A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the Rock Allegiance concert. There was a multitude of bands, some renowned, others less prominent. The concert started out slow, as the lesser known bands kicked off the show. The day began to pick up, as the bigger-name bands gradually came out. The atmosphere of the crowd became increasingly ecstatic, as the concert started to build up. My friend and I grew increasingly anxious for the better known bands to come on stage. Bands such as Puddle of Mudd, Fuel, Daughtry, and Seether warmed up before the final two acts. The final acts included two quality bands, Three Days Grace and Stone Temple Pilots, both of whom have extensive fan bases. While the Stone Temple Pilots played many of their hits, they missed some of their bigger songs. This trend has been a common occurrence at many of the concerts I have attended in recent years. As fans, it is demoralizing that we pay a lot of money to see our favorite bands play their best songs and yet we are deprived of that opportunity. Obviously every band is not going to be able to play all of their songs and by no means is that what I am asking for. I just ask that they play the songs that made them famous because without those songs, we would not be fans of these of bands. For example, after attending an Incubus concert, we were left without hearing some of their best songs which included “Stellar,” “The Warning,” and “Love Hurts,” among a few others. This was particularly disheartening because I was set on hearing the songs I frequently listen to on my iPod. Perhaps they avoid playing all their best songs to give people incentive to come back next time they are in town. Another example where this happened to me was at the Red Hot Chile Peppers concert. While they did play most of their good songs (which they have a lot of), they missed some of the ones I particularly enjoy. The songs they missed included “The Other Side” and “Tell Me Baby and Snow.” Do not get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert, but came away a tad disappointed. One more example would be at the Blink 182 concert I attended, where they played the majority of their songs, except for Adam’s Song. This song holds deep meaning to the group because it is about their good friend who committed suicide. Perhaps Blink 182 did not want to dim the mood on a night where they were doing so well . On this night, the band that I had desperately waited for, for so long was finally about to come out, as the crowd became electric. The Stone Temple Pilots started out with one of their better songs, continuing this theme for several songs. Like most concerts in the middle, some of the better songs began to lag. Then they played their best song, in my opinion, (“Plush”) somewhere in the middle, which was a curveball, as I was sure this was going to be in their planned encore. I was baffled, but understood that they wanted to mix in some of their great songs. I now had no idea what would be their encore, as they still had a plethora of songs to choose from. As the show came towards a close, there were still many songs that had not played. I thought to myself, “What if they do not get all of their hits in? Surely enough, this turned out to be the case, as they did not play fan favorites such as “Sexy Type Thing” and “Creep.” They had saved some good songs for last, but never played other great songs. This made me wonder, why bother playing strictly the songs that are not fan pleasers. Perhaps it is because the band wants to salvage their vast array of songs to show that they are diverse? Maybe it is because this way, the diehard fans are satisfied? Or it could be because the band would get weary of constantly playing the same exact set list over and over? While I do enjoy variety, how often am I going to get to go the same concert? Chances are I am not, so why not play their best songs every time out? Bands that we enjoy have a formidable compilation of hits, which is why we like them. To prevent dissatisfaction at concerts, a democratic system could be implemented that would allow the fans to get the songs they desire to listen to? Perhaps a system could work where before, or in the middle of, the concert, fans can text a number for the songs they want to hear. Similar to a jukebox where the listener gets the song of their choice, this would be an attempt to accomplish the same thing. This will allow ticketholders to be content with the band’s song selection. Even an electronic ballot would be a possibility, where fans will submit their own set list an hour before the concert. Fans should also be able to choose the songs they want to save for later on in the show. While this may decrease the enigma of the songs chosen and increase predictability, gratification will rise up. This way, the fans will not have to worry about to a band saving their best songs for never.
Evan Smith is a third year political science major, with a minor in communications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org