There are two types of people. People who stay for the encore and people like US comedian Marc Maron who see the encore as your ticket out.
In his recent Netflix special he confessed to leaving the Rolling Stones before the gig had officially finished, something a hard core Stones fan would cite as sacrilege. But the dude made it to the car. He won. He got to see the Stones and he got home before everyone else.
There’s only one thing better than seeing your favourite band. It’s getting home and telling everyone on Facebook what a great night you had seeing your favourite band live.
It’s a little embarrassing when you get comments back from the stalwarts still at the gig giving you stick for ducking out. But rewarding a few hours later when you see pics of them stuck in the exit queue of the car park. LOL. Smiley Laughing Face. For three hours. Angry face. Laughing Face.
That’s better then hearing ‘Satisfaction’ live.
It’s Delayed Satisfaction which in my world is right up there with delayed gratification. I always leave concerts at the encore. They might as well hold up a sign that says ‘Middle Aged Person’s Departure Time’.
I worry about parking a lot more now than I used to. And gridlock. I am closer to death than people in their 20s and I don’t want to lose any more hours stuck in traffic.
I guess leaving at encore could be compared to skiving off towards the end of a sexual romp when your partner has just ducked out to the loo. I’ve done that too. I mean, I’m nearly 50, so to give me some ‘Satisfaction’ you want to play your best stuff up the front of the set. I wouldn’t be keeping those hits for the big finish mate. Stop dragging it out.
My ideal live gig (and sexual liaison), would actually have several encores, so we could stagger the leaving process. Perhaps the band could go off after every song and then come back on to a constantly dwindling audience. In the end they’d be left with just three blokes who’d walked there.
I don’t even like encores. They’re stupid. You have to go through this ridiculous rigmarole of pretending you think the band is finished. We all know this game. Everyone knows they are coming back on. Even if no one liked them.
You only have to drop your handbag and its enough noise for the band to come out acting all fake surprised, wiping their sweat and re-strapping the guitars back on.
Doing that ‘we didn’t want to but if you insist’ kind of daggy return to stage. And then you have to cheer again like you just made an encore happen. Like they are giving you something extra. It’s not extra.
Only the encore after the encore is the extra bit. And I’m not staying around for that.
You know the encore is in the set list. Planning an encore is like faking an orgasm. Sure it’s good to go out with a bang. Everyone loves a spectacular end– but it feels a bit inauthentic.
Imagine if other people finished work like that. Like you are lined up at the bank and suddenly at 3.50pm the tellers announce the bank is closing. You’re like ‘what? Its supposed to be open until 4pm?’ Then you realise. It’s an encore.
If you bang stuff loud enough the tellers will come back and do the last 10 minutes, pretending they just gave you an extra 10 minutes like you’re special. Fake encores don’t make me feel special. I’m too old for that sh*t. I want something real. If it was a real encore, I’d stay.
LISTEN: Mia Freedman, Jessie Stephens and Monique Bowley discuss whether “being and introvert” has become an excuse for crap behaviour (post continues after audio...)
I’ve left nearly every major concert in the Encore. I’ve left Ben Harper, The Doobie Brothers, Deborah Harry, Kylie, Tom Jones, The Lumineers, Santana, Neil Finn, Queens of the Stone Age, Cold Chisel, Bernard Fanning… and it's generally worked out... except when someone says ‘you should have seen the encore, it was amazing.’
I hate those people.
And I hate them even more when they say ‘yeah, we got out the gig and drove straight out the carpark the other way. All these other idiots that left at the encore got stuck in the traffic. They didn’t get home until dawn.
Are you one of those people who always leaves an event before it finishes?