If You Can Hear Me, Let Me Know

If I think back to the blogs written in 2015 and 2016, many of them focused on the setlist. Often, these blogs, whether written by Rhonda or myself or others, expressed a frustration with the lack of changes in the setlist. Let me share a couple of them to prove my point:

Portland Show: August 2016

Paper Gods 
Wild Boys 
Hungry Like the Wolf 
A View To A Kill 
Come Undone 
Last Night In The City 
What Are The Chances 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
Planet Earth / Space Oddity 
Ordinary World 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
White Lines 
The Reflex 
Girls on Film 

Save A Prayer 
Rio

Rome Show: June 2016

Paper Gods 
Wild Boys 
Hungry Like the Wolf 
A View To A Kill 
Come Undone 
Last Night In The City 
What Are The Chances 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
Planet Earth / Space Oddity 
Ordinary World 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
White Lines 
Sunrise / New Moon On Monday 
The Reflex 
Girls on film 

Save A Prayer 
Rio

A quick glance at these two setlists show very few changes. This, of course, frustrated many, many fans, especially those fans who travel. People want to see and hear different songs performed if they go to multiple shows. They like unpredictability or not knowing what is going to come next. This increases excitement and anticipation. Yet, for the most part, the Paper Gods Tour was pretty much the same all the time. So, in response, many blogs were written encouraging, suggesting, pointing out the benefits of mixing up the setlist, at least a little bit. We talked about how fans who don’t travel won’t be hurt by this and might even start to head to different places for shows. Likewise, those who do travel would continue to do so or might even go to more, if the setlist changed.

So, the other day, I wondered whether or not the setlist changed after 2016, the year immediately following the release of the album and the majority of the Paper Gods Tour. Yes, the band played shows in 2017, 2018 and 2019 but those all feel like random mini-tours, to me, rather than part of a larger tour.

Here’s a 2017 from Oakland:

Paper Gods 
Wild Boys 
Hungry Like the Wolf 
A View To A Kill 
Come Undone 
Last Night In the City 
What Are the Chances 
Is There Something I Should Know 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
Hold Back the Rain 
Ordinary World (dedicated to Ann Le Bon) 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
White Lines 
Girls on Film (Segue Edit) 

Save A Prayer 
Rio

That setlist looks similar to the 2016 ones but I notice that there were a couple of changes, including the addition of Is There Something I Should Know and Hold Back the Rain. I remember being at that show and being thrilled with these new songs in the setlist. In fact, looking back, I enjoyed the shows I went to that summer over some of the shows I saw in the summer of 2016 because I didn’t know what was coming. What about early 2019?

Vegas: February 2019

Choir Intro (new) 
New Religion 
Wild Boys 
Hungry Like the Wolf 
Come Undone 
Notorious 
Pressure Off 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
Ordinary World 
Seventh Stranger 
Tempted 
White Lines 
Planet Earth 
Girls on Film 
Friends of Mine 

A View To A Kill (with 007 intro) 
Rio

Wow. There are a lot more changes here with New Religion, Seventh Stranger and Tempted. The encore was not Save a Prayer and Rio. Hmm…this is starting to seem like the band did exactly what we were asking by mixing it up, even just a little bit. Does this pattern remain for the recent shows?

Vegas: September 2019

Hungry Like the Wolf 
A View To A Kill (with 007 intro) 
The Reflex 
Come Undone 
Anyone out there 
I Don’t Want Your Love 
Tempted 
Last Night In The City 
Ordinary World 
Friends of Mine 
Notorious 
Pressure Off / Uptown 
Wild Boys 
Girls on Film 

Universe Alone/Save a prayer 
White Lines 
Rio

Again, there were more changes. The Universe Alone appearing in the encore. More new songs were included in the main part of the show with Anyone Out There and Friends of Mine. I know that at the time of the shows we praised the heck out of not knowing what was coming next. Maybe this post is redundant but I wanted to acknowledge that the band did make changes to the setlist that many, many people asked for in 2016. I like realizing this and thought that maybe others would, too. I’m also hoping that this pattern continues for the next set of shows!

-A

2 thoughts on “If You Can Hear Me, Let Me Know”

  1. I kvetch over the setlist, but still have a great time at every concert. That being said when they dropped in Chauffeur in Vegas I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.I think the ecstatic response the new additions get at the shows is encouraging them to shake it up.They are clearly becoming comfortable with it, and maybe learning that their audiences have more hardcore fans than casual fans.

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