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Setlist for an early 90's cover band.

louderock

Member
Messages
4,928
Putting a setlist together with a few friends that we'll go out and play for fun. We're going to call the band FLANNEL and it will be all early 90's stuff. This is classic rock at this point holy crap we're getting old. Here's the set we have so far:

Vasoline - STP
Rooster - Alice in Chains
Evenflow - Pearl Jam
Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana
Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
Creep - Radiohead
Breed - Nirvana

Getting started with this and will do a few opening sets for other bands. These are the next tunes we plan on adding:

Possum Kingdom - Toadies
Nearly Lost You - Screaming Trees
Today or Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins
Bound For The Floor - Local H (actually 1996)
Shove or Runaway Train - Soul Asylum
Plowed - Sponge
Say It Ain't So - Weezer
Tomorrow - Silverchair

Plus there are so many Pearl Jam/ Nirvana/ STP/ Soundgarden songs we can add. Also, I have a girl singer that may come out and do "Mother" by Tracy Bonham.

Is there anything missing from the list?

Here's a taste of what we're doing. I downloaded the drums and bass for the entire first setlist from Youtube and imported them into Protools. Instant rhythm section for us to rehearse to and lots of fun. Full band rehearsal in another week.

 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,761
Is there a market for what you're doing? If not, you will be doing it for fun.

Basically, it sounds like you're doing a "genre tribute", which is essentially what got called "Grunge". You've got all the heavy hitters - PJ, STP, SG, AiC, Nirvana, etc. If you're going the tribute route, I'd pick 3 or even 4 songs from those acts - they all have enough "hits" to fill a night - and then fill in with more of the "one hit wonders" of that era (or bands that are closely related but not quite in the mainstream of the movement).

Word of caution: Chris Cornell is one of the highest singing male singers ever, and finding a singer that can cover SG is like trying to find someone who can cover AC/DC.

Back to my original statement - the reason I say that is many venues are populated by college-age and pre-married patrons, and older people who have nothing better to do than be at a bar. Generally, these are the extremes of the music-listening populace and as a result, you either need to be playing classic rock (still) or much more recent music (younger people tend to know little music older than about 10 years old - the things they listened to in high school, though I will say I'm surprised at the number of young people familiar with the classic rock era, either through listening with their parents or just getting to the roots of genres they like now). Playing this era of music probably needs about another 10 years before it's nostalgic enough to reach the audiences who now have children old enough to be left home alone or are empty nesters going out to venues again (to relive their glory days?). We have some 80s era tribute bands playing all the new wave one hit wonder type stuff and they've become very successful becuase the audiences (would be mostly in their 40s) are starting to get out more. The "thirtysomethings" are still in the period where they're busy raising kids, paying mortgages, climbing the corporate ladder - in other words, they have responsibilities that the 20 year olds haven't got yet, and that the 50 year olds have gotten rid of.

Depending on where you live and the club culture or what kind of venues you have available, you might do well with this kind of "niche" band, but I'd be careful about it. IOW, if you play music you love, that's great, but if the venues aren't interested in it, don't expect to get gigs. IOW, you might consider "branching out" and playing a wider variety of material. For example, though the Foo Fighters are still playing now, one could say they certainly originated from that genre and it's not that far off base to consider them a "continuation" of the stream, thus you've got newer to current material that will appeal to patrons who might have no clue who Mother Love Bone is while still having things that "fit" what you're doing.

There are also a lot of more "poppy" acts (I always considered Grunge to be a "heavier" style of music, and especially AiC is practically metal and Soundgarden not too far away from Prog) you might consider, again, to get hot chicks dancing, Harvey Danger (flagpole sitter), Jimmy Eat World, Cracker (Low), Presidents of the United States of America, etc.

I was listening to PJ's Ten a week or so ago and I realized (though I really already knew this) that they were really just a "rock" band. A blues-based rock band to a large degree, not unlike The Black Crowes to a degree. After listening to most of the album, the only thing "grunge" about it is nothing. It was the image of the band, but taken in isolation, the music is simply "rock". Listening back to STP, they're really pretty mainstream poppy. AiC defined an entirely new vocal style which gave them a unique sound that pretty much EVERYONE has copied but their music is really not that different from the other hair bands that they replaced - again, it was the "anti-hair band" image that these bands had, but AiC is still essentially "metal". Nirvana was of course the epitome of the grunge scene and they're about the only ones whose music most encapsulates the movement - which is basically punk when you get down to it, but with more outside influences.
 

louderock

Member
Messages
4,928
Yeah this is basically for fun but there are many good opportunities for this sort of thing around LA and I don't think anyone is doing the early 90's stuff. We're not trying to play every weekend and do 4 sets. The Soundgarden stuff can be tough to sing but there are a few that aren't too tough….Fell On Black Days, Black Hole Sun, Burden In My Hand
 

emdub123

Member
Messages
1,279
You might want to add "Last Kiss" by Pearl Jam (actually a cover, not sure who did it originally). One of my original bands did it and I was always shocked how many people know (and sing along to) that song. It's one of those where, if you play it at the end of the night, some drunk person will always want to come up on stage and sing along.
 

emdub123

Member
Messages
1,279
I forgot to add that, if you're open to non-grunge, you can't go wrong with Sublime and 311. Don't forget "Killing in the name of" by RATM, another crowd sing-a-long song ;)
 

stratotastic

Senior Member
Messages
7,240
...there are many good opportunities for this sort of thing around LA and I don't think anyone is doing the early 90's stuff...
First of all, what kinds of venues are you hoping to play this stuff in? I can only see this possibly going over if you create your own gigs, like rent out a hall or play in somebody's barn, unless maybe you're really good and can attract an agent to book you at casinos or festivals as a specialty/tribute act.

But if you're looking to play the usual places (bars, clubs, etc) then I apologize but this information may help you. There's a reason nobody is playing this stuff. It's dark, slogging, heroin music. Clubs want happy good-time music, because your role (like any band who plays at the local level) is to sell drinks, and the most drinks are sold where the women go because not only are they looking to have a good time, but the guys follow. If some group of female drinking crowd shows up to a club and they hear a band playing The Rooster and Heart Shaped Box, they're turning around and going back out the door to find the band (or DJ) playing Brick House and Uptown Funk so they can dance. The wheelhouse demo with your music is mid-late-30s males. Perhaps you can find some places to let you play for free, but that might even be difficult because that music may even drive people away.

I speak from experience--your song list looks is exactly my old band's list before we realized the error of our ways and started playing more popular/danceable songs. Plush, I Alone, Machinehead, Possum Kingdom, Down (311), Say It Ain't So, Suck My Kiss, etc--been there, done that. Loved the music and we played the crap out it, but no one cared. But if you're the band who can pull it off, I'll give you all the credit in the world.

Also note, this is not new information. Go to any coverband or set list thread in TGP and you'll see.
 

emdub123

Member
Messages
1,279
First of all, what kinds of venues are you hoping to play this stuff in? I can only see this possibly going over if you create your own gigs, like rent out a hall or play in somebody's barn, unless maybe you're really good and can attract an agent to book you at casinos or festivals as a specialty/tribute act.

But if you're looking to play the usual places (bars, clubs, etc) then I apologize but this information may help you. There's a reason nobody is playing this stuff. It's dark, slogging, heroin music. Clubs want happy good-time music, because your role (like any band who plays at the local level) is to sell drinks, and the most drinks are sold where the women go because not only are they looking to have a good time, but the guys follow. If some group of female drinking crowd shows up to a club and they hear a band playing The Rooster and Heart Shaped Box, they're turning around and going back out the door to find the band (or DJ) playing Brick House and Uptown Funk so they can dance. The wheelhouse demo with your music is mid-late-30s males. Perhaps you can find some places to let you play for free, but that might even be difficult because that music may even drive people away.

I speak from experience--your song list looks is exactly my old band's list before we realized the error of our ways and started playing more popular/danceable songs. Plush, I Alone, Machinehead, Possum Kingdom, Down (311), Say It Ain't So, Suck My Kiss, etc--been there, done that. Loved the music and we played the crap out it, but no one cared. But if you're the band who can pull it off, I'll give you all the credit in the world.

Also note, this is not new information. Go to any coverband or set list thread in TGP and you'll see.
Wow, hadn't considered that but it makes sense. My experience with this stuff is when you play one 90s song in a set of originals which is apparently not the same thing.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,316
Low - Cracker

If you are getting a girl, you can't miss with Alanis. There's also the whole Lilith Fair stuff, but that may not fit as well.
 

louderock

Member
Messages
4,928
Oh yeah that Cracker song would be good. Some of you are missing the point. We're not doing this to go play the typical bar gig for suburban mom's that want something they can dance to. I have zero interest in playing stuff that I don't enjoy just to please a crowd . There's a pretty good tribute scene out here and we may be able to fit into that. You can do House of Blues gigs out here with a tribute not to mention several other good venues/ bars. The drummer for the band plays in a Sabbath tribute and I saw them play to a packed house Friday in Ventura at $5 per person. Packed w/ dudes and chicks young to old. Gonna give it a shot and do it for fun. If nobody shows up, that's totally fine because we'll be enjoying ourselves.
 
Messages
15,346
Oh look, yet another 90s band with flannel in the band name ;)

Also, black hole sun and whatever came from that Throwing Copper CD should be in there!
 

muzishun

Member
Messages
6,477
I agree with stratotastic.

Though you may have a better chance of getting people dancing and drinking with some different choices from the same bands.

Breed is good. Heart shaped not.

I love this stuff. I am also in a band covering these artists.

And it's tough, but you have to think of the audience.

Songs like possum just have too many changes.

Vasoline would be impossible to dance to.

But there are some good choices, they might not be your favs however.
 

TheGuildedAge

Senior Member
Messages
13,063
Far Behind by Candlebox. Caught Stealin or Jane Says by Janes Addiction. Clumsy or Superman's Dead by Our Lady Peace. I wonder if early Collective Soul would fit, like Shine. Buddy Holly by Weezer.

Am I the only who doesn't get the whole "dancing" thing.

Around here, the dance clubs have DJs, not bands. Old people in their 60s dance to the classic rock/country stuff at the bazaars, but most of the most popular cover bands don't play dance stuff as much as they just play popular Top 40 or 80s music.

I despise cover bands, but if I walked in on you guys playing, I would probably stay all night and help you carry your **** to the car when you're done. Maybe that's a red flag since I don't fit your demographic. But your setlist would definitely interest me.

But as I said, none of the places I play or go to have anyone who dances. None of my friends dance either.
 
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louderock

Member
Messages
4,928
Some Rage or Jane's could be good. It's not about people dancing or any of that typical bar band stuff. We've talked to several musician friends and non-musician friends who are really into the idea of this and want to check it out. In the early 90's people actually went out to hear stuff like this and weren't worried about what they could dance to. I think it would be fun for them (and us since we are right at the same age range) to be able to hear it again.
 

muzishun

Member
Messages
6,477
Some Rage or Jane's could be good. It's not about people dancing or any of that typical bar band stuff. We've talked to several musician friends and non-musician friends who are really into the idea of this and want to check it out. In the early 90's people actually went out to hear stuff like this and weren't worried about what they could dance to. I think it would be fun for them (and us since we are right at the same age range) to be able to hear it again.
If you find a venue that likes this, and apparently has mostly musicians who don't dance in the crowd, awesome!

Update us.
 

Astronaut FX

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,846
One thing to think about with respect to that era/genre. Part of what was so appealing about that era, was an overall openness to original music. Specifically original music that focused more on artistic expression and less on marketability. I can't think of any other period in my life when there were more venues for original bands than the early to mid-90s. Probably not so much now. When the 90s "grunge/alt rock" scene was at its pinnacle, there weren't many bands covering that music. The few that were, quickly found that people who were into that style, weren't into covers, and those who were into covers, weren't into that style.

The reason I bring it up, is that I'm not sure just how much of a market there would be for it even now. Most people who were into that scene, were not into cover bands period, so I'm not sure how many of them would go out of their way to see a 90s themed cover band now. Good luck with it if you go that route.
 

chrisjw5

Senior Member
Messages
10,042
I personally love the concept, but I think you picked too many sludgy mid-tempo songs, when there might be better choices to get the crowd moving.

Rooster - Alice in Chains .... I'd go with We Die Young, Bleed the Freak or Them Bones
Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana .... Drain You, Dive, Stay Away, or even SLTS
Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden ...please no. I don't know anyone who a) can pull this off and b) isn't burned out on it. Spoonman has great groove


Shove or Runaway Train - Soul Asylum ... Shove
Plowed - Sponge ... Molly goes over well too
Say It Ain't So - Weezer ...Buddy Holly or some Green Album, Dope Nose maybe
Tomorrow - Silverchair ...gotta have SOME sludge
Local H (actually 1996) ...nice, go for some more one hit wonders. Marcy Playground, Ataris

Matthew Sweet Sick of Myself
a couple of +Live+ songs
Lemonheads Mrs. Robinson
Far Behind was suggested
And ska-rock was there... Sublime and 311
Also, the warhorse always works - James' Laid.

I also think you might be ahead of the curve. If you were 16 in 1993, you were born in 1977, so you're in your late 30's now. Kids are older, you and the wife can reconnect with friends, go out for some food and catch a set of the "old stuff". I'd be in.

Good luck.
 




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