We Want More!

music musings, beaverdamusa.comNo, I’m not talking about cake, pie, beer, or sleep.  Well, maybe sleep after I went through a two time zone change on the same weekend of “springing forward” for Daylight Saving Time.  But, I digress.

I’m talking music (what else?) and that revered tradition of the encore.  The definition of an encore has changed in the time that I have been attending concerts and it appears that Wikipedia agrees with me:

An encore is an additional performance added to the end of a concert, from the French encore, which means “again”, “some more”; multiple encores are not uncommon. Encores originated spontaneously, when audiences would continue to applaud and demand additional performance from the artist after the concert had ended. In some modern circumstances, encores have come to be expected, and artists often plan their encores. This is sometimes necessitated by noise curfews at venues, which may also sometimes require an artist to forgo encores if the concert has gone on too long. Traditionally, in a concert that has a printed set list for the audience, encores are not listed, even when they are planned.

As with most musings, there is a trigger and this topic is no different.  At the end of the Music of the Eagles (http://beaverdamusa.com/nashville-symphony/) show, the singer walked offstage and waited for the audience to keep clapping so he could come back out for “one more song” – which just happened to be the Eagles’ signature song – Hotel California.  Really?  Did you really think that we thought you would leave without playing THAT song?  Give me a break.

As the Wiki definition indicates, encores started with fans chanting “we want more” or the artists’ name to entice them to come back out.  I started to notice that artists were saving some of the well-known songs for the encore.

I typically try to think of the songs that haven’t been played yet and that kind of helps me know how many more songs they will play.  That is of course if I haven’t downloaded the set list from the Internet.

I have experienced a couple of refreshing encore-related moments in the past few years.  The first was KISS at their last show in Nashville.  Paul Stanley basically came out and said that the show was running longer than expected and they could go offstage and pretend that the crowd lured them back or they could just keep playing and make sure they get the whole set played. There are financial penalties for going over the designated time, including overtime for the roadies and noise ordinances in some cities.

The second involves one of my favorites – Jimmy Buffett.  A few years ago, Jimmy would come back out for the encore with the band and then for the second encore come out with just his guitar.  Occasionally, he would bring Mac McAnally out to accompany him.  He would then play an obscure deep cut (redundant, I know) that only true Parrotheads would know.  Typically, the cut changes from show to show and he often relates it to the city.  Fans loved this so much, he put together a double album entitled Encores.  It is one of my favorite Buffett albums.

I realize artists need breaks to catch their breath, take a bio-break, or whatever else, but isn’t it time we drop the charade?  Play an extra…….

[slow applause] [people are holding lit cell phones up to their computer screens]

Thank you.  I was saying they could play straight through without running offstage and maybe even squeeze an extra song into the set.  Maybe more artists should take a cue from Mr. Buffett and dig out a deep cut that the true fan will enjoy.

Musing in Nashville

Zach

[monitors go blank as announces says “Zach has left the building”]

Soundtrack of my Life

beaverdamusa.com music musings zach claytonSo as I sit here contemplating my next musing on Music Musings, it is the culmination of my 50th trip around the sun.  I joke that my chronological age is finally getting closer to my “feel like” age.  I am wondering if I really am 50 though.  I haven’t received the time-honored rite of passage into the next half century – the AARP card.

As I think back through my 50 years, some years aren’t there for various reasons (baby years, that one wild weekend in Key West, etc.).  But there is one thing that is always there – music.

Music is truly the soundtrack of our lives.  From the lullabies our parents sang to us are babies to the songs played at our funerals, music is always there with us.  As you think about each of the following situations in your own life – close your eyes and think about the song that comes to mind:

First concert: Eddie Money

  • What songs did you sing or play to your children when they were babies?  Mine was Harry Chapin’s Gold Medal Anthology and Jimmy Buffett’s Ballads (from the box set).
  • What artist was the first you ever saw in concert? – Mine was Eddie Money my sophomore year in high school at Vandy’s Memorial Gym.
  • What were your favorite slow dance (aka belly-rubbin’) songs in high school?  Mine were “After the Love is Gone” by Earth Wind & Fire,, “Babe” by Styx, and “Keep on Loving You” by REO, just to name a few.
  • What is your “go to” song for when your boy/girlfriend broke up with you?  Had to be “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi.
  • What is your favorite “pump me up” song?  Has to be Van Halen’s “Dreams” for me.
  • What song did you use for the first dance at your wedding?  We danced to “Groovy Kind of Love” by Phil Collins, but I made sure “When It’s Love” by Van Halen was in the playlist.
  • What one song do you want to be played at your funeral/memorial service?  If I had to pick one, it would be “The Dance” by Garth Brooks.

Go back and listen to these songs today.  Do they still stir up thoughts and emotions?  Enjoy the trip down memory lane. I’m off to see if iTunes will give an AARP discount.

Zach

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