Monday, August 30, 2010

Encore


Yeah, it's blurry (my phone doesn't take good pictures at night), but this is the band "The Mountain Goats" performing in Durham last weekend. I'm not going to talk about them so much. Instead, I'm going to talk about this business bands always do at the end of the show. The headlining band says "good night", the crowd expresses via chant their desire for the band to play another song or two, then the band comes back out and does just that.

Isn't this silly? Why don't they just play those extra songs to begin with and not waste everyone's time? Maybe they could communicate near the end of the show something to the effect of, "Consider these next two songs to be the 'encore'." That way, they don't have to go back offstage, only to then come back on stage later. Or is it too cocky to assume the crowd wants the encore at all? It's a pretty safe bet, considering that the crowd is there specifically to see you. Rock concerts are pretty cocky anyway, which is fine, because I think you have to be a little arrogant to put on a good show.

Or is the encore just part of the experience? Will a segment of the audience feel cheated if the band makes an announcement to the effect of "consider these next two songs to be the 'encore'", because it just isn't the same as getting a "real" encore? I don't feel that way; I think the encore is dumb. By the time the encore comes around, I've usually heard enough of the band in question.

Then again, I haven't been to many rock concerts in my life (I can only think of five or six), so maybe I just don't get it. I'm also very old by live music standards. That's the main reason why we don't do this all that often.

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