October 18th, 2005


Setlists, and this isn't solely a U2 discussion.

Disclaimer: though this entry mentions U2 (quite heavily in places, as it's the example I know best), this is not an entry about U2 or meant to exclusively interest U2 fans. I'm seeking to discuss concerts and the relevance of setlists in a more general context, and the examples I give for U2 are intended to be comparable and applicable to other bands.

Over the last year, I've become known as a bit of a setlist freak for my fascination with and knowledge of U2's concert setlists. For those who aren't in the U2 fandom and haven't picked up on it from a few LJ entries, setlists are a hobby of sorts for me; not only do I love creating custom sets, but I am also one of the two maintainers of U2-Vertigo-Tour.com (and Elevation-Tour.com and U2Setlists.com, which use the same database) and have a considerable portion of the site memorised. In U2 circles, setlist variation has become the source of considerable debate lately after some of us (myself included) asserted that the setlists at the five consecutive New York shows did not vary enough. For this reason, I'm writing this entry to explain my position on setlist variation in a general sense, though I'd like to provide some context on the New York setlist debate first.

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Now that I've written this ridiculously long entry that doesn't even discuss all the points I wanted to cover, will anyone actually bother to read it?