In April, Sugarland will launch its In the Hands of the Fans tour, which will allow fans to determine each city’s set list. “THEY will make the requests that will help form the set list and guide the show,” singer Jennifer Settles says in the announcement. “Through texts, handwritten signs, the Internet (Twitter, Facebook, etc) phone calls made during the show and selections directly from the stage, the fans will become the conductors as well as the audience. If it’s on one of our records or if we’ve played it on a stage it is fair game.”
My first thought: This is a smart play for the band, which took a PR hit earlier this month when its legal team, defending against a negligence suit filed after the fatal Indiana State Fair stage collapse last summer, claimed “some or all of the plaintiffs failed to exercise due care for their own safety” and further that “some or all of the plaintiffs knowingly and voluntarily assumed and/or incurred the risk of injury to themselves.” (The band’s manager Gail Gellman attempted to clarify, saying: “Sadly when a tragedy occurs, people want to point fingers and try to sensationalize the disaster. The single most important thing to Sugarland are their fans. Their support and love over the past nine years has been unmatched. For anyone to think otherwise is completely devastating to them.”)
My second thought: A musician once told me that when he asks for requests from the stage, he’s pretty much just waiting for someone to yell out the name of the song he wanted to play next anyway. That takes a little bit of the fun out of it, but Sugarland’s penchant for performing covers live should actually make this interesting.
So what songs would/will you request? My top pick:
Cover of “American Girl”: