Crowd Delighting: The Art of Choosing the Perfect Setlist

“Here’s one from my new album” are six words that fans would probably prefer not to hear at a concert.
You’d think Taylor Swift would be immune to that but, based on her reaction when she changed her set list a year after her Eras world tour, you’d be wrong.
When she announced that she had revamped her song selection to incorporate music from her latest double release, The Tortured Poets Department, reviews of her were mixed.

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Some were delighted to see new songs such as Fortnight and Down Bad appear, but others were disappointed to see older songs, Long Live, The Archer and The 1, removed from the record-breaking tour.
But you’re never going to please anyone, not even if you’re Taylor Swift.
So how do artists choose a setlist?
Charli XCX, who just released her latest album Brat, tells BBC Newsbeat that the songs she chooses are largely based on how she feels.
‘A delicate balance’
The Von Dutch singer describes herself as “a pretty selfish performer in general.”
“I’m performing because I like hearing my own music out loud,” she says.
“I made the setlist for myself and not for anyone else.
“I think that’s how you grow and show people the new ways you’re developing and your new tastes.
“And playing the same songs over and over again is actually quite boring.
“So I like to change it.”

Chase & Status, who recently headlined Radio 1 Big Weekend, have released several albums and have been releasing tracks for over 20 years.
That makes choosing your set list tricky, as you’re potentially trying to please different generations of fans.
“I think you’re always wondering what the audience is going to be like,” says Saul Milton, also known as Chase.
“Will they be fans of your old stuff or your new stuff? So it’s just about making sure you don’t forget where we come from.
“But you also can’t forget that there are younger fans who maybe don’t know our old material.
That’s why it’s important to have “a good balance,” he adds, “because it’s not just about what we want to hear.”
“We’re performing our music for people who support us. So we want to make sure they’re happy.”

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