They bug me. I don’t quite know why, but here are some thoughts:
- I’ve already paid for my music. Why should I have to clap for it?
- How many encores will there be? None? One? Two? The uncertainty is stressful.
- It fucks with my planning. Will the encore be the song I have been waiting to hear? Will it be a song I don’t care about? Should I leave early or should I wait? Nobody knows.
- The musicians know they are coming back on, the stage crew knows they are coming back on, and so does the audience. Why keep up the pretense?
- It activates my mean side and then disappoints it. I start to hope that no one will clap and no one will cheer. I want to see what will happen. They’ve planned the encore, so will they do it anyway or will they limp away feeling unloved? Alas, that never happens. Despite my stubborn efforts to remain seated and absolutely silent, no one follows my lead.
Instead, I respectfully suggest that musicians just perform until they are done and we can all go home. No muss, no fuss.