Mark Mothersbaugh

When you think of one of your favourite bands, there’s always a defining song that comes to mind. Think Devo, and Whip It starts to hum in your head. Same thing goes for Elvis Costello’s Pump It Up, and Gary Numan’s Cars.

I missed out on the recent Nine Inch Nails concert at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. For weeks, their song Closer was playing on a non-stop loop in my head.

When I learned that the song was skipped on their Vancouver stop last Thursday, admittedly, the first thing I felt was a quick pang of relief that I hadn’t spend over $100 for a decent seat to the show (not that numerous other NIN songs wouldn’t have been fantastic to hear live).

What about those occasions when you’re actually at one of your favourite band’s shows, just waiting half the night to hear “that one song” that you just have to hear, otherwise the night wouldn’t be complete?

How many times have we been disappointed, thinking the band must play that one song, and then, even after a decent encore or two, the song has simply vanished from the set list, to be replaced by newer songs, or (dreadful!) a cover of some other band’s.

Festival d’Été/The Who

As bands mature, their collection of releases grows. I begin to wonder whether it’s just an age thing, or just the obvious: that bands simply need to grow their audiences, playing to a younger, newer crowd that’s just bought their latest CD/iTunes download.

It’s hard to know the process a band goes through in creating a set list for any given concert. In my concert-going career, I’ve easily seen several hundred shows, scattered across California, Western Europe and British Columbia.

What are some of your ‘must-hear’ songs from some of your favourite bands? Do you feel cheated when that amazing tune gets left in the dust?


  • Comment by Tom V. — November 26, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

    Teenage Wasteland – The Who

  • Comment by Shirley — November 26, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

    Oasis: Champagne Supernova. Boom.

  • Comment by Betty W. — November 26, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

    Chumbawumba – Tubthumping. But then again, they didn’t have too many hits now, did they.

  • Comment by Shana — November 26, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    REM’s It’s the End of the World

  • Comment by Phyllis e. — November 26, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    Superman by REM! Sooo good and brings back so many memories.

  • Comment by Steve — November 26, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

    House of Pain: Jump Around. C’mon, how can they NOT play that kinda song when they come to town!

  • Comment by Linda O. — November 26, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

    We Got The Beat – Go-Go’s

  • Comment by Monny — November 26, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

    Paranoid Android by Radiohead. So many good tunes by that band, but that one seems to sum up their whole scene.

  • Comment by Petey — November 26, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

    Runaway Train by Soul Asylum!

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — November 26, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    @Linda – The Go-Go’s are coming to Vancouver, BC for New Year’s Eve. Where are you located? Could be a fun way to ring in 2014.

  • Comment by Linda O. — November 27, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    We’re in Kamloops and will be in town towards end of that week, so who knows? Maybe worth a stay over!

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