Does anyone actually like big finales?

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
You know, melodic instruments all sustaining, drummer playing big rolls, then one final crash etc. Think anything CBS orchestra.

To me it's a tired cliche, not musically impressive and maybe bands still do it because they don't realize the audience don't actually care.

I'm thinking we should give this tradition the flick, but I don't know if I'm alone on this.

So, are big finales a big waste of time?

The Old Hyde

we do them to end each set, or to end the night. I like them so I can really unload. the last gig we did my very last note played after the big finish I shattered a stick on a crash cymbal and the pieces went flying ( totally unintentional but the effect was great).


Platinum Member
I absolutely hate them. I've watched a lot of gigs (old and new) that have the 'grand finale' and it's just boring. To me, at least. A couple of years ago I was watching Neil Young and his band did a full five-minute ending to the last song. I love Neil Young but that really lost me. Perhaps live it's more exhilarating but I really would give it a miss if it were my band.

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I love em! Saw an AD/DC concert dvd a few years back and they end every song in that way. Sure its cheesy but it's all Rock'n'Roll.


Platinum Member
My band does it on the end of one tune, all the time. Personally I agree it's a rock n' roll cliche, but it suits some shows quite well. I like the quiet ending for some folks and the big bang for others. But just once - end of the night, not every song.

Why "give it a flick"? There's plenty of room in this world for variety. (small kits vs. big kits, for example).

What I actually don't like is any big announcement at the beginning of a show...or excessive chatter between songs.
singer - "Hey everybody feelin' alright'?
crowd - Yeeeeaaaaaaaah!


Platinum Member
I don't mind a big finale at the end of a show. It gives the crown a chance to give a last cheer for whole performance/show, not just the song, and it gives the band a chance to wave and thank the crowd for coming out. I find it much better than dragging the song on in a pseudo jam session fashion, ala Dave Matthews or the Neil Young example above. Just end the damn song and move on already!


"Uncle Larry"
On the songs it fits, definitely like them. Not every song though. The ability to do a great finale ending is not the easiest thing. I like when drummers overplay during the song, and when it comes time for the big ending, just kind of phone it in. The one place where it's expected of the drummer to cut loose, and the drummer is too lazy to give it some juice. Bugs the crap outta me.


Platinum Member
Depends. Some songs and bands it's essential, some it doesn't work at all. Context is everything.


Silver Member
I don't like them too much but some songs and performances really need something BIG to cap it all off.

I prefer a non typical ending that catches people a bit off guard.


Platinum Member
I think that sometimes audiences like these dumb endings enough to justify it.

That said, I think we've done it exactly once in a live show setting. The guitar player decided he wanted to smash his old guitar on the ground that night, and we would be terrible band-mates if we let him do that without some ruckus to back him up. The death squeals of the guitar kind of made the combination of sounds sound a bit cool, and the audience that night ate it up. Win all around.

But I could never be in a band where we did that every night at the end and then turned off the amps. I mean, really? I'd cringe every time.


Gold Member
Can't imagine a metal concert without the OTT finale so yeah I'm a fan of them (as long as it's not done for every single song).


My band doesn't do big finales, but they definitely have their place. We have one song that we ring out and finish with a bang, but that's it.

What do you guys think belongs at the end of a set in place of a "big finale"? Just finishing the song and saying "Thank you, good night", and packing up? Just curious.


Platinum Member
We do a big "train wreck" ending after one of our songs and the audience loves it, so that makes it worthwhile. If we did it after every song, that'd be another story.

Anon La Ply

I like the chance to indulge in hammery :) Sometimes at the end of a couple of our rockier numbers I go crazy and give band and audience something to laugh at. People love the whole "Animal Drummer" shtick.

The big thing is that the ending doesn't outstay its welcome (as with all elements of a song). I've seen a couple of epic endings like the five minute ordeal that Duncan described earlier and, yes, it's a bore. I never liked that big finish at the end of Schizoid Man either. I know it fit the track's theme, with everything collapsing into chaos, but it stretched my friendship.

Another ending that I feel spoiled an otherwise great track is Billy Cobham's Stratus. It's not a finale as such - a drum solo over a riff leading to fade out - but it had the same effect of tacking a deleterious cacophony on to the end. IMO they would have benefited from a producer saying they already have a classic and to leave well enough alone.