For any music fan, going to see the acts that you love perform live is always a thrill. You hope that the artist plays long sets with all your favorite songs, and if you are like me, you want to hear versions that are different from what is on the recorded album. This is true musicianship (is that a word?), being able to take a song through twists and turns so that the original is kept intact but given a new totally new coolness, almost a rebirth, to a version that captures the mood of the moment, and gives you something really unique to remember from that concert event. Bands like The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Nirvana, Black Crows and The Rolling Stones are legendary for re-creating their songs in live performances, and is one of the things that have made them last the test of time.
Here are some images of actual set lists from cool bands who no doubt brought new renditions to their audiences; I am posting this because I just think it’s cool to see the real set list – hoping you do too. (All links to review sources provided)
1. The Beatles: Azena Ballroom, Sheffield (Feb. 1963)
The original set list was written on the back of a Beatles promo post card from Parlophone Records, and the scan is off a photo copy of that card.
Peter Stringfellow, founder and owner of The Mojo Club, booked the Beatles – a band creating a stir on the music scene in Liverpool – originally to play his first music club and forerunner to The Mojo, The Black Cat Club (St. Aiden’s Church Hall). In between Stringfellow booking the band and the night of the concert, The Beatles had their first number one with ‘Please Please Me’, and screaming, shouting, hair-pulling Beatlemania swept the country. The police suggested Stringfellow move the gig to accommodate the demand for tickets, so he booked the Azena Ballroom on the outskirts of Sheffield. Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, also upped the price from the first agreed price of £65 to £90, as, he said, they had a record in the charts now. (Stringfellow later managed to haggle him down to £85).
On February the 11th, the day before the Azena Ballroom gig, The Beatles recorded the remaining 10 tracks that would make up their debut album – all in one day. On the 12th they were in Sheffield for the gig. Stringfellow had sold 2000 tickets for the show – the Azena’s capacity was 500, and a further estimated 1000 people turned up on the night to try their luck. It was bedlam….more (source)
2. The Rolling Stones: Beacon Hill Theatre (Oct. 2006)
The show was actually a benefit for the Clinton Foundation and filmed by the one and only Martin Scorsese, who will be making a movie using the footage from Sunday and Tuesday’s shows. I don’t know if I’ll ever see the Stones again, be in the same room as an American President or have a non-speaking role in a Martin Scorsese movie, but I had it all Sunday night. And it didn’t suck. Read the full review…it is really well done! *source*
3. KISS: Wellington, NZ (Mar. 2008)
These guys while great theatrically, were fairly underwhelming music wise – every song sounded the same. At times the crowd was hardly moving but they woke up not surprisingly for the last two songs, the band’s chart hits. While I’m no huge fan I’m pretty surprised how bland they are – especially with all the hype about how awesome their reunions tours of recent times have been. Alice Cooper had it all over these guys!
This is not the most flattering of reviews (source here)…got comments ? Post away…being a huge Alice Cooper fan myself, I get what the source poster is saying
4. David Gilmour: Frankfurt, Germany (Mar. 2006)
All in all a not-to-be-missed concert. Having said this, it became clear, that the audience (including me) loved the second part and the encore of the show. A good mix between older and newer songs and some songs aside the normal Pink Floyd live set (“Wot’s … Uh The Deal”, “Wearing The Inside Out” and of course “Fat Old Sun” – no “Dominoes”). Gilmour was in a good mood and he seemed to feel comfortable with this “smaller” gig. And in his background was a perfect band, including Rick Wright on keyboards and Phil Manzanera on guitar. Rick proved once again, that he had an enormous influence on the Pink Floyd sound in the 60s and 70s. Full versions of Echoes and Comfortably Numb – does it get any better?*source*
5. Rogers Waters: Berlin, Germany (June 2006)
Overall, great show, but there were some mistakes. One offputting mistake was that Roger didn’t follow the rhythm of the cash machines et al in Money thus making the combination of two rhythms quite strange. Even 2 guitar players (a questionable Dave Kilminster and a great Snowy White) couldn’t bring back the magic of one David Gilmour. The second set didn’t achieve to move me too much, even though I love the album I think they should have made some changes to it. It was too accurate and clinical. The pity is that I was expecting an extended version of Dark Side, and I found an accurate one. *source* Ed note: hey, someone else who likes a little change up for the live versions…
6. Chris Cornell: Atlanta, GA (Apr. 1, 2009)
Chris Cornell, was at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA on 04.01.2009. This is a particularly small venue for someone of Cornell’s stature, holding 1,100 people at maximum capacity. On this night it was maximum capacity. To think of someone who just released a Timbaland produced album, on the Interscope label whose artists include 2Pac, 50 Cent, U2 and The Police, such a small and intimate venue was at least to me very surprising. The last time I saw Chris Cornell was with Audioslave and 19,000 other people at a huge amphitheater, so be so close that as Ginger put it, “He sweated on me,” is no joke. We got that close. *source*
7. Bruce Springsteen & E-Street Band: Boston, MA (Apr. 2009)
This is the handwritten draft set list for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band. Interesting that he replaced “Jungleland” with another audience request (“Radio Nowhere”). Also notable was the prevalence of slow songs. I could have done without “Outlaw Pete,” “The Ghost of Tom Joad” (I’ll never understand Bruce’s belief that this makes a good concert staple), and a couple other of the slow songs, but he still rocked the rockin’ songs. Highlights: reworked “Johnny 99″ with tempo changes and solos from full band, audience request for “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide,” which “the band doesn’t know how to play.” Bruce accompanied himself on guitar for the first verse, and then the rest of the band joined in, improvising and jamming with near perfection. *source*
8. Greenday: San Francisco, CA (Sept 2009)
A couple of songs into the second half, Billie ripped up the second half set list as if to say he was liberated of it. That is so Greenday – they want to be the modern day SexPistols, hehe *source*
9. The Eagles: Sunrise, Florida (Jan. 2009)
The core four of Walsh, Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit looked like kinder-gentler Reservoir Dogs in their dark suits and ties. The jackets came off part way through the second set. Frey, as always, served as master of ceremonies bearing quips. “Check your ticket stubs. Make sure you’re in the right place,” he said after two songs. “This is the Eagles assisted-living tour, and we are the Eagles, the band that would not die.” Introducing Lyin’ Eyes, Frey dedicated it to “my first wife: Plaintiff.” Before Take It To the Limit, he said, “Our wives call this the credit-card song.” During band introductions he called Detroit, his hometown, the city “where ‘mother’ is half a word.” *source* Yes, this band was actually considered rock in the 70s!
10. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers: Liverpool, UK (July 2003)
It was an historic event at Liverpool Docks with Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and other special guests. The audience stood and cheered as the band came on stage. John and The Bluesbreakers made the excitement build as they treated us all to “Southside Story”, “Kids Got The Blues” and the moody and dynamic “Dirty Water”. Then it was time to start turning up the heat, as John brought out Mick Taylor for four numbers, showing how Mick has not lost that delicate and magic touch he has with the fingerboard. By this time, we were all feverish with excitement and that would have been enough for most shows. However, this trip was only halfway through. To everyone’s surprise, the whole band left the stage and the lights came down a bit. John said he’d like to bring someone very special to the stage, with whom he had first played 38 years ago! And there was Eric Clapton, humble yet charismatic as ever. Eric Clapton was hanging out amongst all and the vibe was relaxed and exciting, as he so graciously agreed to pose and be photographed with all of us! We all got a chance to mingle and it was just a fun party that we all wished could go on and on.*source*