4/21 – Making set lists for the Colorado run
It’s a new week and we flip our song list today. For this tour we’re working with an active repertoire of 60 songs including covers (in a two set show, we’ll generally play 12 – 14 songs). We’ll try to play everything on the list during the course of the run, though we probably won’t end up playing every cover we know.
We usually end up picking songs for each show on a night by night basis, but today we went through and divided up the songs for the next four nights in Colorado. Rob and I put a pretty good deal of thought into each set list. We take a lot into consideration. Aside from the obvious factors of not repeating songs from night to night, we try not to repeat songs from the last time we were in the town, so the local audience will see a different side of what we do from the last time we came though.
For this run, we’re working with a song list that Rob organized by album. We always tend to play our more recent music more often, so we’re making an effort to keep songs from the first two albums in each show along with our later stuff. We also have to make sure that each show has its share of fan-favorites, dance party tunes, moments for exploratory improvisation, we have to make sure there aren’t too many slow moments, or too many instrumentals in each show… It’s quite a process. And even after we’ve picked which show each song will be in, we often end up swapping a few in and out once we start putting them in order – which is a whole other task.
You want each set to have a good arc to it. Certain songs have to segue into something. Segues need to make sense harmonically. All in all, it takes us about 20 – 30 minutes to make a set list. Today we took about an hour to pick songs for all four shows, but we haven’t put them all in order yet. We’ll probably save that for the day of the show.
Be sure to check back on Friday at 1PM for the third and final installment of Zac Lasher’s Tour Diary. U-Melt returns to the Summer Camp Festival this weekend for two sets and returns to the Mountain Jam festival the next weekend. On June 4, the quartet comes home to Long Island for a post-Phish show at what’s become a home venue of sorts – Mulcahy’s in Wantagh. The Mulcahy’s show starts at 11:45PM and tickets are currently available here.
- Previously on HT: Zac Lasher’s Tour Diary – Pt. 1