Who Wrote The Setlist? A Comprehensive Guide

A friend gave me an idea. Now that the band is secretive over who writes the setlists we generally have to guess who writes each set. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on most sets, and I wanted to throw some of my hints in. Others feel free to add. I want to stress that there are exceptions to all of these rules, but if you see a few of these indicators all bunched together that’s generally a good clue who wrote the set. I also know that Jake and Kris-written sets do happen but are very rare and I generally can’t tell when they happen, so I’m leaving them out. This post will focus exclusively on Bayliss, Joel and Stasik sets.

SETLIST SCAN HINTS: If you look at the setlist scan on Twitter, a dead giveaway for a Bayliss set is that his sets generally do not contain a box labeled “Extras” with a few extra tunes on them. Joel and Stasik both tend to use these boxes.
SONG FLOW: We all know that Bayliss tends to write the “more accessible” sets, and this also means well-balanced sets. Bayliss sets tend never to have more than 2 instrumentals in a set, tend to have exactly 1 Jake-sung song per set, and tend to have jams spaced out.
BAYLISS’ FAVORITE SONGS: Speak Up, 2nd Self, Upward, Rocker Pt 2, Higgins, Slacker
BAYLISS’ LEAST FAVORITE SONGS (these songs super rarely show up in Bayliss sets): Water, Space Funk Booty, Great American, Last Man Swerving, Roulette, etc. If there are lots of “old and rare” songs in the same set, it’s probably not Bayliss.
AREAS THAT TEND TO GET BAYLISS SETS ROUTINELY: Chicago, Indianapolis, Washington DC, dreaded “Bayliss birthday” shows (August 11)

SETLIST SCAN HINTS: None. Just look for the absence of Bayliss and Stasik hints. And the “extras” box with exactly 3 songs in it :slight_smile:
SONG FLOW: This is getting harder to predict lately, but generally Joel sets are heavily balanced through the catalog, with a good balance of old, mid-period and new songs. The recent shows that lean heavily on newer material are mostly Bayliss/Stasik sets. Joel sets also have more segues and sandwiches than others.
JOEL’S FAVORITE SONGS: DBK (especially to open 2nd set), Thin Air, Kabump, #5, Milk, Mail Package, Water, August mid-late 2nd set (although be careful with this one; they all use August. but Joel loves it in that spot.)
JOEL’S LEAST FAVORITE SONGS: Joel, bless him, tends to use everything, although the newer “emo Bayliss” songs like Loose Ends, Push and Pull, etc. don’t show up very much in his sets.
AREAS THAT TEND TO GET JOEL SETS ROUTINELY: Wednesday and Thursday night small market shows :slight_smile: Despite Joel being from California, CA sets don’t overly tend to favor Joel over other band members.

SETLIST SCAN HINTS: Stasik notes specific instructions for jams a lot in his sets. While Bayliss and Joel just say “JO”, Stasik says “D flat jam” or “heavy jam” or “get weird”. He tends to have an extra box with only 1-2 songs.
SONG FLOW: Stasik sets can be really crazy. Take Knoxville 2019. Space Funk Booty > Little Gift > 2x2 to start the show. No one else would do that. Stasik loves to alternate “pretty” (Glory) and “heavy” (WBG) songs (see Kalamazoo 2014). He has no balance rules at all, so if a set has 6 instrumentals or 4 Jake-sung songs in it it’s probably a Stasik set. If it’s not well-balanced enough to be a Joel set and not accessible enough to be a Bayliss set, it’s a Stasik set. Unsurprisingly with this approach, his shows tend to be super feast or famine.
STASIK’S FAVORITE SONGS: It Doesn’t Matter, Puppet String, WBG, Kula, Deeper, Glory to end a set or in the encore
STASIK’S LEAST FAVORITE SONGS: Red Tape, Jajunk, Ocean Billy, Slacker, N2F (I’m sure he likes N2F, but it doesn’t show up much in his sets)

Very cool info! Are there typical indicators of a Jake or Kris set? Or do you know of any confirmed shows?

Also I thought Bayliss hated Front Porch, or is this just a meme at this point? Also I recall Joel saying at a VIP set that two of his favorite songs are Kimble and FF, are those indicators of a Joel set or are they too common across the board?