From an entertainers point of view it's easy to think that when you're up there on the stage under the lights with the guitar that its all about the music, the artistic interpretation of great songs, the performance and the technical ability. But the reality is that for bar gigs we are there to entertain, bring people in off the street and keep them happy and drinking. The end result should be for the bar to sell more drinks because we're there performing. Once a performer understands that then things get a lot easier. It's not great art. The main thing is to create a fun atmosphere where people are having a good time, hearing songs that they love, and wanting to stay longer and therefore spend more at the bar. At the end of the night, the performer is judged by the bar owner for what in jingling in the till. it doesn't matter if I do a note perfect rendition of Frank Zappa's 'Peaches in Regalia' if only one person there knows or likes that track. Not many people are going to be jigging about to an operatic classic like 'Nessun Dorma' and it doesn't matter how funky my version of an old Miles Davies jazz b-side is, it won't really create the fun upbeat atmosphere that is needed for a good night of music. Luckily I don't have the urge to do those kind of songs, instead I have the task of choosing the best most popular songs from the whole history of popular music. Songs that people knew when they were in their teens and twenties. Songs they danced to and met their partners with. Songs they sang at their weddings. Songs that remind them of the good times.
So, it's important that when you hear the songs that make you feel good that you buy a couple of drinks to let the bar owner know that the act they have chosen (me) should be booked back for another night!