Last weekend at the Rascal Flatt’s concert, it was your typical concert wrap-up. The band said their thank you, they took their bows, and then the lights dimmed. The crowd went nuts. The lights stayed out. People were stomping, whistling, screaming and then- the stage lights went back on and out came the band again!

Except… it’s not a thrill anymore. It’s expected. When did an encore become mandatory at a concert?

It used to be that an encore was something special. You went to see a show and the band did fabulous. You cheer. You keep cheering- you want them back! If you were loud enough, out they’d come and have to do something impromptu and unplanned. That was fun! Now the encore is written into the show and there is no surprise whatsoever. Some artists even save their best song for last, expecting that the crowd will enjoy them enough to cheer them back.

I don’t know if I’m okay with that. I love an encore, yes, but I hate that there’s no wondering if the band or artist will come back out. I just know that they will.

One of the greatest shows I’ve been to recently was when I went to see Matthew Good. One of the things that had me talking about him for days, was that he came out for something like four or five encores! It was brilliant. You had that element of surprise- is he done? Can we cheer loud enough to get him back out… again?

What do you think? Are encores something you expect now? Would you be disappointed if there wasn’t one? What if the performance was awful?

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