Thursday, December 17, 2009

The list

This is a Bruce Springsteen set list from a show in Vancouver in 2003. After the soundcheck he writes a list for that night's show. This is photocopied and distributed to everyone from the musicians to the lighting men. I must have picked this up backstage.

Of course, if it were a classical concert the evening's programme would be prominently displayed outside the venue and written in the programme. Only in rock and roll is there such a huge drama made of what people choose to play.


  1. Pop it on ebay David!

  2. Surprisingly, he didn't make many changes to that list. Just looked it up - he dropped #5 and added Two Hearts between #9 & 10.
    He's well known for writing a set list and making substantial changes to it as he goes along.

  3. Goes to show how unbeliveably talented the E Street band are. He could pick any songs from 100+, and, as noted above, still change his mind later on, and they have to know every note, chord, key change and tempo.

  4. Are you saying that’s a bad thing, David? Those ‘let’s play a classic album in tracklist order’ gigs are all very well, but at the couple I’ve been to, I’ve found that I missed the pleasure of not knowing what was coming next.

    Surely part of the artistry of a good performer is the ability to change the running order of a show in response to various factors, from their own mood to the receptiveness (or otherwise) of the audience?

    Certainly Bruce, a supreme showman, knows exactly when to (for example) drop a setlisted slow song in favour of a rocker in order to surf on the energy of the crowd, and I love that about his gigs.

  5. TimT - Bruce himself finished off his last tour with a number of "complete albums" shows - mainly Born to Run, Darkness and Born in the USA, but he also did 1-offs of Greetings, Wild & Innocent and even The River!

  6. News just in that Fairport Convention's current tour t-shirt has the set list printed on it, which kind of takes the surprise out of it for anyone who's visited the merch stall before the gig. Also terribly handy for planning toilet breaks, I'd imagine.