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Please note: I realize the specific artists/examples I employ may not be your thing. Don’t let that stop you from substituting your own favorites. The basic premise still holds up (or so I think).

As a fan of a variety of music, I like to attend concerts. There’s (often) nothing like the energy and emotion of a live performance. But there is a long-standing issue, for performers and fans alike. Which/Whose “favorite” songs should be included?

For newer acts, this is obviously less concerning, as they are generally satisfied with anyone paying any attention to their material. But, for longer-standing artists, ala Jimmy Buffett, The Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden (had to make sure to include a metal reference, per the blog name) it is considerably more challenging.

Having been a more obvious Parrothead in my pre-Pastor days, I made several pilgrimages to see/hear the guy who makes men adorned in grass skirts, coconut bras and LOUD Hawaiian-styled shirts socially acceptable at least once a year. Whether it was for “Banana Wind” or “Barometer Soup,” what I (and I assume 98% of the other present Parrotheads) was most looking forward to were the annual renditions of “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Volcano,” or “[insert favorite Buffett tune name here].” Those new songs were simply in the setlist to provide time for restroom breaks and beverage/snack refills. Right?

The Mango Man’s last studio effort was in 2013, yet a look at the setlist from a recent show (via the incredibly helpful site www.setlist.fm) reveals he and the band performed ZERO songs from that collection, and the “newest” track was from 2009.

In 2010, Iron Maiden annoyed or irritated numerous fans when they toured for their “Final Frontier” album. They didn’t play any songs  from their extensive back catalog that were older than the 2000 Bruce-reunion album, “Brave New World.” They publicized that this would be their approach, due to having recently completed a “retrospective” type of tour that consisted of that earlier material. Yet many fans griped and complained online AND publicly as they departed the show! (Note: most/all fans do this, rather than bask in the joy of an otherwise entertaining performance)

Even the recent Rolling Stones tour consisted of a setlist containing ZERO new material.

So, what does all of this have to do with worship in church? I’m glad you asked! (and glad I remembered to try to stay on-topic) I think you’re smart enough to see where this is going, right?

Stay tuned for Part Two next week.

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