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Old 02-27-2018, 12:03 AM   #18
setlist communist by necessity
typsitch's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,580
Originally Posted by dancetheham View Post
As I've been thinking about this more over the past few days, I've come to the conclusion that we can objectively say that setlists have become more varied as the years have gone on and that it's a myth that they used to vary their setlists more than they do now.

I think the reason it seems otherwise is the fact that their catalog has grown... and also that most of us don't like the newer songs nearly as much as the older ones. And those are totally legitimate points. But regardless, they play songs about every 3 shows nowadays, which is half as often as they did in the early days.
Agree with your points and thanks for the post.

But I think there's an objective song quality difference between eras of this band. And yes, there's more set variety as the catalog has grown, but at the same time 1) catalog is so large it leaves too many great songs missing or infrequently played, and 2) The core tour staples, or "Dave favorites" are consistently overplayed within and even between tours (which becomes less excusable the more the catalog grows and the longer old rare gems have been left on the shelf).

To the first point, I think the onus is on DMB to work harder to keep up with song selections as the catalog grows. I think the best stat you put together was the "Percentage of Catalog Played", and DMB should be trying to stay around 70% if possible. I know it's a lot of work though to keep all those songs playable at once.

To the second point, at a minimum, Dave needs to do a better job mixing up the staples and getting out of his comfort zone. He needs to do a better job saying, "you know what, in 2018 we'll play BOWA to death instead of satellite". Shut down DDTW for a tour and play R&R 25 times instead. Give Grey St. a break and play Stone more than 3 times a tour. Let Crush chill out for a hot fucking second and swap it with Say Goodbye. (you'll notice in all those alternatives I provided that they're pretty much crowd favorites too. Not asking for rare gems that crowd will have no idea about). It just seems that so many tours tend to bleed into each other year by year as that "comfort zone" morphs at a snails pace.
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