I was at a buddy's bar gig last night.
He keeps his set list on a tablet attached to his microphone stand.
As he was preparing to open a set somebody in the audience called out,
"Hey, can you play ___________?" - It was a friendly request.
"That's a great song, but let me play you another one."
"But you've got a tablet. Look it up."
"Not if it's not in there." - as he motioned to the tablet and then before there could be any more dialogue, he started into the first song.
I guess people have grown accustomed to seeing tablets on stage, and with that we get new expectations like,
"If you can look up a song on your tablet you can play it."
Interesting post, but just about what I've come to expect from many today.
Music streaming instead of having a look through ones collection to see what you fancy listening to.
Music being created on computers rather than using instruments that you can take into a forest and play your favourite songs.
Those are just 2 examples. Don't get me wrong here. I think that all tastes should be catered for. However, some of them I will go out of my way to avoid if possible.
Many songs I could play if I had a chord sheet + lyrics (with many I could even have a good go by just busking through them working them out on the fly and not worrying too much about how correct the lyrics are), but they wouldn't be as practiced and well played as songs that I've spent time on. That's the sort of thing I reserve for parties etc., but not for gigs. That's not what I would generally want to do live at a gig.
I might be old fashioned with my views on this subject, but my playing and performances would definitely not be where they are today if I looked at things differently. My repertoire has always started out as being just for me. The songs start out rough at the beginning and I find myself very quickly trying to adapt them for my guitar and voice. Sometimes it's a quick process, but sometimes it's a process that goes on for a fairly long time. Those are usually songs where the accompaniment on guitar is quite fiddly but well worth the effort, and generally wasted on loud drinking bars where the drinking is the main object of the evening. Once again, don't get me wrong. These gigs also serve well and let people have a good time. As a performing musician who's not absolutely dependant on the money, I avoid them if possible.
Sorry I got a bit derailed there, but I think it might be one explanation for the mindset of many.
By the way, I read the thread before replying. There are a few old posts from me from the days before I took the tablet plunge which was in December 2018. Because of the reading glasses thing it turned out to be an iPad pro 12.9" and it's much better for me than paper. With the possibility of inverting the colours (white words on a black background) I find it much easier to read (and larger than A4 paper). Coupled with a Bluetooth Page Turner it has really made things much easier for me. I'm still typing in the songs which is a fair amount of work (so that I have them exactly as I need them), but it's worth the effort.
It was a good decision for me to make, and eventually I'll have all my songs in one place (for all projects) with set lists at the touch of a finger instead of having to have several different folders for different things.
My iPad also only has wifi. It's all I need. It might also maybe be a good answer for the "If you can look up a song on your tablet you can play it." brigade ...