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When A Band/Singer Won't Play The Fan Favourites


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Listening to Megadeth's 'Peace Sells ...' album got me thinking ...

 

I read recently that Dave Mustaine refuses to play old songs like 'The Conjuring' because the subject matter is at odds with his beliefs; the same goes for Blackie Lawless/W.A.S.P. and 'Animal ...'.

 

I have no problem with either gentleman (or anyone else, for that matter) embracing religion, but it struck me as odd that a band would ignore songs that made them famous, and that are proven fan favourites, when it could be argued that all they're doing is telling a story? Nicko McBrain is a Christian, yet he seems quite happy to hammer out 'The Number Of The Beast'; Tom Araya has strongly-held religious beliefs, yet is on record as saying he would never refuse to sing Kerry King's lyrics simply because they go against what he believes ...

 

Lemmy often said that he would happily never play 'Ace Of Spades' again, but did so because the fans loved it.

 

Anyway, my question is this - how do you guys feel about a band or singer choosing to ignore the songs that made them famous? I'm not thinking about when a band has new material to play, and simply can't fit everything in to their set (as is the case with, say, Maiden or Metallica) ...

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That's a hard one...I can see it from both sides. To refuse to do a famous song in your repertoire because it now conflicts with your beliefs - is a fair point, but as you say it is like telling a story but maybe it's a story they don't want to spread.

Outside belief systems bands get bored with playing certain songs night after night as we all know and I suppose the more hard core fans who may have seen the band many times would like to hear a few more obscure ones rather than the same old "hits" as it were. But in the end unless you're a real cult band then people are there to see you play the hits. It's what they pay to see and it pays your wages. Bands do mix it up and play obscure stuff amongst their more recognised songs but Id say if you are so against playing fan favourites then do smaller gigs for the more selective fans...you'll probably inadvertently end up doing that anyway through no choice of your own if you alienate the more general and probably more numerous fans who are paying the big money to be entertained by what they know, people will vote with their feet.

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Ooooh good question....

 

I agree with Nick C, if it's a matter of beliefs and the lyrics have a message that you no longer want to be associated with or to spread then it's understandable that they would refuse to play it.

I wonder whether they could compromise by changing the lyrics though? Then that could be telling an even stronger story while keeping the fans happy.....hmmm, but on the other hand I guess the fans would be singing/shouting out the old lyrics.... Tough one.

 

I know Johnny Cash had problems with that in the past and I'm pretty sure he changed the lyrics so he could continue to join in singing The Devil Went Down to Georgia for example. Plus when he recorded Nine Inch Nails Hurt he sang 'I wear this crown of thorns' instead of the original line 'I wear this crown of s***'

 

 

If it's a case of refusing to play it because they're bored of it then, for me, although they have the right to refuse to play it, it would be mean of them. Fans have often paid a lot of money to go to the shows and I for one love (and expect) to hear some of the old classics.

I'd compromise by being creative and re-arranging or updating the song a bit :tumbsup:Win Win.

 

 

Then again, how would they know that all the fans at the concert wanted to hear a certain song? Maybe they would sing an old favourite and more than half of the audience are sick to death of hearing it too? Or, if they have a massive back catalogue it must be really hard to know which songs to include and which the fans want to hear..... they should have a voting button on their social media pages that the fans can click before the concert and the song with the most votes gets included.

 

OMG I am just full of ideas today :poop:

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..... they should have a voting button on their social media pages that the fans can click before the concert and the song with the most votes gets included.

 

This already exists. I know of two bands that recently put all their songs in a poll, and had fans choose which songs they wanted to hear on tour.

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Ooooh good question....

 

I agree with Nick C, if it's a matter of beliefs and the lyrics have a message that you no longer want to be associated with or to spread then it's understandable that they would refuse to play it.

I wonder whether they could compromise by changing the lyrics though? Then that could be telling an even stronger story while keeping the fans happy.....hmmm, but on the other hand I guess the fans would be singing/shouting out the old lyrics.... Tough one.

 

I know Johnny Cash had problems with that in the past and I'm pretty sure he changed the lyrics so he could continue to join in singing The Devil Went Down to Georgia for example. Plus when he recorded Nine Inch Nails Hurt he sang 'I wear this crown of thorns' instead of the original line 'I wear this crown of s***'

 

 

If it's a case of refusing to play it because they're bored of it then, for me, although they have the right to refuse to play it, it would be mean of them. Fans have often paid a lot of money to go to the shows and I for one love (and expect) to hear some of the old classics.

I'd compromise by being creative and re-arranging or updating the song a bit :tumbsup:Win Win.

 

 

Then again, how would they know that all the fans at the concert wanted to hear a certain song? Maybe they would sing an old favourite and more than half of the audience are sick to death of hearing it too? Or, if they have a massive back catalogue it must be really hard to know which songs to include and which the fans want to hear..... they should have a voting button on their social media pages that the fans can click before the concert and the song with the most votes gets included.

 

OMG I am just full of ideas today :poop:

 

There are a few bands that have asked the fans to choose their setlist/vote for their favourite songs ... and that can lead to some VERY interesting sets :)

 

I can understand bands/singers not wanting to play particular songs because they jar with their personal beliefs - that's fair enough. And Nick makes a good point about many bands having to play 'the hits' simply because their audience may be made up of more casual fans.

 

Picking up on this point, I saw Bryan Adams not long after 'Everything I Do ...' spent a lifetime at the top of the UK chart ... and a large chunk of his set was made up of ballads (with about three or four back-to-back.) As much as I like a fair number of his ballads, I wasn't alone in wishing that he'd crank out a few rockier numbers - clearly, he was playing the numbers game, and appealing to the people who had bought the single, but who probably didn't own a copy of, say, 'Cuts Like A Knife'.

 

When I saw him a couple of years prior to that, his set was far more 'guitar-orientated' (and all the better for it, if you ask me.)

 

The first time I saw Iron Maiden, they didn't play anything from 'Piece Of Mind' (much to my disappointment); when I saw Bon Jovi at Wembley in '95, the people around me had no idea who Van Halen were.

 

One man's meat, etc.

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..... they should have a voting button on their social media pages that the fans can click before the concert and the song with the most votes gets included.

This already exists. I know of two bands that recently put all their songs in a poll, and had fans choose which songs they wanted to hear on tour.

 

Yaaayyy, it's a great idea! (As long as the people voting have definitely bought tickets to attend of course!)

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Ooooh good question....

 

I agree with Nick C, if it's a matter of beliefs and the lyrics have a message that you no longer want to be associated with or to spread then it's understandable that they would refuse to play it.

I wonder whether they could compromise by changing the lyrics though? Then that could be telling an even stronger story while keeping the fans happy.....hmmm, but on the other hand I guess the fans would be singing/shouting out the old lyrics.... Tough one.

 

I know Johnny Cash had problems with that in the past and I'm pretty sure he changed the lyrics so he could continue to join in singing The Devil Went Down to Georgia for example. Plus when he recorded Nine Inch Nails Hurt he sang 'I wear this crown of thorns' instead of the original line 'I wear this crown of s***'

 

 

If it's a case of refusing to play it because they're bored of it then, for me, although they have the right to refuse to play it, it would be mean of them. Fans have often paid a lot of money to go to the shows and I for one love (and expect) to hear some of the old classics.

I'd compromise by being creative and re-arranging or updating the song a bit :tumbsup:Win Win.

 

 

Then again, how would they know that all the fans at the concert wanted to hear a certain song? Maybe they would sing an old favourite and more than half of the audience are sick to death of hearing it too? Or, if they have a massive back catalogue it must be really hard to know which songs to include and which the fans want to hear..... they should have a voting button on their social media pages that the fans can click before the concert and the song with the most votes gets included.

 

OMG I am just full of ideas today :poop:

 

There are a few bands that have asked the fans to choose their setlist/vote for their favourite songs ... and that can lead to some VERY interesting sets :)

 

As much as I like a fair number of his ballads, I wasn't alone in wishing that he'd crank out a few rockier numbers - clearly, he was playing the numbers game, and appealing to the people who had bought the single, but who probably didn't own a copy of, say, 'Cuts Like A Knife'.

 

 

The first time I saw Iron Maiden, they didn't play anything from 'Piece Of Mind' (much to my disappointment); when I saw Bon Jovi at Wembley in '95, the people around me had no idea who Van Halen were.

 

One man's meat, etc.

 

Yep, you're never gonna be able to please everyone unfortunately. I guess in the end part of it comes down to what their goal is as musicians - do they want to make big bucks and be popular/top of the charts etc so they give the people what they want or do they want to create and perform music they truly believe in and are passionate about?

 

Potentially, if their biggest hits are years old it would feel like going backwards to keep playing them over and over and they would find it hard to give a convincing performance of them.

On the other hand, if it's the fans who are 'paying their wages' as it were then it could be argued that they could claim a stake when it comes to live gigs, so at least a small %age of the concert should be given over to them.

 

I guess it depends how much rehearsal time they have available too. A lot of bands can't afford to be full time musicians any more and it can take AGES!!!! to learn the material for live gigs. (Guess that shouldn't be too much of a problem if you have the same band members though as hopefully they'd be able to play the biggest hits in their sleep)

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The worst for me recently was Eclipse not playing anything from Are You Ready To Rock.

 

I mean WTF????

Odd.

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Well...Interesting question being that I'm a Def Leppard fan and they're at the other end of the spectrum....They basically refuse to play anything except their big hits and 95% of their shows are the same songs over and over. I WISH they would refuse to play a few of those songs lol.

 

Honestly though, I think these artists should be entitled to do whatever they want. They're performing up there and they can sing whatever they're comfortable singing IMO. Things change....Sometimes songs may just not have much meaning for them anymore....Maybe the song has a message they don't want out there....Maybe they're just sick of playing a song....Maybe they can't sing a song like they used to....Whatever reason it is....

 

If artists aren't playing enough of what people want to hear, it'll catch up to them and they won't be playing to the crowds they want to be.

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Well...Interesting question being that I'm a Def Leppard fan and they're at the other end of the spectrum....They basically refuse to play anything except their big hits and 95% of their shows are the same songs over and over. I WISH they would refuse to play a few of those songs lol.

 

Honestly though, I think these artists should be entitled to do whatever they want. They're performing up there and they can sing whatever they're comfortable singing IMO. Things change....Sometimes songs may just not have much meaning for them anymore....Maybe the song has a message they don't want out there....Maybe they're just sick of playing a song....Maybe they can't sing a song like they used to....Whatever reason it is....

 

If artists aren't playing enough of what people want to hear, it'll catch up to them and they won't be playing to the crowds they want to be.

Very well said!

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Ooooh good question....

 

I agree with Nick C, if it's a matter of beliefs and the lyrics have a message that you no longer want to be associated with or to spread then it's understandable that they would refuse to play it.

I wonder whether they could compromise by changing the lyrics though? Then that could be telling an even stronger story while keeping the fans happy.....hmmm, but on the other hand I guess the fans would be singing/shouting out the old lyrics.... Tough one.

 

I know Johnny Cash had problems with that in the past and I'm pretty sure he changed the lyrics so he could continue to join in singing The Devil Went Down to Georgia for example. Plus when he recorded Nine Inch Nails Hurt he sang 'I wear this crown of thorns' instead of the original line 'I wear this crown of s***'

 

 

If it's a case of refusing to play it because they're bored of it then, for me, although they have the right to refuse to play it, it would be mean of them. Fans have often paid a lot of money to go to the shows and I for one love (and expect) to hear some of the old classics.

I'd compromise by being creative and re-arranging or updating the song a bit :tumbsup:Win Win.

 

 

Then again, how would they know that all the fans at the concert wanted to hear a certain song? Maybe they would sing an old favourite and more than half of the audience are sick to death of hearing it too? Or, if they have a massive back catalogue it must be really hard to know which songs to include and which the fans want to hear..... they should have a voting button on their social media pages that the fans can click before the concert and the song with the most votes gets included.

 

OMG I am just full of ideas today :poop:

 

There are a few bands that have asked the fans to choose their setlist/vote for their favourite songs ... and that can lead to some VERY interesting sets :)

 

As much as I like a fair number of his ballads, I wasn't alone in wishing that he'd crank out a few rockier numbers - clearly, he was playing the numbers game, and appealing to the people who had bought the single, but who probably didn't own a copy of, say, 'Cuts Like A Knife'.

 

 

The first time I saw Iron Maiden, they didn't play anything from 'Piece Of Mind' (much to my disappointment); when I saw Bon Jovi at Wembley in '95, the people around me had no idea who Van Halen were.

 

One man's meat, etc.

 

Yep, you're never gonna be able to please everyone unfortunately. I guess in the end part of it comes down to what their goal is as musicians - do they want to make big bucks and be popular/top of the charts etc so they give the people what they want or do they want to create and perform music they truly believe in and are passionate about?

 

Potentially, if their biggest hits are years old it would feel like going backwards to keep playing them over and over and they would find it hard to give a convincing performance of them.

On the other hand, if it's the fans who are 'paying their wages' as it were then it could be argued that they could claim a stake when it comes to live gigs, so at least a small %age of the concert should be given over to them.

 

I guess it depends how much rehearsal time they have available too. A lot of bands can't afford to be full time musicians any more and it can take AGES!!!! to learn the material for live gigs. (Guess that shouldn't be too much of a problem if you have the same band members though as hopefully they'd be able to play the biggest hits in their sleep)

 

 

If you're a musician, you could find yourself between a rock and a hard place for much of your career! I've read interviews with many bands where they say that they started out just making the music that THEY wanted to play, only to find that they were forced/encouraged down a particular route.

 

Sometimes, it works to their advantage (Aerosmith working with outside writers, for example), sometimes it doesn't (all of the 'hair metal' bands who tried to go 'grunge' in the 90s), and sometimes they kick against it and go back to their original vision (like when Metallica were 'encouraged' to write a single, and came up with 'Escape'.)

 

Of course, when it comes right down to it, the choice is ours - we don't HAVE to buy the albums or go to the shows. I wouldn't avoid going to see Megadeth just because Dave has found God, and my reasons for not wanting to see WASP have nothing to do with Blackie's refusal to play 'Animal ...' :)

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