Zia Hassan

No Encore

I saw a show the other night in DC. It was a band called the Night Game and according to Spotify, it’s my most played band of the last couple of years. 

They played a dynamite set, but there was something that I noticed: the set was a little over an hour long, and there was no encore.

The encore, that little bit of showmanship that happens after the main set is over, after the band retreats to the backstage and the audience is cheering for them to return, usually contains a crowd pleaser, and it’s always served as a cool way to give the audience something extra

The thing about this show was that all the excitement was perfectly contained in the main set. So much so that when the main set was over, I was ready to leave, even if there was an encore. I had heard everything I needed to hear and was fully satiated.

It makes me wonder how many bands devise setlists that don’t fully satiate their audience, so much that they have to rely on the idea of an encore to create excitement. It’s also odd to me that in all of the hundreds of shows I’ve been to in my life, this is the first time I can remember a headliner just ending their set without an encore.

Maybe the saying should go “Dance like nobody’s watching, and play your set like there is no encore.”