Learn More About The Setlist Guy
Music Geeks! Metal Geeks, Rock Geeks, lend me your ear. Have you heard about The Setlist Guy? We discovered them during Louder Than Life 2022 and use them any time they have a Pandora list for us to use for a concert we will be attending. Make sure to take time to read this interview to get to know more about the project, then, check out their website to get ready for your next concert.
Setlist Guy is an online platform that provides curated setlist playlists for concerts and festivals, with a primary focus on the metal genre. Founded by Scott Christopher, a veteran of the music industry, Setlist Guy provides a unique service that sets it apart from other setlist resources available online. The platform is now available on various streaming service platforms like Spotify, Apple, Tidal, Deezer, YouTube, Pandora, and Amazon.
GeekPost: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind starting Setlist Guy and how the idea came to fruition?
SLG: Setlist Guy’s founder, Scott Christopher, has been into hard rock and metal since 1971, at the ripe age of 4-years-old. That is when, with the help of his older brothers, he discovered Jimi Hendrix and would run around the house singing, “Fucksy Lady” to his mother’s dismay and his brothers’ delight.
Hailing from the suburban mecca giving birth to many metal bands (and plenty of adult stars), Southern California in the 70s was the perfect denizen for festering metal heads.
Scott’s love of music quickly grew from Hendrix, The Beatles (Sgt Pepper, of course) and The Stones to Aerosmith, Sabbath, and Zeppelin.
By 1982, at age 17, he attended his first real concert at the Long Beach Arena – Black Sabbath with Dio on the Mob Rules tour. It was that glorious weekend he knew his love affair with metal would never end.
In 1983 he attended the US Festival and saw Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Triumph, Scorpions and Van Halen. It was loud, hot and insane. His love of festivals was born in that dust.
One day, while still in high school, Scott and a friend found themselves sitting at Tommy Lee’s kitchen table, having BLT sandwiches the yet-to-be iconic drummer had served up, while the three marveled at Tommy’s band’s new release playing on MTV, Live Wire.
As so happened, as things often did at that time in suburban LA, something led to something else and Scott soon found himself touring the globe with a variety of musicians as a left-hand guitar tech, roadie and sometimes tour manager, primarily with hair metal bands of the day (but in full transparency, some famous jazz, disco and reggae acts also helped pay the bills).
Because of his lifelong love of music and years working in the music industry, Scott knew firsthand that he enjoyed concert experiences immensely more when he was familiar with band’s music leading up to any performance, be it either backstage or in the pit. He would often make “mixtapes” of all the songs he thought a band might play before seeing them in concert.
His friends all soon caught on to this ritual and requests for Scott’s special brand of mixtapes began rolling in. He happily gave away his creations and continued to do so with the evolution of CDs. When the internet appeared, his compositions became more accurate as more and more people were talking about shows they saw – and some were even posting setlists.
With the widespread use of streaming services and their associated huge catalogs of every artist under the sun, Scott was creating setlist playlists regularly.
Focused on his favorite metal bands, as well as his love and ear for discovering upcoming talent, he found great satisfaction creating setlist playlists for all the bands he desired to see at favorite festivals such as Warped, Knotfest and Aftershock.
It was this thirst and love for music the metal community thrives on that drove Scott to founding Setlist Guy, after the nickname affectionately given to him by many friends over the years.
As emerging technology continues to evolve, Scott recognized there are possibly millions of people who also want setlist playlists of upcoming tours and festivals, as it is the best way to help people get in the groove for their favorite shows. It is also a powerful way to help lift the rock industry back into profitability as well as help upcoming bands develop a following.
It was from this foundation that Setlist Guy was born.
With some adjustments to his Spotify account, he began creating setlist playlists for bands, tours and festivals and sharing them with his beloved metal family.
On the horizon, Setlist Guy has plans to grow their service to many other genres of music, as many are circling with requests.
With today’s technology, Setlist Guy is able to share setlist playlists on multiple platforms such as Apple, Amazon, YouTube, and Tidal Music
Scott’s request, as well as encouragement – enjoy the setlist playlists, get out and go to live shows, then sing and mosh like there’s no tomorrow!
Find The Setlist Guy on Social Media At These Links
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GeekPost: What were some of the initial challenges you faced when launching, and how did you overcome them?
SLG: Initially, we knew we needed to make people understand how we differ from Setlist.fm. Setlist.fm is a large presence on the web that offers comprehensive listings of setlists across many genres. They do an outstanding job of providing not only setlists, but statistics and related music news as well.
However, once at the website, there is no way to listen to an actual setlist playlist nor access it across multiple streaming platforms. Users are guided to click on individual songs, then are redirected to a portal where they can listen to a short song snippet or purchase the song.
The information provided by Setlist.fm allows one to create a playlist on their own (which can be time consuming and complicated, especially for festivals or headliners with multiple opening acts) but not to have instant access to the setlist playlist they desire. While this might be sufficient for some audiophiles, it is not for the average music listener.
Setlist Guy was the first to identify the need for – and provide – setlist playlists for future concerts and festivals. Then, further, make them available across all major streaming service platforms.
In addition to having created an automated process that gathers and/or incorporates data in near-real time to concerts/festivals being announced, Setlist Guy’s co-founder, Scott Christopher, has established band, musical artist and music industry contacts that allow him to establish accurate setlist playlists with amazing speed before a show even occurs. Additionally, through his automated process, he is able to update quickly whenever a setlist change or inaccuracy is discovered.
In the metal genre, Setlist Guy is now the instant referral for anyone looking for metal show playlists on these platforms.
GeekPost: How has your endeavor evolved since its inception, and what major milestones have you achieved so far?
SLG: We just passed 2000 followers on Spotify. There are almost a thousand setlist playlists in our collection. We are gaining followers on FB, IG and TT daily.
Over 140,000 people have come to setlistguy.com and picked up setlist playlists.
Going to festivals and shows is even more fun because fans approach us to say hi and thank you. 🙂
ChatGPT has been a great help in making new automation tools which allow us to create, edit, post and promote the setlist playlists faster and with more frequency.
Perhaps one of the more exciting things that’s been happening lately is people and outlets seeking interviews and partnerships. Aside from being a lot of fun, this is also helping get Setlist Guy more exposure and getting more setlist playlists out to the world!
Another fun thing is how much our user traffic has been increasing since the beginning of this project. Website traffic, alone, has grown 17,000+% in just a few short months.
GeekPost: Can you share your mission statement and how it guides your daily operations and long-term vision?
SLG: Have you ever been to a wedding where your party experience was heightened because you had a chance to hang out with the cast of family and friends before the actual event?
Maybe – because of all the pre-parties – you got to take that smoke break with your favorite cousin, Marko, before entering the reception.
Or maybe you and the bride’s best friend, Shakisha, were cozy enough to hook up after all the wine was gone and the band had packed up.
Or maybe you simply had some truly genuine belly laughs with a small group of friends who were strangers only a few months ago, but you know you’ll hang out again in the near future.
The same is true for concert goers and their music. They love knowing, ahead of time, the songs they’re going to hear at concerts and festivals.
They don’t want to walk into the church cold, scanning the room hoping to find a familiar song. And not just that, they want to know *the* songs they’ll hear, in the order they’ll hear them.
Our mission is that through setlist playlists, concert goers get to know those songs months ahead of the event, just like the cacophony of strangers that come together at a beloved (or indeterminate!) wedding.
It fuels our long-term mission to create a curated place where talent and fans find each other, where band soul mates are found, and lifelong loves are discovered.
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Find The Setlist Guy on Social Media At These Links
GeekPost: What sets you apart from other platforms or resources for music fans seeking set lists and concert information?
SLG: Three things.
- We focus primarily on metal because that’s our OG family and there is no music family as grounded and loyal as metalheads – while still being insane. 😀
- The other setlist sites give you lists of what was played. Most of them won’t let you listen to the sets let alone entire setlists in multiple formats.
- We do entire tours and huge festivals. Our tour setlist playlists include every band at the show always starting with the opener to the headliner. Our festival setlist playlists give you setlist playlists of every band, on every stage, on all the days of the festival. These are usually alphabetical so listeners can find what they want to listen to. If it’s a little, one- or two-day festival, it may be from opening bands through headliners.
We are trying to make the setlist playlists available to everybody. We promote them all over Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and reddit to get people’s attention and post the setlist playlists on our website in Spotify, Apple, Tidal, Deezer, YouTube, Pandora, Amazon, and YouTube Music streaming formats.
GeekPost: How do you ensure the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the set lists you feature?
SLG: Basically, our high rate of accuracy comes from a combo of three things: good research, industry contacts and help from AI.
When a tour or festival lineup drops, we get the latest setlist information from various setlist websites. These are usually from the last tour or festival played by the band.
That is put in the new setlist playlist. We check to see if any singles or a new album has dropped since that playlist and add 1 to 3 likely tracks they’ll play on the upcoming tour.
Within a couple of days of any tour starting, the show setlists are uploaded by the fans. We take those and update the popular tour setlist playlists. In the case of festivals and one-off shows, we work from what bands have recently played.
GeekPost: Can you share some memorable experiences or interactions with users who have benefited from the resources provided by you?
SLG: AFTERSHOCK 2022 was the first festival we attended after really pushing Setlist Guy. We probably met between 50 to 100 people who had used our the setlist playlists for tours and to get ready for AFTERSHOCK. Many of these people we knew from interactions on Facebook, so it was great getting to meet them in person. Thank yous come in the comments every day. Many people contact us when they want a setlist playlist. Most of those get made and become part of the collection. We love community building and bonding!
GeekPost: How do you see things growing and expanding in the future? Are there any new features or services you plan to introduce?
SLG: Global industry data shows that music streaming revenues have multiplied by more than 28 times in the last decade, surpassing sales of digital downloads and all physical music formats by a landslide.
But where does the streaming industry go from here? What will continue to drive that growth?
By observing the behavior of music enthusiasts, Setlist Guy believes an important driver of this growth will come from what we call niche curation. We believe the trending evolution of streaming music lies in a type of curated playlist that aligns with real life experience. Where digital media not only encourages and enhances real life interaction, it quenches a thirst already existing in music fans.
There is an opportunity for the Setlist Guy app/portal to become a defined niche and evolution of existing music streaming service that uses the demographic gold of those users and music fans to help rebuild music industry sales, especially where concert and festival attendance is concerned.
Where some might (and have argued) that a concert experience is at its best when unpredictable, actual concert goers have repeatedly testified otherwise on Setlist Guy’s multiple social platforms. It all goes back to whether you’re the kind of person who prefers entering a wedding cold or being embraced by a group of friends. Most prefer the latter.
In one year SetlistGuy.com has gone from a couple hundred visits to now well over 100,000. Additionally, Setlist Guy has several thousand followers over multiple platforms (Spotify, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
Like we know, the consumption of the audio medium has steadily increased since 2014, reaching a global recorded music revenue of 28.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. This has largely been driven by what we call the neo-mixtape phenomenon, the playlist.
17% of playlists played on Spotify are personalized.* The type of playlists available on Spotify are broadly divided into three categories – UGC, personalized, and curated playlists. Setlist Guy aims to evolve and revolutionize the curated playlist category by providing the very thing concert goers thirst for but don’t have either the ability or time to create.
We have a few goals in mind to further monetize Setlist Guy while keeping portions free for listeners as well as to increase new artist representation. We’re also looking at using the architecture of setlistguy.com to develop a Setlist Guy app!
GeekPost: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own niche-focused online platforms?
SLG: Hire my wife. 😄 She’s an online marketing guru and behind much of the success we’ve had building the Setlist Guy brand.
Know your fans. We made setlist playlists that we thought would be huge that had very little response while other setlist playlists we thought were going to be smaller have exploded into 1000s of 👍s and ❤️s across multiple platforms. You need to learn from those experiences and give the most to your target audience.
GeekPost: Finally, what has been your most rewarding experience, and what keeps you motivated to continue enhancing the platform for music enthusiasts?
Meeting fans who love the setlist playlists and chatting with both established and upcoming artists, the creators of what we love and have paid money to see over the years.
Metal is our religion and our love. We hope to expand Setlist Guy out to a million, 10 million, 100 MILLION music fans over the next 5-10 years!
Find Setlist Guy on Social Media At These Links
The Geek Post would like to thank the crew of Setlist Guy for everything they do to not only support live music and its fans but in running such a great service. We look forward to watching what the future holds for them. Rock on!