Nailing a setlist can be tough. You’ve often gotta find the right balance between crowd pleasing classics and new material to avoid the inevitable loo breaks and awkward low energy dips. So wouldn’t it be great if bands could bypass those kind of decisions all together and let the fans handle it?
In Hearts Wake have done just that with their upcoming Summer Setlist Tour. But don’t be mistaken; these guys aren’t trying to get out of the arduous task of curating a setlist…
“A lot of fans have been asking us for older songs, and because we’ve been promoting the new record recently [Ark], it’s been very difficult to do so,” explains frontman Jake Taylor. “When we were asked to play Unify, we thought why not play some shows on the way there and on the way back, and do a tour that encompasses older songs, giving fans a chance to vote for songs they want to hear.”
Listing their tracks online, fans can vote for their favourite songs from each of their four albums – Divination (2012), Earthwalker (2014), Skydancer (2015) and their most recent record Ark (2017), as well as from a cheeky little wildcard category.
“We’ve had over 1000 submissions already and we’ve got a really interesting setlist that’s looking like it’s going to take shape into something we haven’t done before,” Taylor explains. “Without giving too much away, there’s an old song from when we were in our teens that has been voted as one of the highest tracks which is going to be a funny one to play.”
Essentially, this is your chance to make the Byron Bay metaller’s play the intro to that rare song they never break out live and think “dance, musical puppets, dance?”
With members currently scattered around Sydney, Gold Coast, Byron Bay and even California, this seven date tour marks the bands first show in six months, with it all kicking off in Geelong in January.
“We played [Geelong] in early January this year and it was nuts. There’s a few rafters in the roof and people were climbing them, there was a boat ride that went down on an inflatable with three people in it, it was hilarious. It was one of those shows, rather than it feeling like a show, it just felt like a circus.”
I mean, we are talking about Geelong; it has a pretty solid reputation for hosting some rowdy (but equally amazing) gigs.
“There’s always so much laughing on stage. You just can’t believe what’s happening. We even had a fan come up and play bass for one of his favourite songs – that’s never happened before,” he laughs. “That’s the beauty of touring; it can just get crazy.”
It’s a statement the In Hearts Wake guys know all too well, since wrapping up their ‘Ark’ World Tour earlier this year, which saw the band play an impressive 166 shows throughout Europe, Australasia, Asia and North America, including a stint on the final US Vans Warped Tour.
“We get along really well thank god,” Taylor laughs. “We didn’t have any punch ons or fights, we were just like a functioning family. You’ve just got to learn to work with each other and learn to give each other space.
“We were definitely ready for a break,” he continues. “Just to recharge and get perspective and do new things; the touring can get monotonous after a while and it’s really hard work, physically.
“It’s been a great break – it’s the longest break we’ve had in eight years – but I feel coming back to the Summer Setlist Tour, we’re going to be refreshed and also semi excited to see each other again.
“I’m hoping all our old fans have a great time hearing older songs, as well as newer ones, and we wanted to bring it back to Geelong because it was nuts last time, and the crowds that go nuts deserve another show.”
Bring your A game and show the guys what Geelong crowds can really do. They’ll hit up The Barwon Club on Thursday January 10.
You can vote for your ideal setlist here.