I saw Blur this past May, when they did a secret show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall Of Williamsburg. That was a week after the release of their great new LP, The Magic Whip, and the setlist was pretty much a run-through of the album (sans “Ice Cream Man”), followed by a three-song encore of old stuff: “Beetlebum,” “Trouble In The Message Centre,” and “Song 2.” And even though it omitted roughly 90% of the band’s total catalog, that was a FUCKING GREAT SHOW. When Blur come back to the States for a pair of arena performances, though, the crowds will be expecting to hear a more balanced set. Understandably!
Today, NME wrote about Blur’s setlist-making process, as revealed by drummer Dave Rowntree in an interview on XFM. Per Rowntree, “Song 2″ is a must: “If we didn’t play ‘Song 2′ we’d never get invited to a festival again.” That seems reasonable enough; as a lifelong Blur fan, there are at least 10 songs I’d prefer to hear, but I’m not gonna complain about “Song 2.” More interestingly, though, Rowntree noted that the rest of the setlist was outsourced. “These days, we delegate the job to Stuart, my drum tech,” said Rowntree. “He comes up with the basic setlist and then we argue about it from there.”
I mean, someone’s gotta do it, right? Probably better to assign it to Stuart then let Damon and Graham fight it out, potentially resulting in another decade-plus hiatus. Because I gotta tell you, I really want these guys to make another album together. Anyway, Stuart, if you’re reading this: Make sure “Blue Jeans,” “Caramel,” and “The Universal” are on the MSG setlist. Oh, and “Under The Westway.” If you need more suggestions, just let me know. Between all us Blur fans on Stereogum, I’m confident we can come up with a compelling set that will adequately represent the band’s deep catalog and clock in at no more than … four hours. Does that work?
Check out XFM’s interview with Rowntree below.