You know the story. You’re at a gig of your favourite band that you spent all of Friday morning three months ago, hunched over your computer, desperately trying to get tickets for – you got them, but the damage has been done on your bank account. So what is worse when you get to the gig and can’t even see the band over the sea of blazing phone screens, clamped by large hands who seem intent on keeping their phone in position for the entire gig.
It’s fucking irritating, to say the least.
And it’s not just the fans who are getting pissed off. It wasn’t too long ago that ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ banned phones at their gigs, telling their fans to ‘Put that shit away!’. Johnny Marr has also expressed his hate of mobile phones at gigs, saying doing so is for ‘dicks’.
Below, via NME, bands share their views on filming gigs.
Liam Fray from the Courteeners has a particularly strong point. Why take a photo that looks either like the lead singer is on fire, a neon coated smudge with fluorescent skin, or when the band are so far away into the distance that nothing more than a mere speck – and a poor quality speck at that – above the thousands in front of the ‘photographer’. And for what? For a couple of ‘likes’ on Facebook or less than a hundred views on Youtube, as if lucky that a bit of tumbleweed would manage to stumble upon such a shitty, vast waste of filming. With nearly every gig being covered by at least one photographer, why not leave that job to the professionals?
But are we far too into the digital age, too engrossed in keeping everyone in the online world updated with what we had for breakfast that morning, to fully stop people using their phones at gigs?
Personally, being at a gig is the experience in itself. Avoiding being pushed under the bald, monstrously wide 40 year old man’s sweaty armpit; sneakily weaving through people to get to the front; grabbing a stranger round the shoulders as if he was your best buddy from years ago. Essentially, completely embracing the moment rather than wielding a phone, distancing yourself from the experience.
The battle is on. Smart phones versus the fun of the gigs. Hopefully more bands will start to put a fight up against the mass of twinkling, intrusive, glaring face of the phones – yet, I think this fight could be unwinnable.