This past month, my band (www.myspace.com/natocoles) learned a set of Descendents songs, to play at a two-day event in Minneapolis called The Pop Punk Emporium, which happened on July 9th and 10th. Here's the setlist:
I'M NOT A LOSER
GOOD GOOD THINGS
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're wondering why your favorite Descendents song - "Pep Talk," perhaps, or maybe "Suburban Home," or even "Iceman" - wasn't included in this set. There were three criteria used to draw up the set: 1.) General popularity of the song; 2.) Specific popularity of the song within the band; 3.) Difficulty of learning and playing the song.
For example, consider "Good Good Things." It's a really cool song! But, is it as cool as "Pervert," or the song "I Don't Want To Grow Up," or "Silly Girl," or "My World," or the song "Descendents," all of which are from the same album (I Don't Want To Grow Up)? Well, Mike Cranberry (our drummer) really loves "Good Good Things," and it was a very easy song to learn - unlike, say, "Pervert" or "I Don't Want To Grow Up," both of which have funny chord changes and timing issues (as is typical of songs Tony Lombardo had something to do with the writing of). And although my favorite Descendents song of all time is "My World," it's a personal favorite more than a fan favorite, and thus it was left off the setlist (by which I mean, not learned).
Anyway, we played the set on July 9th, and then about 2/3rds of it again on July 26th (at a bowling alley called Memory Lanes, appropriate enough a location for a tribute act). We worked very hard to get the songs tight and right, and it was a ton of fun to actually pull it off. I think it was a success. I saw a lot of smiling, familiar faces as we played, that's for sure. Some crazy dancing as well.
Now, we near the end of July, and my band has our sights set on another task: a Thin Lizzy cover set, to be played at the Triple Rock Social Club on August 20th. I doubt we'll learn ten songs - more like six or seven. And we're not going to learn any "hits," as those will be left to the headlining band of punks (their name? Jailbreak, naturally). I'm not sure what songs we're going to learn. Any suggestions?
The only thing I know is this: learning Thin Lizzy songs is WAYYY easier than learning Descendents songs!!!