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Old 04-07-2019, 11:31
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darkanddivine darkanddivine is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wolfland
Posts: 6,966
Originally Posted by sculptureofabloke View Post
Just frustrates me that they've got so much material to choose from, we know what they're capable of but it feels to me like they're treading water at the moment. Or maybe it's me who's treading water, whatever. Course now they're on 13 albums and generally looking at 22-24 song setlists, you're not gonna manage two songs per album even if you were looking for a career spanning set.
I think this is a debate that cuts both ways.

I totally admire the commitment of fans who do multiple dates for any band. I could never do that, nor would I have the cash to. If I look into my big ol' box of tickets, the pattern I see is that I do 1 date per tour if it becomes obvious that a band only makes minor tweaks to a set. And if a band tends to base consecutive tours on a high percentage of staples (the manics is about 40%) then I'll often just move on to something else. There's nothing wrong with staple tracks, but life's too short to see the same thing 20 odd times with diminishing returns as the band gets that bit older. So on that basis, I would probably only go to final/special MSP shows now.

Having said all of that, I can see the case for the defense on this. The first thing to say, as you have here, is that with 22 songs to select and a range of fans from the casual to the hardcore, it's always going to be tough to keep everyone happy. And it actually turns out the Manics take a pretty good stab at it. If you compare the last 2 proper album tours (ignoring the THB, EMG, & TIMT tours), 60% of the songs were different, which means that (objectively speaking) they kinda do rotate plenty of material. And I can think of plenty of bands who have barely touched their setlist in decade, save for adding the odd new single here and there. So in defense of the band, the impression of stale setlists might more of a product of over familiarity than anything else. And on top of that (and this isn't aimed at you specifically) I really don't get these spiteful critiques of setlists from afar. Slagging off setlists from gigs you weren't at is a bit like reading a book cover 12 times, not buying the book, and then writing a 1 star review about how terrible it is (even though haven't actually read it.) A gig is more than the sum of its parts, and the setlist is just one of those parts.

In my humble opinion, (which doesn't matter since I'm not a paying customer these days) you've always had that 60/40 split in an MSP set. On that basis, it's up to individual fans to decide whether they dig that enough to spend money on multiple gigs, one gig, or none at all. But I do agree that more lesser spotted songs would keep more hardcore fans coming back for more (and doing that more often.) The problem is, if it's the casuals who bring in the cash, then that ratio is unlikely to change. I think the only undroppables should be Tolerate, Design and Motorcycle. That would make up about 15% of a typical length Manics setlist, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to rotate the remaining 85% of songs which gives the band plenty of scope to keep everyone pretty much everyone happy.
I have known many sorrows, most of which never happened. Mark Twain

Last edited by darkanddivine; 04-07-2019 at 22:53.
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