Is the recall over? Some groups think so.




Ahh, can’t you just hear it? The crowd, hundreds or thousands strong, wanting – no, need — to hear at least one more song, their singing energizing the room, desperate to make the night last a little longer, to ward off the silence for a few more minutes…

That’s rarely how it happens. If a band leaves the stage these days, they can stay there. Some bands have grown weary – not of the love an encore elicits, but of the charade that has come to define teasing. As the reminder wears off, so does that awkward period of time when audience members are calculating whether to grab one last beer or head to the bathroom, or, if they are full all over the place, consider jumping into traffic and driving away. There is growing evidence that the recall itself is already gone.

“They feel gross for me. They feel forced,” says Stefan Babcock, frontman of PUP, a rowdy power punk band. “We’re self-deprecating people and a self-deprecating band, and it was weird to walk off stage expecting our ego to be stroked.”

Encores “probably started with the right intention, where a band played what they intended to play,” Babcock says. “And then on occasion they just had such a spectacular set or people were so excited that they demanded more of the band, and that’s a great feeling, but when you start integrating it into the show because people expect it, that’s just kinda dishonest Now if you’re a band doing encores and you don’t do it, it’s just a slap.

PUP’s anti-encore stance remained firm when they hammered a 19-song set at The Fillmore in Silver Spring in May. Towards the end, Babcock offered the audience a brief explanation, the same he’s been giving for years, that they weren’t about to take a break; they were made. The moshing fans didn’t seem to care in the slightest. “I think the public is more understanding than ever,” he says. Plus, he finds something almost respectful in “not wasting people’s time, knowing they want the show, and then they want to go back to their kids or go back to their homework or go back to sleep, so they can get up early in the morning and do their thing.

A small but growing contingent of artists seems to be following suit. At the 9:30 Club in September, the Afghan Whigs, once known for their eclectic encores, hit the audience with invigorating guitars and booming drums for a few dozen consecutive songs. And that was it.

Ditto for Broken Social Scene, which played an encore set at the Lincoln Theater in Washington and, the following night, at the 9:30 Club in October. Singer/songwriter Maggie Rogers usually returns to the stage to perform “Different Kind of World,” an acoustic version of “Alaska,” or one of her other hits, but she recently wondered if fans were enjoying the familiar charade of the reminder and put a poll on Instagram Stories asking if her fans really wanted one. (Spoiler alert: she still plays them.) The Chicks, who once loved the encore, skipped it on their last tour, opting instead for the iconic “Goodbye Earl” to signal the end of the show.

The Gaslight anthem thundered throughout their October anthem set, all the way to the end: two of their most popular songs, “45” and “The ’59 Sound.” The leader of the group, Brian Fallon, has tweeted that he Is technically playing the rappel. It just skips the part “where I leave the stage and come back because I can put on another song in the time it takes to do it. I’d rather people have an extra song for their money. And, like most non-yet bands, they make sure the audience knows they shouldn’t expect the whole part offstage, Tweeter last year, “Just to be clear – I guarantee you I’ll talk, I’ll probably talk some more, I’ll play a song, I’ll talk more, I won’t do an encore, and I’ll definitely talk. Will also Glad you’re here. Will talk too. Oh and no call back. And talk.

Other artists, such as the Foo Fighters and the Strokes, never played many encores. We ‘don’t do encores,’ Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl often announcement to the crowd. “We just play until the show is over. Pop star Grimes finds they awkwardly disrupt the flow of her sets, so she opts for longer ones. Ditto for the Tiers of Jack Antonoff. Country artist Jason Aldean doesn’t like them. “I like to play you everything we have and when the show is over, it’s over,” he said. said At a concert.

“It’s more honest and direct to give the audience a fabulous show, without any nonsense at the end,” says Jay Siegan, an experienced club owner and promoter who has worked with artists like Celine Dion, Weezer and Imagine Dragons. . “Why not leave them hungry? I find it really refreshing when an artist gets into a great performance and then runs off stage. It’s rock’n’roll. »

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“It’s a bit wild for me that [encores] lasted into the 90s with bands that were pretty cynical about showbiz tactics, because it’s an old showbiz idea. Sure, there will be smoke and mirrors no matter what, but the encore is a pretty blatant lie to the public,” says Max Collins, Eve 6 frontman and BuzzFeed’s latest advice columnist. though he added that under the right circumstances, an encore can be an exchange of generosity between artists and fans.

Eve 6 faces an interesting sort of challenge. Collins knows their audience wants to hear “Inside Out,” the band’s 1998 hit, which he affectionately calls the “heart in a mixer song,” thanks to its chorus. So when should they play it?

“After playing the heart in a mixer song, we know that people are kind of going to start checking their watches, so sometimes I might do a little spiel about how we’re not going to insult you with the concept of the reminder,” Collins said. “So we’re just going to play two more alternative rock barnburners for you right now. No breakup. But what I’m really doing is saying, “Hey, don’t go, even though we just played the heart in a mixer song.”

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Sometimes, he adds, they’ll play encores if the mood and setting calls for it – but it’s rarely “Inside Out”. Instead, they might bring in a special guest to “pick up the energy,” either toward the end of the show or as a fitting encore, like when Titus Andronicus’ Patrick Stickles joined them onstage in New York as as a surprise guest, three songs before the end of their set, to lend his imitable rasp to “Promise”.

For many, this seems to be the key. Let’s not waste our time with the callback we’re waiting for. Make an effort. Make it count. Create something special.

Josh Gondelman, a comedian who worked as a screenwriter on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” and Showtime’s “Desus & Mero,” considers himself a huge music fan and an encore fan – when done right. “I’m ultimately for them, because I like to hear more songs,” he says. “But I think the strict, pro forma yet which has become a staple of the concert” feels like “a kind of manufactured drama that no one believes in”.

He compares the callbacks to “the long-awaited post-credit scene in a Marvel movie,” which was once this “special, exciting thing,” but now audiences “sit here because we know we won’t get the full experience if we don’t. Or maybe, he says, the encore is like an act of kayfabe, referring to the portrayal of staged events in professional wrestling. Could it be possible, he thinks jokingly, for an audience to be so silent at the end of a set that a band simply skips the encore?

For Gondelman, it must be special. Case in point: One of the “coolest” encores he’s seen came about 15 years ago at the end of a Beastie Boys concert in Worcester, Mass., when they played an instrumental song from the balconies, not from the stage. “It was something that felt like it couldn’t be in the body of the set. Instead, it was a special, fun ride for the people who stay.

The purpose of the encore, he thinks, is to give fans a sense of something memorable, a little lagniappe to enhance the experience. Yet, despite being a show buff, Gondelman can count on two hands, the ones that stand out. “I don’t remember most of them as much as I remember the time I saw Beyoncé sneeze, and the whole crowd was like, ‘Bless you. It was a really organic moment.

The one who shocked folk-rock singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson came to The Forum in Los Angeles during Metallica’s tour for the 1991 self-titled record known to fans as “The Black Album.” The band ripped through over two hours of hard rock, left the stage, came back for the encore, and headed out again. The lights have come on – the telltale sign that a show is truly over. As Nathanson recalls, about half the crowd split for the gates, but his two friends told him they couldn’t leave.

“I was like, ‘Man, they just finished playing, like, two hours. They did an encore. They’re definitely over,’ Nathanson says. His friends insisted he was wrong.

“And sure enough, about 15 or 20 minutes later the lights went out and Metallica came out and played a few more songs. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” he says, impressed with how the encore ended up being a real gift for the remaining fans who waited for it. “I remember thinking, [this is] how to do it, you know?

He stopped playing encores at every show years ago and warned the crowd early that “we are past that point in our relationship. … The way I described it is … you eat spaghetti like the 10th date or whenever you feel comfortable. He would tell fans “we’re past the third or fourth date now. I’m going to eat spaghetti in front of you. … We know each other well enough that I don’t need to be good. And the fans loved it!

Every once in a while, a crowd will motivate Nathanson to get back on stage – and he scrambles to figure out which song to play. But he likes it. It’s electric. It’s true. It’s won. And isn’t that the point of a true encore?

“Don’t we all crave something authentic?” he asks.


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