Wednesday, November 16, 2022


From The Washington Post: “Has the encore left the building?”

Once a given in live concerts, the encore is now seen by some as an artifact of old-school showbiz, rather than an authentic exchange between performer and audience.
The best encores I’ve known:

~ Tom Waits, at the Orpheum Theater. A Waits website tells me that it was November 16, 1980. Waits came back on stage, sat down in an easy chair, and put on a record of (purportedly) the pope leaving Dodger Stadium. In other words, the sound of a crowd applauding and cheering. Earlier in the evening Waits had sat in the chair while changing channels on an old television, providing commentary on whatever he found.

~ Richard Goode, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, March 10, 2016. After an all-Bach program, Goode came back on stage, said “More Bach,” and played one more piece.

Related reading
All OCA Tom Waits posts (Pinboard) : Bach, Goode

comments: 2

Joe DiBiase said...

Best encore(s) I've seen were at a Smiths (Smiths' ??) concert, June 14, 1985, at the Opera House in Boston. Three separate encores, one during which I'd estimate 100+ audience members rushed the stage and danced. If you remember, in 1985 "dancing" really was nothing more than bouncing up and down. I thought that the stage might collapse.

Not an encore, but your Waits story reminded me of something I saw recently at an Adrian Belew show. His band left the stage, he played a couple of acoustic songs, and then pulled up a chair, sat down at the edge of the stage, and took questions from the audience for about 10-15 minutes.

Michael Leddy said...

I’ll have to listen to that. There’s a video somewhere on YouTube of the Specials where the stage does partly collapse.

The Q & A seems like a great way to break down the distance between musicians and audiences. Maybe Taylor Swift can work it into her tour. : )