Relentless Energy Encores

One more tune!
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Everyone always wants one more.

It’s never going to change. Whether you love the encore or loath its predictability there’s a very good chance you’ve lost the plot in a mosh pit as legends unleash their wildest anthems.

There’s always much speculation over where ageing rock stars get their energy. Groupie love, Bolivian remedies or just inspirational verve. We’ve teamed up with Relentless Energy to bring you Clash’s Top 10 Encores of All Time.

This spring, whether you are hitting the stage or the dance floor, Relentless Energy Shots are a great way to give yourself a boost. Slickly contained in a 50ml shot its perfect for nailing on the go ... or just before you peak.

The encore is a strange art form that rarely stays still and so we’ve rounded up some of the most epic, honest and downright spell-binding encores of all time for your critical eyes. Unleash your resurrection!

1. Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen returns after his first round of encores, and just as everyone thinks he’s going to finish, he casually looks over his left shoulder, and says, “Let’s do a Bob Dylan song… Bob?” Dylan appears in a long black leather coat to belt out ‘Highway 61’ to a starstruck Springsteen. The Boss is so emotional that it looks like his face is going to break from the strain as he looks at his hero sing. Dylan’s mic is buggered at first but he weaves in the usual flotsam and jetsam of broken-off phrases and psychedelic couplets. He then makes history by performing his rarely-heard, and much-hyped Bob Dylan rap! This was performed first with first-ever-rap-to-go-gold man Kurtis Blow, and made a mark on the Shea that was then further indented by a closing volley of songs by Springsteen.

Bruce Springsteen & Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited



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2. New Order
New Order hated coming back for one more tune, but would occasionally play Joy Division numbers to sweeten the encore-ravenous massive. They generally complained that encores were like being forced to get into the breech once more after having an orgasm. They once played a blistering set and then lay in wait until long after the gig had ended and the house lights had been fully illuminated. They then tore the house down, lights and all, with an epic twenty-minute version of the Velvet Underground’s ‘Sister Ray’.

3. Julian Cope
For sheer cheek value, the ones who don’t even bother to pretend they’re doing one and then miraculously reappear. Julian Cope, singer and songwriter in Liverpool post-punk band The Teardrop Explodes pulled off a stunt similar at Reading Festival in the Nineties. One outraged fan recalls indignantly how he’d thrashed his way through three quarters of his live set before suddenly shouting, ‘This is the encore’ and proceeded, without leaving the stage, to steam through ‘Greedhead Detector’, ‘Trampolene’, ‘World Shut Your Mouth’ and ‘Reward’. Bands take note - a time and effort saving device....and it’s made it into the shortlist!

4. Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam are famous for their encores. A six-hour concert culminated in a ten-track double encore that saw Eddie Vedder sit down infront of 50,000 people with an acoustic guitar and strum out a version of Neil Young’s ‘The Needle And The Damage Done’. He’d been swigging out of a bottle of wine for the entire performance, and the booze started to show when he messed up a whole verse of ‘Just Breathe’, mumbling, ‘Oh shit, I fucked up’ to the too-starsmashed-to-care 50,000. Then Ben Harper pitched up and the audience had a collective orgasm, after which he swigged some wine with Vedder and joined them for tracks like ‘Red Mosquito’ and ‘Indifference’.

5. Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire played St John’s Church in Westminster in 2008. When time came for an encore, they dragged their instruments outside and played their track ‘Wake Up’ in the open air in Smith Square. They were within earshot of the Houses of Parliament. Wonder if big GB lent an ear when they moaned about “a million little gods causin’ rain storms / Turnin’ every good thing to rust”. This came to be a gig that will be remembered in in the baroque art rock annals for eons.

6. Eels
Eels have a habit of playing encores in their pyjamas. Don’t ask why, maybe they’re teeing themselves up for a mug of camomile before bed - one legendary gig was when they played the Royal Albert Hall in 2005. Frontman Mark Everett appeared on stage like an alt.rock Sinatra, wearing a fedora and puffing on a glowing cigar. With a dustbin for a drum, he barked his way through ‘Son Of A Bitch’, ‘It’s A Motherfucker’ and their big hit ‘Novocaine For The Soul’. He then gave a nod to Dylan with a cover of ‘Girl From The North Country’. They finally reverted to their true habits, changing into pyjamas for the encore to perform ‘Mr E’s Beautiful Blues’ to a half-full hall of smiling fans.

7. Ryan Adams
For the tour of only his second solo album, Ryan Adams’ material was pretty much spent after the three-part main set - with the band, solo, and once more with the band. Clearly getting progressively drunk as the night wore on, Ryan didn’t want to leave the stage, and the crowd didn’t want him to. Cue angry venue manager clambering on stage as his set-time expired, shouting at Ryan, visibly trying to drag him off. “They want me to leave to make way for a student disco,” Ryan tells the audience. “Do you want a disco?” With a resounding “NO” from the crowd and with the realisation that a riot wasn’t worth the hassle of a few disappointed students, the manager gave up trying, and let Ryan continue on stage, taking requests from the audience (including The Stooges’ ‘Search And Destroy’ for which an audience member was invited on stage while Ryan played drums) until, exhausted after a three-hour marathon set, Ryan ultimately left the stage for the final time.

8. IQ
Slo-mo old school prog rockers IQ injected some energy into their 2006 gig. For those who haven’t been introduced to the group, their style is reminiscent of Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett-era Genesis, with Peter Nicholl’s mammoth stage presence and Martin Orford’s grandiose keyboarding. After getting a harder edge with Mike Holmes guitaring, they became cheesier and radio-friendly… Aaanyway, after one gig and their usual repertoire of melodramatic vocals and epic-length songs, they returned to the stage for last tunes - and played The Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’. Neo-prog meets pogo... nice.

9. New Order
For the professed loathing of the encore, New Order have made it onto the list more times than they deserve. However for this one, sheer honesty - and a rock star’s obliviousness to what is required - pay out. The place was the Brixton Ace, the time 1983, they’d just finished their set and walked off stage with no indication of imminent return. Most of the crowd wandered off, assuming New Order’s hate of the encore had finally prevented them from pandering to the crowd. Little did they know that during their wait, vital needs crucial to New Order’s performance were being attended to. The band eventually reappeared to a nearly empty house, with a sheepish explanation from hand-wringing singer Bernard Sumner: “I was dying for a crap!”

10. Coldplay
After losing in all the categories at the BRIT Awards, Coldplay, who are famed for their unethically extortionate concert props and light shows, played at War Child charity’s 15th birthday. They were knackered, fresh back from touring Japan. After finishing the show, Chris Martin announced, “This is going to be the best encore you’ve ever seen.” Gary Barlow emerged to perform Take That’s ‘Back For Good’ with Martin crooning on backing vocals. Then Bono appeared, with The just-happened-to-be-there Killers, joining to sing Brandon Flowers’ ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’. An encore that sets the ante high and it’s hard to beat.

Coldplay & Gary Barlow - Back For Good



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