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Tour Journals: Jimkata frontman Evan Friedell talks the challenge of compiling a setlist

by Caitlin Carter   May 17, 2014 18:25 PM EDT

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Welcome to Tour Journals, a Music Times segment where we ask some of our favorite up-and-coming bands to send us a dispatch from the road. This time around, we've asked Jimkata frontman Evan Friedell to keep a journal on tour with him. Last week, he went behind the scenes of his first "hometown" show in New York City. This week, he talks about the challenge of coming up with setlists. Check back next week for more!

We finish this 14 week monstrosity of a tour in Syracuse and Rochester. Since we're from Ithaca, central New York is home to some of our most hardcore fans who've been around since the early days. In situations like these, writing a setlist becomes an all hands on deck sort of event. There are a lot of factors to consider, and everyone has an opinion, including fans and old friends who really wanna hear that song, whatever it is. We're usually in the green room deliberating or texting ideas back and forth on our phones for a few hours.

Both of these shows are two-set shows, and by now we have a lot of material to choose from. We feel a healthy pressure to do something a little different, so the first thing Rossi throws out there is doing all of Burn My Money in the first set at the Westcott Theater in Syracuse. We decide that since it is the "Feel in Light" tour maybe we should mix it up a little but still do a lot of throw-back stuff in the first set. We write out two sets and about 5 minutes before show time we decide to switch them and do the first one as the second set. Its always good to end a show with high energy and we decide this one packs a better punch.

Montage Music Hall in Rochester is a room built into the lobby of an old theater. I figure this out by dropping a tool while changing my strings backstage and hearing a loud echo come from beyond the wall. Grandiose marble steps built for another time lead up to the green room where we all sit and stare at blank sheets of paper and a sharpie waiting for the setlists to write themselves. We all feel a little blank too at first but as it gets closer to showtime everything comes together. At the end of the show it finally feels like the tour is over. Everyone goes their separate ways, and we all get a few minutes to think about something other than setlists for a little while.

Check out Jimkata's Syracuse setlists, and come back next week for more updates.

Set I

Intro
Swimming
Electronic Stone
Legoland
Jimmy
Devil's in the Details
Lighter
Ghosts & Killers
Chainstore
Feel In Light

Set II

Ping Pong
One to Ten
Baby Put it on Me
Nightshade
Concrete Beatdown
Feed
Beat the Curse
Drums Won't Guide
Mind Crossing

Encore

Die Digital
American Cars

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