New discussion for Davecfraser.
Spun off from How many of you fellow LIVE musicians use scrolling words and follow tabs?
Davecfraser replying to:
Moved Reply: HEy Oldghm,
I'm a younger guy and I've been playing professionally full-time for 4 years now (thanks in part to my Bose L1 classic and now M2)
You mentioned your 10 or 12 trigger songs (IE sweet Caroline) what are your others?
Mine would have to be:
Home for a Rest (Canadian band)
Sweet Home Alabama
Brown Eyed Girl
Summer of 69
I Love Rock and Roll
recently: Jesse's Girl
wondering what everyone else's "triggers" are.
Also to weigh in on the "cheat sheet" whether it's digital or paper, I prefer to not use a book or ipad or Ipadsee glasses because I do feel like personally it would distract me from my audiences. However, it's not a bad idea to have those tools available for quick references. Depends on your style, I'd recommend losing the book and shrinking the repertoire over a huge repertoire and a lack of attention for the audience.
I think the songs that work might be somewhat regional or venue related, but some that work for me are;
Rocky Mountain High
On The Road Again
Fishing in The Dark
Red Red Wine
Ain't living Long Like This
Folsom Prison Blues
The Road Goes on Forever (and The Party never Ends)
Down On The Corner
Folsom Prison Blues
I Won't Back Down
Honky Tonk Women
Into The Mystic
Up On Cripple Creek
Bad Moon Risin'
Sympathy For The Devil
I guess I could join in here:
Old Time Rock & Roll
Brown Eyed Girl
Two Pina Coladas
Friends In Low Places
Great Balls of Fire
Folsom Prison Blues
Ring Of Fire
If I said You Had A Beautiful Body (Depends who walkin in at the time)
These usually work for me at various times.
My "trigger" songs change from month to month. I find that whatever song I'm most enthusiastic about becomes a song that excites the audience. There are literally hundreds of them. Lately they have been:
Mack the Knife
Child of the Wild Blue Yonder
Red Rubber Ball
I try to stay away from anthems since I feel like they are a cheap way to get the audience back with me. Plus I'd like to avoid the whole American Idol school of song presentation - you know, start slow and then shout at the end. A well-performed song that your heart is into can become as much a trigger song as any other, I think.
I'll weigh in on a few of my "trigger songs".
Take It Easy
Fire On The Mountain
Me and Julio
I've Just Seen A Face
Behind Blue Eyes
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Take Me Home Country Roads
As for "cheat sheets" I must admit I take some pride in doing 60 - 70 song sets with nothing but a set list and am anti-music stand. It's not a critism of people who use books, iPads, etc but I think if you get in the habit of not having something to look at, you WILL remember the songs. Unless of course you are playing a gig every several weeks or few months and not playing those songs in between. Repitition is the key. Do I forget stuff sometimes?...At least minor mistakes nearly every gig, but I like the connection with the audience.
Did you miss the point Tom? Trigger songs (anthems) are a cheap way to get the audience back with you.
When this list gets up to about a hundred different songs, one could learn them all and wear out an audience. I know guys who do it every night.
I've been singing Red Rubber Ball since the 60's, strange, it has never worked as a trigger/anthem for me, but I love the tune anyway.
Had to go pick up the guitar and sing Red Rubber Ball, it's been a while but I remembered it.
I didn't miss the point. I'm saying that you can trigger an audience with any song that is performed well.
How many times have you performed a song you liked that was relatively unknown or was not a particularly catchy song and then were surprised at the positive response you got from the audience? That's what I'm talking about. What made it get the audience's attention? Was it a great song or a great performance?
Just poking a little fun Tom. But seriously, some of my best performances have gone unnoticed.
There are times when nothing works but a song that starts every foot tapping and a sing along. If you never need the cheap shot you are doing it better than I can!
Yes, I am occasionally surprised that the audience will respond to something I didn't expect, but not often enough to keep experimenting when they are slipping away. Then .... I use the cheap shot.
Years ago I played in a very popular restaurant/bar. Folks would often have to wait in the bar for an hour or more for a dinner table. I would say to the patrons, " if you will write your requests on a napkin and send them up with the waitress, I will do the ones I know". It seems that folks have a bit more respect if they think a tune is requested so I would do the requests I liked and mix in other songs that I liked but introduce them as requests while leafing through the napkins. Another cheap shot that worked.
Almost 30 years ago I made up a "song menu" that I would put on the tables in the clubs where I played. On breaks I would take requests from each table. The fun part was when they tried to outbid each other to get the first or second song in the next set. One table would say "Here's $5 to play my song first," and I'd say "That last table gave me $7 to hear their's first. It was fun!
Nowadays I still take requests, but I try to control the songlist a little more so I can have a little more personality injected in the set.
Not really a TRIGGER song.. but - The other week we put up a sign on stage that said Requests for "Sweet Home Alabama" $50.
This was the weekend before the BCS game between LSU and Alabama - Saturday night we had lots of folks stopping to photograph the sign, point and discuss. Second set we had a fella walk up with a $50 and we gladly played it. Last set of the night we had a table pass the hat and raise another $50.
Sunday night we had a guy come up just after sound check and give me $100 to play it as the first 3 songs of the night. HAHA! I broke three strings in three songs, but we did it.(and everyone laughed) Later in the night we had another $50 drop in the jar.
Monday afternoon we played the pre-game show so the bar was again packed with people. More pics of the sign and folks asking if we were serious. Another Alabama alumni stepped up with $50 first set. Then another passing of the hat at a few tables of students had it again.
Last song of the night a LSU girl came up with $75 for us to change it to Sweet Home Louisiana. HAHA Did my best to come up with new verses on the fly but it had been a long day of shots and celebrations (so we did the best we could to not sing every verse about the honey badger).
Last year Ohio was in the BCS championship game here in New Orleans and we did $20 to hear Hang On Sloopy.
Great story Rain. I wouldn't play "Rocky Top" three times in a row for $100. I reserve the right to take this back if properly tempted.
Does trigger song mean one that re-directs the audience's attention back to the stage?
And, .... I have played "Rocky Top" three times in a row for a $100,..... but I was hungrier then, and the rest of the patrons and I agreed the only way to shut up the drunk was sing the song and take his money.
Times have changed.
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