How to Get the Band to Play What You Want

We've all been there. You hand over good money to see a band you love, spend weeks salivating in anticipation, and then, when the big night finally comes, the members do nothing but play tracks from their new album. The bad one. That nobody likes. (We're looking at you, Sonic Youth.) Some artists, even when they know what you want to hear, will spend an entire night playing whatever the hell they want and thinking if they play two old songs at the end, all will be forgiven. The result? We go home feeling ripped off and disappointed. So how do you get the band to play what you want? Here are some suggestions.

set list.jpg

Harness the Power of the Internet
The Internet was invented so that music fans could bully their idols and boss them around in passive-aggressive outbursts online. Gone are the days when these fans had to hide in ugly forums, isolated chatrooms, and, oh dear, the comments under YouTube videos. No. Now we all have the power to make demands of our favourite musicians right to their little rockstar faces via the magic of Twitter. And trust us, they read that stuff too. You want artists to play a certain song next time you see them? Find them on Twitter and tell them. Every day. Every single day. And get your friends to tell them too. Then start a Facebook page with a list of demands and send them a link. They'll cave in, in no time, just to get you all to shut your goddamn cakeholes.

Go Old-School
In the olden days there were these things called fan clubs and you could send long, lovingly put-together, handwritten, glitter-covered letters to your idols via the medium. Millions of trees perished horribly so that millions of idiots could send childish nonsense to famous people. And while we're sure stars of today are glad they no longer have sacks full of dead trees on their consciences, we reckon musicians receive actual fan letters so seldom now, they probably read all of them and cherish them. Send one care of whatever venue they're playing, tell them how much you love them, then mention in passing that you'll just die if they don't play so-and-so. They'll probably take pity on your old-fashioned ass and play it.


Get Creepy
If you're willing to give your whole day up in pursuit of this Play That Song nonsense, all you have to do is hang around by the venue all day. The band will be in and out all afternoon. It's like birdwatching or trainspotting -- incredibly boring and moderately creepy, but if you sit around for long enough you'll see what you're waiting for. In this case, a band member to chase down and beg, yell at, or whine to. They will think of you as a stalker forever, but, hey, at least you get the show you want.

Yell. Yell Like You're Being Murdered
And do it in between every. bloody. song. If you wanna be a real bastard, you can do it in the middle of ballads too. Your fellow audience members will want to murder you, but eventually the band will tell you to shut the eff up or they'll just play it to stop you from ruining the show. 


Make a Sign
Now look. Teenage girls do this shit all the time to make whatever point they wanna make to whatever pop star they're watching. Don't think of this as beneath you -- think of it as an ironic, postadolescent statement about how we're all still kids at heart. Or as a postmodern experiment in star manipulation. Do what you have to do to justify it to your cool friends, then just do it. The band will think it's a hilarious joke of some sort and probably accommodate you.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Rae Alexandra @Raemondjjjj, and like us at

My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest

Now Trending

From the Vault



San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.