Design Your Dream Concert

The U2 rehearsal lists that are going around have given me an idea.

I want to hear from you. Post your dream concert in the Comments below.

  • Pick an artist. U2, Springsteen, Over the Rhine, Emmylou Harris, David Bazan, Iron & Wine… anybody.
  • Pick 20 songs from their catalog that you’d like to hear them play.
  • List them in the order they should perform them.
  • Set off 3 of those 20 songs as encores.
  • If you want, make one of those songs a cover of someone else’s song… just to spice things up.

If I get three responses to this invitation, I’ll go ahead and post a dream show or two for my favorite artists…

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  • Jim Bricker

    And while I’m REALLY dreaming ….

    ++ The Beatles ++
    A Hard Day’s Night
    Dear Prudence
    Norweigian Wood
    You Never Give Me Your Money
    And I Love her
    Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
    I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
    Sgt Pepper
    With a Little Help From My Friends
    A Day in the Life
    Two of Us
    I Want to Tell You
    Tomorrow Never Knows
    While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    e1 I Saw Her Standing There
    e2 Carry That Weight > The End

  • Jim Bricker

    OK, another… although I’m noticing that these are not fitting quite into the folksie feel of the other lists…

    ++ King Crimson ++
    Larks’s Tongues in Aspic Pt 1
    Frame by Frame
    The Construction of Light
    Three of a Perfect Pair
    Matte Kudasai
    Easy Money
    The Sailor’s Tale
    The Sheltering Sky
    Satori in Tangiers
    21st Century Schizoid Man
    The Talking Drum
    Larks’s Tongues in Aspic Pt 2
    e1 Discipline
    e2 Deception of the Thrush
    e3 Elephant Talk

  • Jim Bricker

    A great way to wast… uh, refersh the neurons for further work.
    ++ Steely Dan ++
    Green Earrings
    Black Friday
    Bad Sneakers
    Here at the Western World
    Pretzel Logic
    King of the World
    Do It Again
    Reelin’ in the Years
    Babylon Sisters
    Jack of Speed
    Everything Must Go
    Kid Charlamagne
    Doctor Wu
    My Old School
    e1The Royal Scam

    ++ Genesis ++
    Dance on a Volcano
    Dancing Out With the Moonlit Knight
    Carpet Crawlers
    Home by the Sea
    Second Home by the Sea
    Fountain of Salmacis
    Land of Confusion
    It’s Gonna Get Better
    Duke’s Travels
    Behind the Lines
    The Lamia
    The Lady Lies
    Supper’s’ Ready
    I Know What I Like
    Los Endos
    The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
    Musical Box
    It / Watcher of the Skies

  • Stephen Lamb

    I don’t know, mine would probably be Bruce Springsteen. But seeing Bruce join Phish for a couple songs last week at Bonnaroo, finishing with, “Glory Days,” was enough to satisfy me for a while.

    I also saw another great concert Saturday night by Over the Rhine, and am going to try to make it up to their show in a couple weeks with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.

  • Garrick

    Here are a few:


    1. Grace
    2. Elevation
    3. All Because of You
    4. Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
    5. Running to Stand Still
    6. No Line on the Horizon
    7. Bad
    8. Where the Streets Have No Name
    9. If God Will Send His Angels
    10. Lemon
    11. Mofo/Vertigo
    12. The First Time
    13. New Year’s Day
    14. Beautiful Day
    15. Ultra Violet
    16. Moment of Surrender
    17. Unknown Caller
    18. Stand Up Comedy
    19. One
    20. Falling At Your Feet (not technically U2, but would be cool none the less, hey its my concert)


    1. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
    2. Casino Queens
    3. I Got You
    4. Theologians
    5. One by One
    6. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
    7. On and On and On
    8. Handshake Drugs
    9. Passenger Side
    10. She’s A Jar
    11. Sunken Treasure
    12. Kingpin
    13. At Least That’s What You Said
    14. Can’t Stand It
    15. Outta Mind Outta Sight
    16. What Light
    17. Via Chicago
    18. Misunderstood
    19. California Stars
    20. Jesus, etc.

    Bob Dylan

    1. High Water
    2. Going to Acapulco
    3. Love Minus Zero
    4. Beyond Here Lies Nothing
    5. One Too Many Mornings
    6. Tangled Up In Blue
    7. Every Grain of Sand
    8. Ring Them Bells
    9. Cry Awhile
    10. Thunder on the Mountain
    11. Shelter From the Storm
    12. Positively Fourth Street
    13. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
    14. It Ain’t Me Babe
    15. Mississippi
    16. Like A Rolling Stone
    17. Visions of Johanna
    18. Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
    19. When the Ship Comes In
    20. Boots of Spanish Leather

  • closerlooker

    I’m working on my Over the Rhine dream set-list. I’ll post it sometime this weekend. I may have to cook up a U2 set list as well.

  • Brad Neel

    This would be my dream setlist for a White Stripes gig. This is an interesting concept because they are well-known for never using a pre-determined setlist. Hence, every Whites Stripes show is unique. (The covers in this list are ones they have been known to play live).

    1. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
    2. Black Math
    3. The Big Three Killed My Baby
    4. Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine
    5. Red Death at 6:14
    6. My Doorbell
    7. Hotel Yorba
    8. Jolene (Dolly Parton cover)
    9. We’re Going To Be Friends
    10. Death Letter (Son House cover)
    11. Rag and Bone
    12. Blue Orchid
    13. Party of Special Things To Do (Captain Beefheart cover)
    14. Ball and Biscuit
    15. In the Cold, Cold Night
    16. Icky Thump
    17. Seven Nation Army


    18. Let’s Shake Hands
    19. Isis (Bob Dylan cover)
    20. Ballad of the Boll Weevil (Leadbelly cover)

  • zalm

    For the record, I only resurrected someone from the dead for my concert. But time travel? That’s crazy talk.

  • Darren

    When I first saw this post, I thought you were looking for a dream concert bill rather than a dream concert by a single band, so I was constructing this perfect soft>loud show with Gillian Welch, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, PJ Harvey, and Sonic Youth. Since Zalm has introduced the idea of an imaginary, step-back-in-time show, though, can I see The Clash in 1979? The Who in 1971? Bob Dylan in 1965?

  • Daniel

    I’ll have to come back later with the Killers, Matchbox 20/Rob Thomas, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

  • Daniel

    This reminds me of ESPN’s John Buccigross, writing about Game 7 of the NHL Finals, and musing on similar events. This is my favorite.
    “Game 7 equals… Ne-Yo opening for Animal Collective opening for MGMT opening for Ben Folds opening for Prince opening for Blink 182 opening for Green Day opening for U2 opening for Bruce Springsteen opening for Tool opening for whatever the “Hockey Night in Canada” opening montage is for Friday’s Game 7″. (The opening montage included Don Cherry lifting the biggest real octopus I’ve ever seen out of the Detroit River).

    So who would open for my guys? Well, in a perfect world, Over the Rhine and/or Regina Spektor.
    If only I could get the Killers, Coldplay, and U2 to follow them… And the White Stripes, Matchbox 20, and Arcade Fire.

    Of course, with me in charge, each band would end up playing almost every song they ever wrote, so maybe this should be a week-long festival instead of an all-nighter mega-concert.

    *Disclaimer since I just name-dropped OtR, U2 and AF: No, Jeff, I’m not copying everything you love. We just happen to have freakishly similar (and freakishly good) tastes in music. I suppose you’re asking, “Where does Sam Phillips fit into all this?” Probably along with OtR and RS. (When I was younger, I used to think NOBODY knew about Sam and Rhine, but apparently EVERYBODY does.)*

  • Daniel B

    Frontman Tom Chaplin, pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, and drummer Richard Hughes.
    They started out with U2 covers, and opened for them back in ’05. They’ve suffered comparisons to Coldplay and the Killers, which, even though they’re definitely a different sound, is pretty cool. Chris Martin wanted Rice-Oxley to be Coldplay’s keyboardist, but since Keane was already set up, he had to settle to doing it himself. Which didn’t turn out too bad.

    Anyway, they’re my favorite band. I can listen to their discography straight through. Cutting this down to just 20 was tough.

    1. Bend and Break – I wanted a strong opening, so this won the lotto (96,000!).
    2. Your Eyes Open
    3. The Lovers Are Losing
    4. Under Pressure – Yes, Tom sings for both Freddie Mercury and David Bowie. Already one of the most awesome songs in existence.
    5. We Might As Well be Strangers
    6. Everybody’s Changing
    7. Nothing In My Way
    8. Early Winter
    9. Can’t Stop Now
    10. Is It Any Wonder?
    11. Leaving So Soon
    12. Crystal Ball
    13. The Night Sky
    14. With Or Without You (U2) – Holy cow.
    15. This Is the Last Time
    16. Snowed Under
    17. Somewhere Only We Know – Seriously, isn’t this just a great, great song?

    18. Bedshaped – Gets me every time.
    19. Hamburg Song – The most meaningful to me.
    20. A Bad Dream – After we saw them in concert, my brother and I agreed; this was our favorite.

    You may notice there’s barely anything from Perfect Symmetry here. =( I’ve got basically all of Hopes and Fears, which, after factoring in Under the Iron Sea, leaves little room. I’m still addicted to the old ones. There are covers and odd projects as well, so don’t think I’m stuck to them.

    Anything before the final five could be in totally random order, and I wouldn’t care. They are irreplaceable and unforgettable, but they’re all so good and familiar.
    But the last two before the encore, and the encore, stand. Snowed Under just excites me to no end. The final 3 are my favorite songs. I couldn’t let SOWN slip; it has to close out the main performance. It will always hold a special place in my heart as the first Keane song I ever heard. Still one of their best.

  • Joel

    OK, first of all I don’t like long sets, so I can’t do 20 songs, but here’s a dream Sixpence None the Richer set. They would be playing with their circa 1996 lineup, a string quartet, and an extra guitar.

    1. We Have Forgotten/Anything/The Waiting Room
    2. Love, Salvation, the Fear of Death
    3. Within a Room Somewhere
    4. The Lines of My Earth
    5. Melody of You
    6. Still Burning
    7. I’ve Been Waiting
    8. A Million Parachutes
    9. Too Far Gone
    10. Meaningless (for like 20 minutes)

  • Blake Collier

    My dream concert would be Thrice.

    1. Image of the Invisible
    2. The Lion and the Wolf
    3. A Song for Milly Michaelson
    4. The Sky is Falling
    5. For Miles
    6. The Messenger
    7. The Arsonist
    8. Weight of Glory
    9. Deadbolt
    10. Cold Cash and Colder Hearts
    11. Broken Lungs
    12. Atlantic
    13. The Artist in the Ambulance
    14. Under a Killing Moon
    15. Trust
    16. The Whaler
    17. Red Sky

    18. Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
    19. That Hideous Strength
    20. The Earth Will Shake

  • Julio Ibanez

    I was going to post something here, but I’m just going to have to agree with Zalm…Passion Live with Mercy Street as an opener…I’m not sure I can top that.

  • Kendall Phillips

    Radiohead is my favorite band. I have long thought about the perfect setlist, but now you have given me the opportunity to finally type it out. So, here goes:

    1. Reckoner
    2. Lucky
    3. Everything In Its Right Place
    4. Airbag
    5. Nice Dream
    6. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
    7. The Bends
    8. You and Whose Army?
    9. Idioteque
    10. Bodysnatchers
    11. There There
    12. Videotape
    13. Just
    14. 15 Step
    15. Pyramid Song
    16. Karma Police
    17. Street Spirit
    18. Polyethylene
    19. Paranoid Android
    20. Grace (Jeff Buckley cover)

    I love every Radiohead song, so this was difficult to choose!

  • Barbara

    Oh man, I’m such a diehard fan of The Avett Brothers (Concord, NC) that I can’t resist replying to this one. It goes without saying that I’m in the front row surrounded by other diehards, including my brother & best friend (she introduced me to the band).

    1. Shame
    2. At The Beach
    3. St. Joseph’s
    4. Me and God
    5. Tear Down The House
    6. Love Like the Movies
    7. Jenny and the Summer Day
    8. Matrimony
    9. Paranoia in B-Flat Major
    10. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (Led Zeppelin Cover)
    11. Left on Laura, Left on Lisa
    12. November Blue
    13. Walking For You
    14. Talk on Indolence
    15. Nothing Short of Thankful
    16. I & Love & You
    17. Go To Sleep (they walk off stage as the crowd continues to sing the “la-la”s until they return for the encore)
    17. Murder In The City
    18. Please Pardon Yourself
    19. Laundry Room

  • zalm

    I’ll admit from the start that this bends your rules a little bit. But it’s my dream, so that’s just the way it’s going to have to be.

    It’s a Peter Gabriel concert. The lights come up on the stage as Peter, Tony Levin, Manu Katché, David Rhodes open with “Mercy Street,” complete with backup vocals by Youssou N’Dour, Michael Been, Jim Kerr, Ronnie Bright, and (it’s my dream, so why not?) Kate Bush.

    As the final vocal line fades away, the low bass drone sustains. A spotlight flicks on to illuminate two Armenian doudouk players as they begin to play the haunting opening strains to “The Feeling Begins.”

    From there, it’s the entire “Passion” album…. talking drums, children’s choir, L. Shankar’s double violin, even a resurrected Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

    The. Whole. Thing.

    I don’t think there’s an encore. How could there be?

    And then I wake up.