Concert Setlists: The Ultimate Guide

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Concerts are a wonderful experience of human togetherness. At Stadium Help, we are always obsessed to find out the latest concert setlist for each artist.

Will it be a regular set of greatest hits?

Will the real fans get the night of their lives with b-sides?

How many new songs will be performed?

But before we dive deeper, let’s quickly take a look at what a setlist is all about.

What is a Concert Setlist?

A concert setlist is a printed, handwritten, or digital document that lists the order of songs an artist intends to perform on stage.

Artists use setlists for a variety of reasons.

They are most often used to help the artist or band to create the overall mood of a live performance. Good artists consider variety in the tone, tempo, and dynamics within their performance.

Parts Of A Setlist

The following are the different parts of a concert song list:

Opening Song

The first track an artist plays when they get on stage is what is called the “opening song.”

The opening song of a setlist is very crucial. It can make or mar the artist’s performance on stage. Usually, fans have been sitting through one or more openers and are ready for a big bang from the headliner.


taylor swift b-stage from her speak now tour
taylor swift b-stage from her speak now tour

The B-stage is a smaller stage built separately from the main stage. Ususally, artists to perform at least 2 – 3 songs in order to give fans seated on that side of the stadium a treat.

Taylor Swift and Panic at the Disco used the b-stage prominently on tour in 2019.

Acoustic Set

The acoustic set is the group of songs played without musical instruments. Artists use this period to rest while the lead singer continues singing so that there is no dull moment.

Closing Song

This is the last set of songs the artist or band perform before the end of the concert.

In most cases, this is either the lead-off single from the artist’s most recent album.


An encore is a special set of one or more songs after the main set has completed.

The idea is that people want more and don’t quite want the show to end yet.

That’s why after a concert, you still hear shouts of “we want more” which is literally what “encore” means!


The most important parts of the setlist are the opening song and the encore. The first song sets the mood for the rest of the night and the last song is what people remember when they go home.

Why Do Fans Read The Setlist Before The Concert?

The setlist is of crucial importance to fans. Fans read the setlist for a lot of reasons.

If you know the list before the concert, fans get to know the songs to expect and not ruin their expectations.

Another reason is that they want to sing along with the artist as the artist performs on stage, especially for artists they barely know.

Listening to the setlist in advance can help you learn the words. This is cool if you aren’t a fan of the artist or the opener.

At Stadium Help, we offer links to stream music on Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal within our tour guides.

How Many Songs Are In a Setlist

The number of songs on a setlist depends on the individual artist and genre.

For a rock band, often 12-18 songs is enough for a full 90 minute concert. Extra time is filled in with instrumental work, drum solo, and introducing the band.

Many rap artists are able to perform more songs because they cut the instrumental pieces off. Also common is that they choose to only perform one verse from some.

Last year on tour, Drake performed a whopping 40 songs during his Aubrey and the Three Migos tour.

Playing The Same Songs Each Night?

Most artists play the same setlist each night during tour. The reason is due to the choreography and planning that goes into a live show.

They have dance moves, choreography, fireworks, and video screens all synced together to prompt them for the same songs each night.

Some rock bands who don’t have backup dancers and play all of their own instruments play a different concert setlist each night. Fans do not know what to expect and each concert is a unique experience.

This might also entice fans to come back for a second show on the tour.

Most Popular Concert Setlists – Setlist Finder

The following are some of the most popular setlists on Stadium Help:

Our Artist page shows all of the tour guides we have. You can check out lots of concert information for each artist!


Stream on Apple Music, Spotify & Tidal

One of the best ways to learn songs before a show is by adding the full concert playlist to your music app. At Stadium Help, we offer links to stream each setlist on Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal!

Check out our Artists page for setlists for each artist. Click on any artist and you will see streaming icons if we have a setlist set on the site. We think this makes us one of the best setlist websites on the web today!

Final Thoughts

A well-crafted concert setlist can mean the difference between a superb, decent, pedestrian, or down-right awful performance.

Even though spontaneity is a key component of any great rock show, you can’t ignore the benefits of creating an effective list of songs.

A setlist is more than just a list of songs your favorite artists or band plans on performing. It’s a game plan, a strategy for the show!

What do you think makes a great song list?

Let us know in the comments section below or you can drop your feedback via our Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram handles.

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1 thought on “Concert Setlists: The Ultimate Guide”

  1. Does anyone know what jcole set list will be for his tour this year. Seeing him later this month (October 2021) but I can’t find his set list anywhere


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