Gigs - arranging/reducing the spaces between songs.


Silver Member
my band can't do setlists, we try to do them for festivals but a big part of what we do is reading the crowd and keeping everybody in. We do alot of medleys anywhere between 3 and 6 songs. Our fans come see us all the time and we can't play the same songs in the same order.

Most of our songs start with the guitar player and I have a dozen or so that I start and usually I always have 1 or 2 songs ready to go and if can't think of one he just gives me a look and I go into one of the songs I start. you have to be on your toes in my band though you can't even take a drink of water between songs. I usually wait till a song with a longer intro to take a drink or adjust something on my drums.

I have tried and tried to MC when our singer is tuning his guitar or out of action and everytime I do it the crowd just looks around like "where is that voice coming from" it just doesn't work behind the kit. The last festival I played at was pretty thin on bands and there was 3 main bands and we all rotated and one of the bands played the exact same set 4 times all weekend long, the banter was exactly the same everytime. I was actually disgusted watching them do the same jokes between songs. We were all hanging at a bar after the fest and they said "I hope you don't think we just play the same songs over and over again we are just trying to push our new c.d.".

I am glad my band never does the same set twice and never repeats a joke or banter.


Senior Member
Great thread, because this happens to be one of my biggest pet peeves when seeing a live band. What we do in our band is flow straight through to the next song, no stopping at all. To achieve this we write our set out in the order that we want to play it. From there we figure out where the guitar changes are and what songs will flow well back to back. In the instances where the songs don't flow well we write interlude songs so that they do. These songs are usually 1-3 minutes in length and sometimes don't have a vocal part, but rather our singer talks over us promoting merch and getting the crowd involved. Nothing seems more awkward on stage than sitting there not playing, so we simply play the whole time. :)


Senior Member
Man I could tell you of some things that went on stage in between songs.....anything from some guy "texting" on his phone or tuning their guitar strings!

Our biggest problem with three vocalists is that they can't decide on who is going to sing next. When they do decide, they then have to hunt for the lyrics in their song books.

We don't do set lists because of the numerous requests that we get but that should not stop us from using one as we can always go back to the list after doing the request. I have suggested this many times but to no avail. So I sit back there waiting. But our keyboard player will interact if the silence gets too long!


Pioneer Member
Mike, I think my OP might have given the wrong impression. I've done way more than a thousand gigs in my time (even with a 20 year break), & so have most of my bandmates. Of course we work off a set list, that's a given, and the sort of breaks I'm talking about are 20 seconds max. I suppose I'm really searching for novel ways of turning a good standard of performance into a show. It's all well & good scripting every last second of a show, but each gig, & each audience are different. There needs to be some element of flexibility to augment the performance according to the situation. Other players experiences and entertainment tips are often both amusing & valuable. I'm not above stealing a good idea or two!
Van Halen used set lists. Buy some lights! And that isn't a flip remark. Most people
aren't musicians and only know what they see.



Pioneer Member
I have tried and tried to MC when our singer is tuning his guitar or out of action and everytime I do it the crowd just looks around like "where is that voice coming from"
That voice is coming from behind the curtain.