Adrianne Lenker Explains Why Big Thief Doesn’t Always Play Encores, Even If It Upsets Fans

Big Thief have proven on multiple occasions that they put on a heck of a show, but as the sort-of-related saying goes, they’re here for a good time, not a long time. Big Thief isn’t exactly known for putting on lengthy concerts: Over the past month, the band has had shows that were as shorts as 13 songs, with no encores. It would seem some fans have expressed their frustrations with these sort of concerts, because the band’s Adrianne Lenker took a minute to explain why the band’s shows are often short and encore-less.

In a pair of videos shared on the band’s social media pages, Lenker says the reason the band’s shows aren’t always long is because ultimately, the group performs as much as they feel it appropriate to perform:

“Hello. If ever the band can play an encore wholeheartedly, we’ll do it, and if it doesn’t feel fully in our hearts to stay up there and keep performing, then we won’t. I just want to try and maintain that kind of honesty in the shows. I’m sorry if it bums people out when we don’t do encores or play for a super long time, but each night, we’re writing a new setlist, and we’re actually just playing all the songs that are really in our hearts to play. And I don’t really know how to operate any other way. I don’t really care about getting famous or getting bigger, and I don’t care if I’m playing dive bars for the rest of my life. My feeling is just like, if you want to come and if you’re enjoying the experience and if there can be some kind of genuine exchange, let’s do it. But we’re definitely not monkeys, and we’ll definitely not ever do things just to adhere to other people’s expectations.

And the one other thing I want to say is that it’s such a gift and a privilege to be able to make music and art and travel through the world and see so many faces and experience so many cultures. Thank you so much for showing up to the shows and listening and helping to create the warmth that we so often feel at our concerts.”

Watch Lenker’s videos above, and read our review of Big Thief’s Two Hands here.

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