Encore! Encore!

I was posting today in one of my favorite band’s forums.  Someone who said they were a lifelong fan and have followed them all around the world had a complaint about the set list.  They were sick of hearing the same songs over and over.

I have complained about the same thing.  Although not really complained it was more of a wish list.  When a band has been around for about as many years as I’ve been alive and they have a catalog of songs to choose from.  Why is it they play practically the same set list each and every concert? You would think they would be sick of it, after playing these songs thousands of times, right?

Well while “I wish” that they would change their set list each and every night – how many of their fans go and see them as much as I do?  While I save and fly around the world to see this band, sometimes others can only see them once for various reasons.  That said, they want to hear “those songs.”  You know, the same ones they play every night, the ones you’ve heard 1,000 times or more willingly.

Thinking about it, I see something else in the equation.  Not only are the songs the fan favorites or the new material which will increase record sales…oh hey wait a minute, time to do some bullet points:

Why do bands play the same songs night after night?

  • They are the fan favorites.
  • They are the new songs to promote the new CD you’re supposed to go out and buy if you didn’t already.
  • Safety – yes, putting on a show takes tons of coordination, lighting, special effects, you name it.  The last thing you want is for someone to get injured and the rest of the tour canceled.
  • Gets the crowd to participate – the songs are known by everyone even that guy’s cousin’s girlfriend who was dragged along against her will but happily showing her cleavage when the band draws near.

There are more reasons, I’m sure but those are the first ones I can think of.

See, I don’t have a problem with the same setlist, even though it can be predictable.  I did get particularly annoyed at a concert some years ago when the group did/said exactly the same thing during their previous tour. I’m like, I’m paying $80 to see them do the same thing? I know it’s hard to make it seem new every night, but your fans are watching…

Oh wait, got off topic a bit.  Now for what I really wish for – the chance for a special encore.  I’ve heard of this mythical thing happening where the crowd goes wild and the band comes out and plays something extra for such an amazing audience, but of the hundreds of performances I’ve seen…well it hasn’t happened yet, can all the audiences I’ve been in suck that bad? I mean I was screaming at the top of my lungs and couldn’t talk for about a week afterwards…

Anyways, it’s the encores that anger me.  The show is over, the lights go down and the crowd is cheering for them to come back.  You KNOW they will come back, there is no point in cheering, they are coming back because they didn’t play that song that you know they have to play.  I usually take this time to catch my breath and check out the crowd because I’m not screaming for something I know is going to happen.  Of course, I’ll applaud when they are back on stage – very predictable.

So while I know the encore is a staple of what a concert is, to end it on that high note where you go away so happy you could burst (and others who weren’t fans suddenly are rushing to buy their songs).  But really, can’t they come back one more time if the crowd deserves it?  I mean, sure it’s a twisted cycle, the more you come back the louder the crowd gets but at the same time, doing something they don’t normally do and is unexpected by the most dedicated also screams their love of those who have injured their vocal chords (and other things depending on how much metal is in your concert).

I understand that there is one problem with having the show go in “overtime.”  Sometimes there are penalties from the venue or the schedules get all out of whack – but yeah I want a special encore.  I pay a lot of money for the ticket, the travel and whatever else, if anything I want the CHANCE at an extra special encore.

Dedicated to me isn’t necessary. :)

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