Set list

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9" × 12" laminate set list from a Dixie Chicks concert in 2003. In this instance, the keys the songs are played in are also given. The horizontal line (or a wide blank space) near the bottom delineates the encore.
Set list by X at The TLA in Philadelphia

A set list, or setlist, is a document that lists the songs that a band or musical artist intends to play, or has played, during a specific concert performance. Hand-written or printed, on paper, cardboard, or laminate, it is usually taped to the stage, or somewhere the musicians can see it.

Music fans also refer to the set list in the non-physical sense of what a performing artist chooses to play. For many artists, the same set list is played for every performance on a given concert tour. For others this is not necessarily the case, and for their devoted fan bases who follow the artist around on tour, the most variety in the set list from night to night is longed for. The Grateful Dead are one example, having never played the same set list twice in the band's entire existence. Some such artists have predetermined "slots" in an otherwise mostly fixed show where different songs can be swapped in and out; other artists guarantee that the same song will not be played two shows in a row; and still other artists such as Van Morrison use no predetermined set list at all.

Websites exist to track and report statistics on the played set lists of those artists who change them from night to night. In the case of devoted fan bases such as for Bruce Springsteen, in the pre-smartphone era fans attending concerts took on the assigned role of "set list caller", periodically calling out or text-messaging from a cell phone to a friend, to report the most recent songs played, with the friend then updating a running set list on one of several Internet forums. In the smartphone era, such fans could update the sites themselves or put out running commentaries on Twitter.

So great is the attention to the set list, that the actual physical set list sometimes becomes a treasured souvenir of the show, with fans grabbing one off the stage after a performance or requesting one from a roadie. Roadies sometimes keep the set lists for themselves and sell them on eBay, with the buyer usually being an attendee to the show (Jimmy Eat World on a UK tour is an example, in which plectra were also sold). Instances of deviations of the actual show from the planned one are then spotted; these are called "audibles" after the American football term.

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