TO ENCORE OR NOT — THAT IS THE QUESTION
Some tactics just plain backfire in lieu of public love.
The Righteous Bluegrass Band had an occasional dilemma — to buck the promoter and play an encore or not. In this case, despite the protestations back stage of our bass player Earthquake, the band was NOT allowed to do an encore that might dampen the impact of Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band. It was a VERY amped up show on this Fourth of July in this beautiful massive outdoor venue and the stomping throngs for the RBB only got only Hello Mary Lou and Garden Party from Rick. But the “opening act” is suppose to get the crowd settled and teed up for the main show, not wanting more of the wrong act, leaving the house drained for the headliner.
Doc Watson dealt with the Righteous Bluegrass Band’s blistering opener, bringing HIS crowd to an encore-producing fever pitch who when asked if they should go back out to do an encore, said “son no good musicians should ever turn down love like that — get out there!!!”
OPPS, NOT THIS TIME
The encore calls didn’t always work out. The scene was at a special showcase at the grand Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado for the biggest music trade publication industry event for radio stations called the Hamilton Report. It was wicked tough to get invited and we requested to be slotted-in right before David Bromberg because we were angling to convince his iconic manager Irving Azoff to book us to open for David on his coming national tour.
Well, the music elite crowd literally melted the rafters for the RBB and despite being told NOT do any encores for careful time budgeting for the showcase of major acts, the band just couldn’t resist the extreme love. Hey they were stamping and yelling, so the band caved and went out to a ravenous reception. Not a good move. Totally backfired. Azoff was livid, said he’d never have the band open for David, not just because we abused the no-encore rule but as we found out later, he said the band “was too f@cking good” and the high energy made it tough for David to be in the spotlight. Azoff demanded they swap in another act to lower the temperature of the crowd but alas Bromberg eventually hit stage, complimented the RBB as any good pro would, much to the consternation of his pacing manager who simmered down when David wrested control of the crowd his own way, delivering a crackling Bromberg show!
Some other band opened for Bromberg that season.