It’s often said that one of the warning signs in a relationship is when spontaneity has been lost.
Perhaps things were exciting at first, but after being together for a while, a dreaded routine may have taken the place of happy randomness. The partners in this unfortunate relationship may have settled into complacency, which can lead to boredom and from there, relationship death may not be too far away… This end stage is where I think I’m at with ‘encore’ performances at music gigs.
Surely it’s no longer a surprise for anyone in the audience when the artist or band performing returns to the stage for the second time. It often seems so staged and formulaic, that the whole original point of an encore feels like it has been lost. This is especially true when the performer deliberately holds off performing some of their biggest hits or most popular songs until the encore (seriously, WE KNOW YOU’RE COMING BACK). Here’s an idea, why not just finish the entire set the first time around instead of making the audience go through that horrid fake performance of ‘calling’ the artist back?
It can also be a little awkward in that intervening period between end of main set and waiting for the artist’s re-emergence for the encore. Given that we all know an encore WILL happen, there’s something so horribly inevitable about it all. Rarely will you see (or hear) an audience almost ‘tear itself apart’ to ensure the artist knows they simply MUST go back on stage to appease their demands.
Let’s bring the excitement back into the relationship between the audience and the end of a performance by dropping the whole meaningless encore charade. Just imagine how surprising it would be to NOT have an encore and be part of an audience where you’re left actually wanting more, for real… what a delicious thought.