Monday, February 19, 2007

Do it again

Here. What’s happened to encores? Have they gone out of fashion? Have they gone fishing?

Long ago, there was a balance. Artists would politely defer and escape, and then be raucously hauled back for a final taste. Satisfied audiences. Groovy. Then it got a bit silly. I think musos were still finding their fusion feet and had their genres spliced – they went all theatre on us - waiting for the crowd to wait for more the way that overeager, under-adored actors do. (though thank willy they didn’t link hands and stand around expectantly like thespians with dumb, plastered smiles.) If they skipped offstage it would be superfast to take a drag of some girl’s cigarette and they’d be back like a boomerang with a HelloYouDidn’tMissMeDidYou kind of a face, before recommencing the game and giving us our hungry (or overfull) dues. Now they get their fags from the crowd (
à la Taxi Violence) and when they’re gone, they’re gone. No fat lady. No rendition. No fokkol. So there’s no need to come back, then? No matter what we want? Is a coy tip of the hat, a “Thank you, that’s that” enough? Hell no. Leaving the rest of us post peak to wander around like zombies, not quite finished, not quite free, is not very cool.

So if, like me, you don’t get enough either, do what toddlers having tantrums do – open your mouth and stamp your feet. Otherwise, try my other solution: give them a bit of what they deserve by going backstage at the very point that they vonttoo bee ahloan. A bevy of gushing groupies might just chase them back on to give us our afters. And then maybe next time they’ll give it up a little easier when we want more.

I said, we want more.


  1. i think it's better not to be so up your own ass as to expect that people want more(maybe the band think they don't)....that is until the people ask for it!!!There is cocky and then there is arrogent....

  2. One vote for pro-activism! Now if i can just get Anonymous to plumb the depths of my shallow stabs at local apathy...

  3. anonymous is right in some respects. There is nothing worse than a band that automatically assumes the audience wants an encore and then launches into the specially prepared 3 song encore along with pyrotechnics and tearful farewell bow at the end.

    With local gigs, another thing to consider is that you are sometimes running on a tight timeline and an encore is just going to make the whole show get later and later.

    It is gratifying when the crowd enjoys your music enough to want more, and IMHO an encore should be a spontaneous thing, not your best song saved for last. Unfortunately my fitness levels mean that by the end of a gig I am normally too tired to even contemplate getting back out on stage to belt out one more showtune.