Photos of hands raised at rock concert, silhouetted against stage lighting.

Weekly survey: What’s your opinion on encores at concerts?

Years ago, an act would only come onstage for an encore–i.e. play a few more songs that they hadn’t planned on performing–if the crowd kept screaming and applauding and refusing to leave the building.

But over the years, encores have become baked into the concert experience. The performers take a few minutes to grab a drink, a shot of oxygen, or maybe (just sayin’) a little sniffy-sniffy. They then reappear on stage to perform the hits they didn’t play as part of the main set, complete with lighting cues and special effects.

Hardly spontaneous, right? So what’s the point?

Some artists love the drama of it all and the ego-boosting that comes with it. Prince was known to come back up to seven times in a single gig. But then this article appeared in the Washington Post over the weekend, saying that more and more acts are considering encores to be passé and gauche.

How do you feel about encores? Yes, no, or you don’t care either way?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Weekly survey: What’s your opinion on encores at concerts?

  • If it’s an arena show, nowadays, $500+ a ticket, $50 t-shirt, $12 beer, they better drag their asses back on stage for 2 MORE! And one of them better be awesome! And not like “wanna hear another new one?” NO!!! PLAY THE BIG SING-A-LONG!!!

    If it’s a 2000 capacity or less joint… play a good set and say… “We got one more.” Take some bows, drummer throws out some sticks, leave the stage, house lights go up, everyone knows it’s over.

  • Band leaves the stage after not playing their biggest songs…so disappointed…how could they not play…wait…what’s this…surprise! They come back 2 minutes later to play their biggest hits! I totally did not see that coming!!!!

    I hate encores. Just play the songs and be done.


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