantly back in the day notwithstanding.

    These two are excellent though.

    CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA - OASIS
    DEAD OR ALIVE - BON JOVI

    As far as MTV promoted 80's pop, Melt With You, and Tubthumping are some obvious ones that always work great live. Maybe add some Stones, Neil Young, Deep Purple, Cream, Hendrix, Who, Zeppelin, Doors, Stevie Wonder, Beatles, Yardbirds, etc. Ya know, some cool songs that look cool when being played.
     
  16. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

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    I didn't read your other thread. However I can guess to what the issues are.
    All bands get tired after a while. They get bored.

    There are a few songs on the list worth doing. Dead Or Alive is always a crowd pleaser. Oasis does well too. There are a couple other Muford and Son songs that would be better. Like the Cave or Lion. I suppose a case could be made for Jesse's Girl.

    I would never do a Grace Potter song. Nobody knows who that is. It's ok to play a song that no one knows, but it better be fun for you all to play. For example, we play "Get Whats Coming" by Rival Sons. Nobody knows it but it freaking rocks your ass off. Perhaps You need some fun songs to play to energize your band. The crowd will pickup on the band energy as well. For song selection I would go with a few different concepts to add songs.

    1. Go Epic. My band needed something to work on that would be fun and really get the crowd into what we were doing. We are currently playing a version of Kashmir that is true to the original. We have done this in the past with a few others like Baba O'riely, Underpressure. You get the idea. You get a sense of accomplishement on an epic song that takes effort. They are often the best responded songs of the night. Play them first or last in a set.

    2. Instead of "Jesse's Girl" play "I've Done Everything For You". Instead of "My Sharona" play "Good Girls Don't'. Pick a typical hit that everyone plays and go for the second biggest hit from that band. The effect is people in the crowd will say, "I haven't heard that song in forever".

    3. 80's or 90's. Ten years ago the 80s was all the rage. It still is to a degree but remember all the people in their 30s that go to bars remember the 90's like the generation before remembered the 80s. You can play Duran Duran to a crowd of 30 somthings and it won't work. Know your age group. Try playing New Girl Now by Honeymoon Suite for 80s. Try Bittersweet by Big Head Todd for 90s.

    4. Play Two Songs a set for yourselves. To be in a cover band you are going to have to play the typical songs that people love. It's just part of the downside of Coverbandome. However you can get away with a couple songs per set that are fun for the band to play as long as you nail them. Remember if the band is into the song the crowd will pickup on it and enjoy it as well. You just can't do a whole night of it. Great songs are always great songs even if the crowd doesn't know it all that well. Just don't lose them by doing too many. Try playing the Baby's; Head first. Not everyone will know it but it rocks hard and is a blast to play.
     
  17. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    most important part for any cover group is "know your venue"

    obscure titles even by the same artists don't normally work out. just do the widely known song but have fun with it. change things some. add a breakdown. you are playing live! you are not a jukebox. entertaining means much more than that.

    look around you at those top tier bands. are they just like the cd? here they are not. they change things up, have multiple medleys of an artist, they have a visual show in their performance. dress the part of a star get treated as one. entertain the patrons with your music and your show.

    we don't do mustang sally, but if we did we could work an arrangement that flies with any age group. look at pro entertainers. its all about how you perform more than it is anything else you choose to play.

    recently someone asked us to play sweet home ala. this was at a predominately 90s environment for my modern rock alt band. i addressed the crowd, "hey we got a request for skynyrd" which was met with some hoorays and a lot of no f'n waaays. so i dialed in a stutter guitar sound and picked out the intro. band looked at me wtf!!! i said go with it like normal until the chorus, then hit it hard (da da da daaaaaaahhh, da da da dahhhhhhh instead of do do dit do). we went with it as a normal song lyric, but played it heavy as if green day met system of a down. then i made the crowd sing the chorus with us. we sang sweet... home... and they sang alabama. song was done 1/2 step down and dropped d b.

    made those jeers into cheers when it was over. helps if your band mates entrust that type of impromptu direction. i learned a great deal watching "phil x" who is a lot of fun, high energy and pulls enough stuff on the fly at any show.

    another cool example for a classic part we do in our third set is train train into sin city. at the end of train train riff and e chord outro, that starts sin city intro. no breaks just rolls right in. we have another that starts with "control (puddle of mudd) into sweet dreams (m manson) into 7 nation army (white stripes), into boom boom out go the lights, back into sweet dreams, and then into helter skelter. entire song is played in the same dropped tuning half step down. about 11 minutes long and the floor hops. control was a chick pleaser so that brings them out. mason gets the dudes hollering. 7 nation army is in between. boom boom pleases the above 40 goers, helter skelter just seals it. all done in a modern vibe (same drop db tuning as above).

    iow dont just be a cd player. we make killer money because we change things up and take risks. not all will work so prepare to change again to something else. prepare to adjust song choices in sets on the fly. if people seem to not look interested, change the next song to something more interesting. too many bands follow the setlist and we all know that never works for every ear at every venue. why so many stick to that is beyond me.

    if you stand like tree stumps, have no stage appeal and play cd perfect, not many will find your show memorable or interesting. been there done that with other bands. i am never a stage prop and can't play around guys that have no energy on stage. it's boring for me and boring for any audience.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  18. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    I hope this doesn't come off as elitism, but to be perfectly honest picking the right songs is only one (important )part of being a successful cover band.
    If the bands not firing, the response is average, bandmates disinterested, no energy,then its time to find a new band. 90% of the songs you do or listed should be floor fillers....Uptown Funk toast. ..WTF! !!!
    Find a front man who can sing (mostly in tune)AND connect with the audience and your mostly there. Add a drummer who understands groove and all the rest is gravy.
    I have a friend that reminds me heaps of the OP. He has this band that he has been trying to keep afloat for years. Even though they have their musically strongest line up atm, it never equates to consistent work or great audience response. Theirs just something about them that doesn't light up the room. So he constantly updates the set list trying to find songs that will get the reaction that other bands get.
    I have been telling him for years, find a good band that needs a guitarist /backing voc guy and dont stop till you find the right band.
    A great band can play Uptown Funk,Jessies Girl, Brown Eyed Girl, SHA,Mustang Sally AND some more interesting /unusual stuff and KILL IT 90% of the time.
    Good luck
     
  19. snouter

    snouter Member

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    No doubt drums, steady tempo, a cool groove is a bonus, and lead vocals in key are USUALLY very important for the cover band scene. But sometimes the audience does take note of good instrumental action even if they do not feel they can sing along to it.

    I gotta suggest Turn Up The Radio next band meeting.

    Here is possibly an interesting idea: New Girl Now segued into Man In The Box to unite the 80's and 90's.
     

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