There will be no encore

The band plays their last notes. They raise their arms in the air. We stand clapping. People whistle, hoot and holler. Expectantly, mechanically the band reemerges a minute or two later.

I never join in the chorus. The outcome is a forgone conclusion. There will be an encore because it is expected. There will be an encore and the clapping and putting down of instruments and walking out and coming back in will be a waste of time. It is a waste of time.

Once an encore meant something. It meant the artist would remember the show and that it had been a really special night. It meant that the crowd was so genuinely thrilled that they couldn’t bring themselves to leave and they had to have more.

If an encore happens every night then it has no meaning. I think that they are a pointless waste of everybody’s time. My preferred system is for a band to say these are our last two songs. Consider this the encore.

Last night at Boy & Bear me and the friend I went with were planning our exit during the pointless lengthy clapping and instrument maneuvering. My coat needed to be collected from coat check and my friend did not want to hang around in line. I said that since encores were dumb I was happy to check out early to save the wait. Then Boy & Bear said exactly what I like to hear. It was along the lines of “a long time ago we made a decision as a band not to do encores. The next two songs are our last. Consider them the encore.” Subliminally I probably remember them saying this the last time I saw them a couple of years ago. Still, I smiled at how they had just fulfilled my wishes.

Still I went to get my coat and we watched the last two songs from the back, where we were actually happ


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