Like many people of a certain age, shall we say, in the UK, the news of Busted getting back together to embark on a 20th Anniversary Greatest Hits tour later this year sent me down a nostalgia rabbit hole that’s sure to wreak havoc on my Spotify Wrapped. I’m pleased to report that I still somehow remember all the lyrics to more songs than I would like to admit.
Having reacquainted myself with the soundtrack of my pre-teen years, I feel I am therefore qualified to speculate on the potential setlist that Busted could be putting together for their greatest hits spectacular.
Before we move on, however, I think it’s important that we all get on the same page. First of all, we are going to collectively ignore how deeply, deeply inappropriate some of the lyrics are (I’m looking at you, Miss Mackenzie), especially for the age group that most of us were when we were obliviously bopping along - I can only imagine what our parents thought.
To be fair to Charlie Simpson, Matt Willis and James Bourne, they were teenage boys when Busted formed in 2000 and were understandably writing songs about teenage boy things. Even Bourne said in an interview with Metro in 2020 that he didn’t think the songs “would be written now”.
He added: “Listen to any band from the early 2000s, you’re gonna find a lot worse stuff. Obviously I think, times change, don’t they? As times change, everyone evolves, and you try to do the right thing.”
So let’s just chalk the songs up to being a product of their time, okay?
Secondly, we need to first agree with how many songs they’ll play. Looking at the 2022 setlists from McFly, who were on the other side of the same coin with Busted back in the day, and at the setlists from other bands who got back together, like My Chemical Romance and The Jonas Brothers, let’s assume that they’ll play 17 songs in total - 14 songs for the main set, and three songs for the encore.
The setlist prediction
Off the bat, we already know one song that Busted will almost 100% be performing throughout their 2023 tour, and that’s their new upcoming single titled Loser Kid 2.0 featuring Simple Plan. The new tune is set to drop on 14 April, which gives you plenty of time to get familiar with it before the band take off on tour in September.
Because Busted are specifically going on a 20th Anniversary Greatest Hits tour, it’s likely that the setlist will consist of songs from their first two studio albums: Busted, which was released in 2002, and A Present for Everyone, released in 2003. These are the two albums that Busted fans will likely be most familiar with, although they did go on to release a further two studio albums - Night Driver in 2016 and Half Way There in 2019.
Now, no Busted greatest hits tour would be complete without what is arguably four of their biggest and most recognisable hits - What I Go to School For, Year 3000, Crashed the Wedding and Air Hostess. Unsurprisingly, those four songs are at the top of Busted’s most listened to songs on Spotify, with Thunderbirds Are Go coming in to make the top five.
Taking all of this into account, and adding some of my personal favourites from the Busted archives, I think that the setlist could look a little something like this (in no particular order):
- What I Go to School For
- Year 3000
- Crashed the Wedding
- Air Hostess
- Thunderbirds Are Go
- She Wants to Be Me
- Falling for You
- That Thing You Do
- You Said No
- Who’s David
- Everything I Knew
- Sleeping with the Light On
- Loser Kid
- Loser Kid 2.0
Tour venues and dates
This is the full list of dates and venues for the upcoming Greatest Hits tour:
- Saturday 2 September – Pavilions, Plymouth
- Sunday 3 September – Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff
- Tuesday 5 September – Swansea Arena, Swansea
- Wednesday 6 September – Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
- Thursday 7 September – Brighton Centre, Brighton
- Saturday 9 September – Utilita Arena, Birmingham
- Sunday 10 September – The O2, London
- Tuesday 12 September – Bridlington Spa, Bridlington
- Friday 15 September – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
- Saturday 16 September – Utilita Arena, Newcastle
- Sunday 17 September – First Direct Arena, Leeds
- Tuesday 19 September – P&J Live, Aberdeen
- Wednesday 20 September – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
- Friday 22 September – M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
- Sunday 24 September – AO Arena, Manchester
- Wednesday 27 September – The O2, London
- Saturday 30 September – AO Arena, Manchester
- Sunday 1 October – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
When are tickets on sale?
Tickets for general sale went live on Friday 31 March - you can get your tickets via Ticketmaster.