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What Came First, The Obnoxious, or The Internet?

February 22, 2011

I’ve never used this blog to express my feelings on gig etiquette before, but I think that now is the time to delve into the subject and I’m sure that I’ve read things on this subject before, but it still needs to be said. When did we go from experiencing music, to consuming it? I was stood in the crowd yesterday, and like many times before I found myself having to supress the urge to cause physical harm to the two girls stood in front of me simply because they put their hands in the air while I was trying to catch that one magical glimpse of the band on the stage. I’m not trying to deny them their enjoyment, but the thing that bugs me the most is the fact that in their hands, held up in the air shining brightly was a camera pointed straight at the screen above us recording every sound, and every move of the 5 guys on stage playing their hearts out. These girls had a clear shot at the stage, and yet they chose to stare the screen instead, through the tiny lens of their camera. You might as well be at the back if you’re going to focus all your attention on the large moving image projected in front of you instead of one person from the barrier, plus it would come with the undeniable bonus of being able to throw your hands up in the air taking pictures, or making a heart with your fingers to your hearts content and I won’t want to cause you physical harm. The amount of people who are looking at the stage through camera viewfinders while they capture video to post to their facebook, or youtube account or whatever when they get home makes me feel sad. You’re supposed to be there to experience it, not hide behind some gadget and focus more on documenting what you paid so much, and waited so long to see. They’re not going to have real memories from when they were there, they won’t remember how the band made them feel, or how they screamed so hard they felt their lungs were going to burst in their chest, they’re not going to savour the moment that their favourite band member looked their way, or how it felt so good to be stood there amongst other people who love that band as much as you. All they’ll come away with is a shitty, grainy video with some asshole’s head weaving in and out of the frame and some fuzzy audio of a song that they’ll barely be able to identify once it’s been uploaded. When did it become more important to show other people where you’ve been than to actually enjoy being there in the moment? What is wrong with these people that they need to constantly document their lives instead of just living them.

This also brings me to another thing I hate, people who take photos of themselves in the crowd. All crowds look the sameand your facebook page will do just fine without that awkward shot of you taken from above with a bunch of angry, sweaty people around you, no one is going to know where you are, you’re probably not even going to remember where you are. Just put down the camera/phone and enjoy yourselves for god sake.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 23, 2011 11:16 am

    I sort of agree with you. As a blogger, I try and get as many photographs/videos as possible & you’re wrong about the grainy video part; all the videos I have of gigs take me right back there – reminding me how good it felt to be there.
    I mix it up – take lots of pictures during songs I don’t know/aren’t my favourites, & then put the camera down during my favourites/the encore.

    I understand what you mean though – your point is part of this massive social networking culture where all of a sudden it is more important to get photographs of yourself doing something on fb than it is actually being there yourself. I hate it, but I’m occasionally guilty of it myself. *sigh*

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