It’s time to do away with the concert tradition of encores.
There’s no need for the band to finish a tune, wave to the crowd, walk off, wait for a few minutes, then return to the stage to do another song or two. During the time they’re gone, most members of the audience clap or cheer or hold up their cell phones with the flashlight on (in a modern-day version of holding Zippo lighters aloft).
We’ve already shown how much we like your music. Not only did we buy exorbitantly-priced tickets and wend our way through traffic and a crush of people to get to the venue, but while you’ve been entertaining us for an hour or two, we have rewarded you by applauding enthusiastically after each song. The more familiar, the more we cheered.
By the time you’re approaching the end of your performance, you should know we like you. So why make us prove it yet again with your little extortion act of standing off to the side out of sight? Is it a threat that you won’t come back unless you get an ovation that’s loud and long enough? Are you so desperate for love and affection that our earlier positive responses didn’t satisfy you?
Just once I’d like to see a band announce, “We’re not gonna run off and back on again. This is going to be our last song of the night. Then all of us are going to form a line in front of the drum kit, put our arms around each other, and take a couple of bows. When we leave the stage, show’s over. Thank you all for coming. We truly appreciate it. And now, to finish, here’s our gigantic hit from several years ago that you’ve waited all evening for!”
If I heard that, I’d leap to my feet and give them a standing ovation right then and there.