‘Queen the Greatest Live’ – Episode 41: “The Encore”


Queen discusses their approach to encores in the latest episode of their weekly YouTube series, Queen the Greatest Live.

“I think audiences these days are aware the encore isn’t really the old-fashioned kind, which was, ‘Oh, that was so wonderful, we actually want more,’” Roger Taylor shares. “It’s built into the show. You’re expecting to play it. They’re expecting to hear it.”

But even though fans expect it, Brian May says the encore is necessary for the band to continue to give fans what they expect.

“You have to go off and refresh at that point because you’ve given everything and you’re like a wet rag at the end of what we’ve done after 2 1/2 hours,” he says. “You know, you need to go off, change your clothes and take a deep breath for that final push.” 

Taylor notes that there’s no question the encore will always be a fan favorite. “It would feel quite weird if they’d come to a show and we hadn’t played them. So it’s not a secret,” he says.

Early in their career, encores included “Jailhouse Rock” and “In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited,” but since 1977, the go-to songs have been “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.” 

“It’s a big question, which we do ask ourselves. You know, what do you want to have in people’s heads as they go out?” May says. “And I think it’s fulfillment. It’s like good sex. You know, you want to come out of it thinking, ‘Yeah, that was everything it should have been.’”

Next week on Queen the Greatest Live: “Jailhouse Rock.”

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