The Set List Song Juggle

I had been made a bit world weary of Jim’s talk over the past few years of the “ever-changing” set list. Swapping one song over for another after a week or two in an otherwise unchanging and fixed list barely warrants that kind of bold statement.

The two most recent examples I can give are…the Acoustic tour…the cover song towards the end of the set changing from For What It’s Worth to The Cross to Dirty Old Town, etc. Other than that minor change…the set pretty much stayed as is. The nine gigs I went to pretty much stayed constant.

Again, in February, it was fairly much a constant. Yes, it needed to be for the Walk Between Worlds element of the set, naturally…but of the four out of the seven gigs I experienced, only one song alternated…Mandela Day in Paris for Dirty Old Town.

But now they are back on the road doing these summer festivals and HECK! they really ARE mixing things up now! And it’s great to see.

Of course, if you’ve got a set that works, you’d be reluctant to change it…but you’d get bored with it. The audience would get bored of it too! If aspects of the set work…don’t change them! I was absolutely blown away by the opening pairing of The Signal And The Noise followed by Waterfront. It was AMAZING to see on TV as part of the BBC’s Biggest Weekend festival and then at Wentworth the following day. To see just how much the band bloody nailed it, and how mental the crowds went for it was fabulous, esp when experienced first hand.

So when it came to Podgorica, Montenegro the following week, as glad as I was to see the mix up of songs…I was miffed to see a change in song order. Waterfront didn’t follow on after The Signal And The Noise, Big Music did. Say whaaa? Now, you can have Big Music in the set list if you like…I ain’t gonna dictate what songs you guys choose…but to perform it after TSATN when Waterfront coupled it so well…and kept the crowd pumped? No way!

Thankfully by the Harley Davidson Eurofest in Grimaud, it was changed back to those twin openers. Yaaas!

From the PGA list to Podgorica – The American, Promised You A Miracle and Stand By Love were dropped and Sense Of Discovery, Mandela Day and Barrowland Star came into replace them, with the song order being swapped about also.

*** There was no Someone Somewhere In Summertime performance at Wentworth ***

On Thursday, June 7th, was the Caribana Festival in Switzerland and the shortest set (apart from the obvious very short at the Biggest Weekend in Perth – only 8 songs there…but there was a BIG lineup of acts) to date – just 14 songs! No All The Things She Said. No Sense Of Discovery, either, or Mandela Day, but Big Music still the second song.

And on to Grimaud and the HD Eurofest…and YAAAAS! Waterfront was back as the second song performed. Sense of Discovery, Mandela Day and All The Things She Said are back, but Barrowland Star gets bumped again for Stand By Love.

And then for Barcelona on Monday, the biggest shake up, yet! Grimaud had only a 16 song set (as did Wentworth, actually), and Caribana shorter again at just 14! But Barcelona get a whopping 18 song set! Lucky sods! The American is back! Bye bye Hypnotised! Bye bye Stand By Love. Hello See The Lights and Let There Be Love.

This time Jim really *is* being true to his word. The set lists are really being juggled about. Altered in style, song choice, song order…everything. But…it HAS to be happening NOW! This summer! During European festival dates, and during a time in which I am seeing fewer Simple Minds gigs. DAMN YOU, KERR! Fabulous that you are doing it, of course…but I wish I was reaping the benefits of it some more. But that’s my spoilt little gripe about it. But it really is lovely to witness such a proper shaking up of things. Keep us guessing, boy! Keep us on our toes, god love ya! May you long continue to be a man of your word. I love you best when you are! You promised us (me) an ever-changing set list, and at last it seems you are FINALLY delivering on that. I could kiss ya, boy!

Thanks to Catherine Anne Davies and Lor Na for the set list pics.

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