How can I snag the Afghan Whigs setlist from an upcoming show?
March 2, 2014 3:44 PM   Subscribe

This is for a birthday gift and I'm really pining for it. The obvious answer would be to grab it at the show, but this is their first album in 16 years and at a small venue, it's sure to be a sold out show. My chances of actually grabbing it in a crowd of people is minimal (plus, what about security?). I'm wondering if it's too much to ask if someone backstage can grab it, but that would involve calling the venue's box office and asking a favor which I'm not sure would work. I thought of sending a letter with a self-addressed stamped envelope to their fan site but I realize those letters probably never reach the band. Has anyone successfully done this, or have any ideas that might work?

To clarify - the S.A.S.E. would be for them to return any setlist that they might have. I also thought of sending a C.D. to autograph rather than asking for a setlist, but that's probably pushing it.

Another option is to ask a friend to go with us and keep him busy while I work my way to the front, and just try to grab it.
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bring a small child to the show. Make them grab it. I'm totally not kidding. It feels faintly (okay, GROSSLY) scuzzy... but it works.
posted by julthumbscrew at 3:46 PM on March 2, 2014

When I was a teenager going to shows chaperoned by my mother (yes I was pretty cool), she successfully got a set list for me from the sound guy who, in these particular venues, was sitting towards the back in a little booth type area. These were at medium-small venues for larger indie acts. I have no idea how she got them other than by being a friendly suburban mom obviously there with her underage kid. Maybe you could bring along a friend (or do it yourself if you don't need to be up front to enjoy the show) who would be willing to hang out in the back and work the sound guy? If you have a good story for why this is necessary for a birthday gift, it could work.
posted by MadamM at 4:02 PM on March 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

You want the setlist from the show? your only hope is talking to the venue or band manager or another insider and totally charming the pants off them. You are not going to be able to get that by just working your way to the front
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 4:02 PM on March 2, 2014

This is their agency contact. Maybe worth sending an email asking for a copy, or asking if they'd sign and return a CD?
posted by billiebee at 4:11 PM on March 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

The only way I've managed this is to get there early and get right up front and beg the techs at the end. Depending on the size of the band (whigs are easier than metallica) you may luck out.
posted by kbbbo at 4:43 PM on March 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

I worked in the music industry for years with big names artists as well as smaller artists and those in between.

Don't grab the setlist.

Ask for it; it's definitely not too much to ask. Bands will think it's sweet.

Just get there early, like when they're loading in and definitely before soundcheck. Explain your situation and ask for a copy after the show.
posted by kinetic at 5:21 PM on March 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

kbbbo & MadamM pretty much have it - asking the soundperson in the back or the band members or techs on stage right after the show is the way to get a set list. Ask nicely, once. Please do not "work" them.

Of course, you do have to get lucky with timing, and they may not be willing to give up the list - I don't give up mine, because the bands I go on the road with tend to do the same set every night, so I've got song notes scribbled on the list that I need through the end of the tour.

(On preview: kinetic's idea is worth trying, but don't be too surprised if the band and/or the venue isn't very interested in having fans around during load-in and set-up. It's nothing personal, they're just busy and maybe not really in the head space to interact with the public.)

You probably won't get any traction out of trying to arrange something with the venue ahead of time (honestly, they have too many other things to worry about on any given night), and the S.A.S.E. idea seems doubtful. The set list may have been made up in the dressing room in the hours before the show, in which case there won't be any spare copies to mail out, and even if the band sorts the set out ahead of time and emails copies of it around, that's the kind of thing that tends to circulate among band members and techs only, so it's unlikely their management will have a copy.

But . . . . . looking at the timing & venues of the shows posted on their website, I think it's highly likely they'll be selling the new CD at the shows, and quite possibly be hanging around to sign autographs afterwards. Or there will be special "meet & greet" opportunities set up before the show - I don't know if they've got a fan club, but keep an eye on their Twitter (which this question is on right now, by the way) & Facebook to see if anything pops up. So I'd say your chances of getting an autographed something (lots of people pull the flyers/posters for the show off the club walls for the band to sign) are pretty good.

Another option is to ask a friend to go with us and keep him busy while I work my way to the front, and just try to grab it.

This sounds (maybe?) like the intended recipient is going to the show with you, and you'd like to keep it a surprise? If so, this might be adding too many complications to the mix - just do what you can to get the set-list and/or autographs.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:56 PM on March 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Here is another trick - whomever is doing sound most likely will have a copy of the setlist also. Check the soundguy in the back of the room first. He may give it to you after the show. I've gotten about 7 or 8 setlists this way.
posted by punkrockrat at 8:35 PM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I definitely recommend bringing a buddy along and working as a team. The most important part is asking nicely and if you don't get a reply to your request; move on, forget about it, and think of something else. Usually the way I manage to snag one is as soon as a roadie or anyone on the crew comes out after the show to pack gear away, call out to them and ask them nicely if they can rip it off the floor for you. You could try calling out to the band but if it's the end of the show and the crowd is wild, they might not hear you. I wouldn't recommend asking more than three times. That's when you start to get the judgemental look from fellow fans. Good luck!
posted by sapien at 1:36 AM on March 3, 2014

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