Just watched a fab Prince concert DVD where, as is the custom, the show is stage managed right down to the encores. At just about every gig you go to these days you expect the finale to be the encore, with one or two of the big songs held back.
It wasn’t always this way though. I remember watching a very early Lilac Time gig in Sheffield when the group didn’t know what to do for the encore, so they sang Jambalaya and then did Return To Yesterday again. As ‘recent’ as 1994 I was at an Oasis gig at the Brighton Centre when they came back for an encore, possibly the first encore they ever did, when they too didn’t know what to do, so they did Rock and Roll Star again. And we’ve all been to shows where we’ve shouted for more but the band don’t come back on.
This got me thinking, has anybody been to a gig where the band were clearly holding a big number back for the encore but the audience all left after the main set and didn’t shout for an encore? I went to a show at the Scala in London, where Delta, Witness and Grand Drive were in the midst of a co-headlining tour, alternating the running order each day so they all get the chance to close the show. The first two bands didn’t do an encore, so when Grand Drive finished half the audience left, only for the band to come back out and play a slightly awkward encore to the remaining punters. It must have happened to a bigger band than them though? Anybody?