Although most Rock and Roll bands play usually perform for only one hour or one hour and a half, there are some acts that are known for huge setlists, like Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen. Their concerts can go on for 3 or even 4 hours and as the Beatle said in an interview with Conan O’Brien (Transcribed by Ultimate Classic Rock), the American musician is the one to blame for long concerts, because he makes other work too hard.
Paul McCartney talks about Bruce Springsteen and long concerts
“These days, pretty much there’s a main act and there might be a warm-up act. (In the 60s) it was a lot of people on the bill … nobody did long (sets). Now people will do three or four hours. I blame Bruce Springsteen – I’ve told him so! I said, ’It’s your fault, man! He did (ruined it for everyone)! You can’t (even just) do an hour. We used to do a half-hour. That was the Beatles’ thing: half an hour and we got paid for it!”
“There were a lot of people on the bill. If you were a comedian the promoter would say, ‘How long can you do? Four minutes?’ The guy would say yes, so he would do four. And so we thought, ‘Well, half an hour, that’s like, epic! … It didn’t seem strange,” Paul McCartney said.
For example, the last concert made by Paul McCartney was in June 25, 2022 at the Glanstonbury Festival. The setlist had simply 38 songs, mixing solo, Wings and Beatles songs. There still no dates scheduled by the Beatle but there are rumors that he might play in South America by the end of the year.
As for Bruce Springsteen, he is currently on the road performing all across Europe and his most recent concert that happened last June 28 in Gothenburg, Sweden, the setlist had 28 songs. Although it had less songs than McCartney’s set, it’s worth remembering that Springsteen tracks are usually longer.