The encore used to be a beautiful thing. A magical thing. A reaction to the unbridled enthusiasm of an amazing crowd and a performer who wants to bask in their love and give them more.
It’s become expected. Routine. Fake and feigned.
And I don’t like it.
It’s the same as when you are at the theater and the company comes to the front of the stage like three times. Your hands have become numb from clapping, yet you feel required to keep half-heatedly slapping them together. To me, it takes away from my true excitement and enjoyment.
I want to show you my genuine appreciation. I don’t like feeling like it is required.
Concerts don’t have to have encores to make the audience happy. At a Lorde concert the other month there was no encore. She finished her set and the house lights came on. The show was long and delightful and a well scripted set of songs in a good order and then it was over. It was very satisfying.
Just like a well-written book, with a composed beginning, middle and end.
No post-script needed.
I have, on the other side, had encores that have felt magical and not cliche.
At a recent Capital Cities concert, it was their first show on a new tour. Their encore probably lasted close to 30 minutes and turned into a dance party with everyone, band included. It was hands-down the most fun encore I’ve ever experienced.
It felt real. It felt spontaneous and genuine.
(Whether it was or not, I don’t care. We are talking about feelings today, boys and girls.)
So artists and musicians, you can keep your encores.
Stop holding that one popular song in your back pocket for the crowd to demand at the “end” of your set. Just give me a good solid show. And if for some reason you feel inspired to keep playing longer because the audience is that amazing? Okay, I guess.
But I’m probably not going to believe it is real.
Give me your real honest love, dear musicians.
Don’t tell me our city is amazing. (I mean, duh)
Don’t say that this is the best show ever.
Don’t declare that you want to give us just one more because you can’t help yourself.
I know you say that to all the pretty cities.