October 6, 2015
Bad Concert Behaviour: Put Down Your Phone and Enjoy the Show.
BY NICHOLAS DODARO
A half hour after the concert and you’re scrolling through all the pictures on your phone. You post them on Instagram or Facebook, then check back every once in a while to see how many likes you received. Fast forward a week later-no one cares about your pictures anymore, not even you. You wasted what could have been an amazing experience of being in the moment, for documentation that you will look at a maximum of three times.
What is it that stops us from letting go and having fun when we’re in a crowd? Yes, we are living in the age of narcissism and most people like to brag about everything they’re doing, but what happened to being in the moment? Are we all too cool to let loose and just dance? Because I promise you that it will be ok (da-da do-do). In fact, you probably will enjoy yourself more by taking your eyes off the zoom-in feature on your phone and putting them on the actual performer you’re there to see. You may not have your night fully captured on video, but at least you’ll have memories of being immersed in real-life moments. Besides, those people who stand there and don’t get into the show are the worst. Don’t be that guy/girl.
When did the point of going to a concert become about posting the best picture/video instead of appreciating the music, the performance art and most of all, ourselves? Everyone wants to record every second of their now-barely-non-existent-experience and brag on social media, yet all they’re really saying is they had a mediocre time staring at their favourite artist through a phone screen.
Audiences have lost their oomph. The tours themselves have better production than ever, yet the majority of people who attend have become pretty lame. It makes me wish we could go back to how concerts were before smartphones in the 80s and 90s, before this explosion of non-stop documentation. Take for example these lovely people raising their lighters (the symbol of concert crowd unity, obvs) , swaying back and forth, loving life. This is how audiences should act today, with their smartphones lit up and you know, facing outward towards the performer. And side note, if you were the performer and saw everyone on their phone how mad would you be? Hello, do you know who you are in the room with?! Show some respect. And save some memory on your phone for other life events, because fun fact, the speakers at the show basically drown out the sound anyway.
So why do most of us feel the need to do this at concerts? Is it so we have a 30 second clip to show our friends to prove we were there? Is it to brag to our friends and insinuate that we had a cooler night then they did? What is it? When I re-watch any videos of concerts I’ve been to, all I feel is regret. I realize that I was too busy recording and watching the show through a screen that I didn’t even enjoy my time at a show that I paid to see. Don’t make this mistake and be sadsies post-concert you guys!
Granted, it’s always great to scroll through pictures after the night is over to show your friends the pole dancing nuns from the Madonna concert, have one last drink before going to bed and the specialness of the night is over forever. Most of us (including moi) are guilty of this. However, isn’t it better to simply dance,sing, get up and do your thing without our phones? Put them away after you have uploaded one or two videos on your social media and use your words to describe your night to your friends in a face-face conversation. Your memories will be more intact up in your noggin that way. Also, why worry about capturing every song on video when your followers are most likely annoyed that they couldn’t go to the concert or don’t really care. Leave them wanting more people!
Listen, we’re lucky to have the technology to record our life events, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of being taken out of the moment. When it comes to concerts, I think we all need to take notes from Taylor Swift:
In retrospect, with the advancements in technology, pop stars are now far more accessible than in the past. We can do a quick YouTube search and find their most recent live performance and see their professionally shot photos and videos on their official Instagram feed. Now hearing an artist live is not as exclusive as it once was, where before if you had a concert ticket, you were one of the lucky few who got to live in that experience. Everyone can now enjoy an artist in their “live” form. This is lovely and all, but a concert presents both an audible and an emotional experience. You are able to listen to their latest full album (with the classics thrown in for icing on the cake) and be part of the journey the artist envisioned when they wrote the songs – a theatrical presentation of the album if you will. Or, in the words of Madonna, “My show does not endorse a way of life, but describes one. And the audience is left to make its own decisions and judgments.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn0z2zlrR6s) I can speak from experience that Madonna, designs a show where if you blink, you miss something special (and scandalous) and generally NSFI (Not Safe For Instagram.) They don’t call her the Queen of Pop for nothing honey!
In conclusion, take the time to enjoy the theatrical rendition of the album rather than “live it” through the lens of your camera. If you’re going to hide behind the screen, save your money and stay home, because someone in your contacts will most likely posting enough videos for it to feel like you were “there” with them.
And remember, the lyrics are “life’s a bore so get up on the dance floor.” Not, “let me be a bore and take a 40 second video instead of getting up on the dance floor.” You’re welcome.
I know leave you with this iconic performance by the queen herself (Notice the people in the video waving their hands with NO phones.)