On Friday night I saw the legendary Al Green in concert. Our seats were crap, but we managed to steal good ones for the first five songs (note, if you are coming into a concert at the fifth song, you do not deserve good seats!) until the usher tapped on us on the shoulder and we skulked back to our original seats.

Al Green danced like a mad man, handed out red roses to the ladies in the crowd, sang all his old classics. By the end the whole audience was standing and clapping and singing along to ‘Love and Happiness’. It was a great concert, well worth the dough and a wonderful Friday night.


There was no encore. The crowd was cheering and stamping. Al Green gave a wave and left the stage, his band stayed playing. The band finished to thunderous applause and then handed out the remaining red roses. The crowd kept standing and clapping. Then the drummer threw his drumsticks. The crowd seemed confused, but kept clapping. The lights came up, background music started playing and backstage staff began dismantling the drums. As the crowd filtered out you could hear everyone muttering “what, no encore?”, “guess there will be no encore then” and “wow, that was great, but no encore?”.

It wasn’t just Melbourne that suffered. Sydney got no encore either, says The Age:

But that was the end. No encore. No Take Me to the River or I Can’t Get Next to You.

Either did Perth:

Despite the yells for more, Green did not return to the stage.

That’s the thing with miracles, they don’t come with an encore.

It shouldn’t matter, but it does. Musicians should know that an encore is essential. It leaves the crowd on a high. Otherwise there is always a sense of having missed out on something. As if your clapping and cheering weren’t quite enough to make them return to the stage.

When telling a friend the story, she recounted a Chk Chk Chk concert where the drunken crowd clapped and demanded an encore long after the lights had come on and the stage had been cleared. Apparently the drummer that night was a stand in and didn’t actually know any other songs. Still, it was so obvious the crowd wasn’t leaving that they decided to do an encore anyway. It was, apparently, the best song of the night.

Next time I will just stay clapping longer. Anyone else every suffered encore envy? Why don’t some bands do an encore and why exactly is it so disappointing?