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hot_turkey_ed
03-07-2006, 06:17 PM
DethMaiden and I were chatting the other day about theequipment we use to track set lists and take notes at concerts. He thought it a good idea to post about this topic out in the open:

I purchase the notebooks I use at Barnes & Nobles. Any retail outlet has them for sale but here is a link (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&isbn=0765599392&itm=2). These gems are a little expensive but they are sturdy as hell. I've never had one come apart on my, regardless of pit violence or beer splashes. Each has about 85 pages and can fit in any pants pocket, just like a wallet. The notebook is available in many paper styles as well (lines, no lines, sketch, music bars). Each contain a ribbon sewn into the binding for placeholding purposes and an elastic band (also sewn into the binding) to keep things closed up.

My pencil of choice is the PaperMate Sharpwriter (http://www.papermate.com/sanford/consumer/papermate/jhtml/product/product_detail.jhtml;jsessionid=R5OEX3WV4Z5KSCQHUB 2CIIQKA4QGIJCK?attributeId=SNATT40206&_DARGS=/sanford/consumer/papermate/nav/leftnavbrand.jhtml). These pencils are very cheap, and I usually carry a couple of them. You need backups if your primary is dropped (good luck crawling around a concert floor looking for it) or if it simply runs out of lead. Security will lead them pass through the doors; ink pens are often confiscated.

One other item I use: a Maglite Mini (http://www.maglite.com/product.asp?psc=1AAACELL&pt=R). I attached it to the elastic strap on my notebook. You don't always need to keep it on nor does it get your way, but it really comes in handy when the lights go int the venue between songs.

------------------------------

Some thoughts on set list note taking:

** In terms of documenting your concert, it's always a good idea to have a previous set list or popular song list. Even if you can't recognize a song, it gives you a better shot if you already information in your book.

** If you have no clue on the title of the song, ask someone around you. People are usually pretty helpful. The sick fucks on the rail are usually pretty helpful after the concert as well. Often, I'll write down part of a lyric I've heard and then google the band against their lyrics. It works more often than not.

** If on the rail, sometimes you can use your cell phone camera to capture an image of the official set list taped to the floor. While I don't reccomend it in all circumstances, other rail warriors can take a picture for you if you're not close enough for the shot.

** Support bands will often write down the set list for you if they are milling about a small venue. When I tell about them about our site, they usually become right friendly and helpful.

** I take a lot of notes during concerts... how a band strikes me.. something funny I've thought of or seen... it makes writeups a lot easier.

** Finally, just a "Be Damn Careful" for those near the front.. it's dangerous there... be VERY aware of your pencil if you are writing anything near the rail. You don't want to get stabbed or stab someone else. Use your fucking head. There are concerts in which I plan to be up front and forsake notes.

Spiral_Slave
03-07-2006, 06:22 PM
I always wondered if you guys were like standing in the pit with a pen and paper...

DethMaiden
03-07-2006, 06:24 PM
:party: Words of wisdom for all of us! I recommend following the advice of the Set List Lord, this is useful stuff to know.

Especially the one about always knowing a band's prior setlist! The info is all right here, folks, and though I've never heard Dark Tranquillity in my life, I managed to nab their entire setlist!

As I told Pavo, setlisting is an art, and it must be done with the necessary precautions in mind. Most of all, have fun with it!

:rocker:

hot_turkey_ed
03-07-2006, 06:24 PM
I always wondered if you guys were like standing in the pit with a pen and paper...

Never near the pit... on the rail only when safe and I'm not going nuts and then it's only songs, not notes... in the back or my seat, always.

JRA
03-07-2006, 06:26 PM
As I told Pavo, setlisting is an art



:lol:

Spiral_Slave
03-07-2006, 06:26 PM
I normally just look at the other setlists the band is playing from the tour, and compare it to that. Other than that, I am usually up front and can get a good glimpse of the setlist and I store it in my super memory. ;)

DethMaiden
03-07-2006, 06:27 PM
:lol:

;) It was a hyperbole of sorts.

ADD
03-07-2006, 08:15 PM
My brain is a setlist collector:radar:

Seriously, who wnats to take notes while at a rock concert?:tongue: That's for school, and I get my fill, trust me:zzz:

hot_turkey_ed
03-08-2006, 02:35 AM
My brain is a setlist collector:radar:

Seriously, who wnats to take notes while at a rock concert?:tongue: That's for school, and I get my fill, trust me:zzz:


Uh, me. :cool:

DethMaiden
03-08-2006, 12:15 PM
My brain is a setlist collector:radar:

Seriously, who wnats to take notes while at a rock concert?:tongue: That's for school, and I get my fill, trust me:zzz:

My brain is a setlist collector, but my notebook is something to fall back on. Especially when there are multiple bands, how do you go about remembering that, in order, the next day?

DethMaiden
03-08-2006, 12:15 PM
Uh, me. :cool:

And me:horns:

Fe Maiden
03-08-2006, 12:20 PM
My brain is a setlist collector:radar:

Seriously, who wnats to take notes while at a rock concert?:tongue: That's for school, and I get my fill, trust me:zzz:One never stops being a student or learning.

Three important rules:

1. Always take notes
2. Take notes always
3. Don't ask if you should take notes

;)

ADD
03-08-2006, 12:47 PM
My brain is a setlist collector, but my notebook is something to fall back on. Especially when there are multiple bands, how do you go about remembering that, in order, the next day?
For the order, that's tougher, but if you go to a show and don't remember what the hell happened then what's the point of going?:eyes:

ADD
03-08-2006, 12:48 PM
One never stops being a student or learning.

Three important rules:

1. Always take notes
2. Take notes always
3. Don't ask if you should take notes

;)

:tongue:

Thank God I am done with stoich for now, gas laws are do-able:agree:

DethMaiden
03-08-2006, 12:50 PM
For the order, that's tougher, but if you go to a show and don't remember what the hell happened then what's the point of going?:eyes:

I find every concert quite memorable. Do you equate something being memorable with something being memorizable?

Pavo and I do enjoy music, does this take away from that somehow?

ADD
03-08-2006, 12:52 PM
I find every concert quite memorable. Do you equate something being memorable with something being memorizable?

Pavo and I do enjoy music, does this take away from that somehow?
Yes, I do.

No, it doesn't.


:radar:

DethMaiden
03-08-2006, 01:00 PM
Yes, I do.

No, it doesn't.


:radar:

Okay.

Okay.

:radar: Okay.

ADD
03-08-2006, 01:01 PM
Okay.

Okay.

:radar: Okay.
:agree:

JRA
03-08-2006, 01:37 PM
Its kinda funny. I remember every song that Ozzy played back at Ozzfest 2000, but I can't remember the order.

hot_turkey_ed
03-08-2006, 01:45 PM
For the order, that's tougher, but if you go to a show and don't remember what the hell happened then what's the point of going?:eyes:

So at best you're leaving with partial or bad information....

ADD
03-08-2006, 01:59 PM
So at best you're leaving with partial or bad information....
I'd say you will leave knowing every song played (if you know the bands catalogue of course) but order might be off.

hot_turkey_ed
03-08-2006, 02:04 PM
I'd say you will leave knowing every song played (if you know the bands catalogue of course) but order might be off.

Like I said, bad or partial information.

ADD
03-08-2006, 02:09 PM
Like I said, bad or partial information.
I dont see how that is bad or partial if you have all the songs the band played, and most likely the opener & closer in correct spot as well.

hot_turkey_ed
03-08-2006, 02:18 PM
I dont see how that is bad or partial if you have all the songs the band played, and most likely the opener & closer in correct spot as well.

Out of order is out of order. Order matters, as does the pace of the set list. We talked a little around this in Dream Set Lists.

If you are verifying a set list that never changes, your approach is fine and dandy. If you are pioneering information , your approach can be unreliable and borders on lazy.

Yeah, there are concerts you want to get totally into and are going to avoid the notebook. However, when you attend 30-50 concerts a year, you're not going to be going apeshit all the time. Personally, I need notes for that volume of information.

ADD
03-08-2006, 02:21 PM
Out of order is out of order. Order matters, as does the pace of the set list. We talked a little around this in Dream Set Lists.

If you are verifying a set list that never changes, your approach is fine and dandy. If you are pioneering information , your approach can be unreliable and borders on lazy.

Yeah, there are concerts you want to get totally into and are going to avoid the notebook. However, when you attend 30-50 concerts a year, you're not going to be going apeshit all the time. Personally, I need notes for that volume of information.
True.

Yeah, unless it's like the first couple shows of the tour, there's gotta be info already out there, so you'd just be like verifying if anything. If something seems brand new you'll note it.

Right, except I wouldn't know what that's like, so yeah:foaming:

Fe Maiden
03-08-2006, 02:34 PM
:tongue:

Thank God I am done with stoich for now, gas laws are do-able:agree:True, but that has nothing to do with the price of tea in China. Taking notes is valuable was the point.

ADD
03-08-2006, 02:35 PM
True, but that has nothing to do with the price of tea in China. Taking notes is valuable was the point.
The price of tes in China does not concern me at this point.

Speaking of taking notes, I better get studying for my history midterm:hecho:

Fe Maiden
03-08-2006, 02:36 PM
The price of tes in China does not concern me at this point. You really missed that one didn't you?:D

ADD
03-08-2006, 02:48 PM
You really missed that one didn't you?:D
Yup, my brain is occupied with other matters:zzz:

EDIT: Ok, I took the 3 seconds to think about it, hilarious:tongue:

Fe Maiden
03-08-2006, 03:53 PM
Yup, my brain is occupied with other matters:zzz:

EDIT: Ok, I took the 3 seconds to think about it, hilarious:tongue::confused:

SomewhereInTime72
03-08-2006, 05:23 PM
I usually just write it down as soon as I get home, while I still remember the order.

Although i must say, the Opeth Chronology show was by far the easiest order to remember EVER. (All in order :tongue: )

I can still easily remember a bands shorter setlists (ie: Symphony X's Gigantour set). I have a good noggin for these things. :bliss:

jaysadler2
03-15-2006, 07:45 AM
what i usually do is before a show, i give songs code names, for example, wit metallica- fade to black-F.B, Sad but true-S.T etc.

This method is also good for bands that have a huge back catalogue, and that u r less likely to know what they're going to play.

A easier method for bands that just have on album out, or two is to just write down the track numbers of the songs they play from the album, for example, for trivium (tonight!!!!;) Rain - 02, A gunshot....-06 etc..

u could record these on a piece of paper, on the ticket in pencil, or on your hand

DethMaiden
03-15-2006, 12:23 PM
what i usually do is before a show, i give songs code names, for example, wit metallica- fade to black-F.B, Sad but true-S.T etc.

This method is also good for bands that have a huge back catalogue, and that u r less likely to know what they're going to play.

A easier method for bands that just have on album out, or two is to just write down the track numbers of the songs they play from the album, for example, for trivium (tonight!!!!;) Rain - 02, A gunshot....-06 etc..

u could record these on a piece of paper, on the ticket in pencil, or on your hand

Good hints:party:

ChildrenofSodom
03-28-2006, 07:31 PM
I bet if you asked the singer what the name of the song he just played, he will be more than glad to tell you....

hot_turkey_ed
03-28-2006, 07:34 PM
I bet if you asked the singer what the name of the song he just played, he will be more than glad to tell you....

At smaller shows, I sometimes that do or find him after the band's set. Most are pretty cool of it and happy someone is taking that much of an interest. :)

ChildrenofSodom
03-28-2006, 07:50 PM
"ummm....excuse me....Mr.Culto...."

DethMaiden
05-12-2006, 12:06 PM
Here's a good way, though no one probably cares :D:

You (before a given band goes on stage, to someone nearby): Hi, I'm collecting setlists for metalsetlists.com, how well do you know band name here 's music?

Do this until someone will help you out.

ChildrenofSodom
05-12-2006, 12:29 PM
maybe someone can explain this to me....some guy had a laptop and a mic and he was standing in the crowd....the guard saw him and talked to him...but he didnt make him leave....WHAT WAS HE DOING

wroed
10-16-2007, 03:23 AM
Hi,

New here, but have been a setlist collector (and reviewer) for some time for the website I write for. Here's my tool of choice which has been invaluable...

http://www.theglowcompany.co.uk/acatalog/WRITE_LIGHT.html

DarkTwilight
10-16-2007, 06:53 AM
What I found works better than pen and paper is a cell phone. You can go into a text message, when you hear the song name, type it in, then save the text message as a draft. Your not sending this to anyone, but if someone gets thrown into you at a show, I think you'd rather want a cell phone going into your chest than a pencil.

Maiden33
10-16-2007, 06:54 AM
What I found works better than pen and paper is a cell phone. You can go into a text message, when you hear the song name, type it in, then save the text message as a draft. Your not sending this to anyone, but if someone gets thrown into you at a show, I think you'd rather want a cell phone going into your chest than a pencil.

not a bad idea at all.

floydhunter9
10-16-2007, 01:08 PM
I've found that either using your memory or simply swiping the setlist works pretty well. ^_^

DethMaiden
10-16-2007, 01:11 PM
I've found that either using your memory or simply swiping the setlist works pretty well. ^_^

Yeah. I very very rarely bring a pen and pad anymore, and when I do, I often say fuck it and don't even use it.

Maiden33
10-17-2007, 06:54 AM
Obviously getting the set list itself is the best possible solution... however, I consider myself pretty lucky with getting them and for all the shows I've been too I've only aquired 6 set lists (Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Tesla, Icarus Witch, Twisted Tower Dire, Beyond Fallen), and 1 or 2 of them were asked for.

hot_turkey_ed
10-17-2007, 10:28 AM
Documenting your concert can be more involved than just getting a set list. My notebooks contain all kinds of details and memories, some having nothing to do with the actual set list, that provide a lot of color for my write ups.

Often, bands don't announce song titles. When you have to grab lyrics from unfamiliar songs, a notebook comes in very handy.

floydhunter9
10-17-2007, 01:15 PM
Often, bands don't announce song titles.

Unless said band is Overkill. Bobby Blitz couldn't stop doing it. v_v

Altmer7989
09-30-2008, 12:45 PM
I don't even take notes... the most I do is just text shorthand to myself on my cell phone... but 90% of the setlists I remember are purely from memory...

I have a good memory, so that works.

Sinfulsot
10-01-2008, 10:00 PM
the one time i tried using my celly, i spent more time trying to key in the characters then watching the band perform. from then on it's notepad and pen or nothing.

Altmer7989
10-02-2008, 07:26 AM
dont pen the complete song just pen it like shorthand

ex. iron maiden play aces high, hallowed be thy name and the trooper just text

aces
hallowed
trooper

ravenheart
10-02-2008, 07:29 AM
dont pen the complete song just pen it like shorthand

ex. iron maiden play aces high, hallowed be thy name and the trooper just text

aces
hallowed
trooper

Genius.

Sinfulsot
10-02-2008, 07:54 AM
i understand. i just don't key texts very often.

hot_turkey_ed
10-02-2008, 11:26 AM
the one time i tried using my celly, i spent more time trying to key in the characters then watching the band perform. from then on it's notepad and pen or nothing.

My phone is ancient. I would have the same problems. :2cents:

Sinfulsot
10-03-2008, 08:22 PM
My phone is ancient. I would have the same problems. :2cents:

my phone isn't that bad, i'm just not used to that sort of alpha-numeric "keyboard". sometimes low-tech is just as good.

dan12con
10-19-2008, 11:33 PM
I just write it in as a text mesage on my cell phone and save it as a draft.

Firewind
10-20-2008, 10:50 AM
I just write it in as a text mesage on my cell phone and save it as a draft.

Never thought to do that before, but I will now.

immortalkz
01-28-2009, 08:45 AM
at least someone thought of the cell phone, i never text so im very slow at it...but i use keywords especially if i know the band well enough. when i dont knwo them as well than i put in keywords that would help me figure out what songs they play.

MunicipalWasted
06-28-2009, 02:40 AM
I know this is a definite late post but...

Instead of doing the text message/save as a draft thing, most phones have a note pad which you can save. Then you dont gotta worry bout accidently sending it to somebody etc. Also easier to open up and view.

LIVEtoROCK86
02-17-2012, 09:47 AM
Just write yourself a text and save it as a draft...just update it real quick when a new song starts...takes 3 seconds.

mankvill
02-17-2012, 09:55 AM
Just write yourself a text and save it as a draft...just update it real quick when a new song starts...takes 3 seconds.

This was so much easier back when I had a phone with buttons. :lol:

treghet
02-17-2012, 11:21 AM
This was so much easier back when I had a phone with buttons. :lol:

I still have a phone with buttons. :cool:

Maideneer
09-30-2014, 12:22 PM
Reading through this thread with older cell phone technology is lol. Good times.

Anyway, am I the only person to take their iPod to a show? Let's take a band I love and they start playing a song and the title is on the tip of my tongue but I can't quite grasp it...well I have the entire discography on my iPod anyway so all I have to do is find my Top 5 songs of what I think it is, plug in my headphones (yes during the show), put that sucker on full volume and try to make out what the opening riff I just heard is. This actually works very well for me. I guess it also helps if you're a CD/discography completist like I am, sort of an OCD thing as well as loving the bands I love.

I also usually store the setlist from the night before wherever that band played and reference it one-by-one during the show I go to...usually works well too.

Also, a spot right next to or behind the soundboard works great, they usually have a printed setlist there so if I could get a look at it before the show even starts, it makes my life easy so I can just confirm the set, put my iPod and phone away and enjoy the damn show hands free!

adamclark52
09-30-2014, 12:38 PM
Reading through this thread with older cell phone technology is lol. Good times.

Anyway, am I the only person to take their iPod to a show? Let's take a band I love and they start playing a song and the title is on the tip of my tongue but I can't quite grasp it...well I have the entire discography on my iPod anyway so all I have to do is find my Top 5 songs of what I think it is, plug in my headphones (yes during the show), put that sucker on full volume and try to make out what the opening riff I just heard is. This actually works very well for me. I guess it also helps if you're a CD/discography completist like I am, sort of an OCD thing as well as loving the bands I love.

I also usually store the setlist from the night before wherever that band played and reference it one-by-one during the show I go to...usually works well too.

Also, a spot right next to or behind the soundboard works great, they usually have a printed setlist there so if I could get a look at it before the show even starts, it makes my life easy so I can just confirm the set, put my iPod and phone away and enjoy the damn show hands free!

I do take my iPod to shows but I can't listen to it during bands. Even bands I'm not enjoying. I'll usually use a previous set list from the tour for reference and hope the singer mentions the name. I'm terrible with song titles. I make "notes" on my phone like "song that says this in the first line", "song that starts with this riff". Its tough for me.

I tried Shazaaming once but that didn't work.

Natrlhi
09-30-2014, 02:54 PM
I use my smartphone to make a quick notes document with the setlist, and I've done what Maideneer said by using a recent setlist as a starting point for the document and checking them off as I go. If I'm unsure of song titles, I'll take a short 30-second video of a part of the song that has a distinguishing riff in it and then research it later. If I'm running short on video storage space or don't feel like doing that, I'll either try to catch a few quick lyrics and write them down for future researching, or if the show hits a slow point I'll sometimes even search the lyrics in the web browser on my phone and confirm the song title(s) right there at the show.

If worst comes to least, I've talked to a lot of band members / merch table folks who are usually more than glad to help with setlists, since I'm showing interest in getting the titles correct so I can post a favorable gig report of their set online.