I’m not a huge fan of Beyoncé but I totally agreed with her when she told a concert goer at one of her concerts “I’m right in your face, baby! You gotta seize this moment. Put that damn camera down.” I have seen Madonna over thirty times; mostly concerts, a few plays, a premiere or two, a photo exhibition but save for once occasion (Wembley Sept 11 2008) I have never recorded her. I’ve wanted to, not just Madonna, but the countless shows I have been to. I go to live shows because they are exactly that – live. This is why I stopped myself recording at Wembley. When I go to a live gig I want to take in that vibe that only a live show can bring – you can’t capture that if you are busy holding up a camera. It is not just a young person’s habit either I was at Simple Minds last week (you can guess the average age of the crowd) from my vantage point near the back all I could see was this sea of cameras when the popular songs played. Surely it is for the popular/favourite songs that you go to these events.
My chief gripes when it comes to cameras at a concert:
- not living in the moment – you miss out on the sound, the artist’s presence, the vibe of the room, dancing (you can’t move if you are busy recording).
- distracting the artist and distracting other concert goers.
- disrespecting the artist – (most) artists are actually really proud of their work and want you to enjoy the experience of their concerts.
- the grainy recording you have will never be as good as the professional job that an artist usually releases in time.
I don’t get this insatiable need to record everything but maybe you do.
Maybe you are one of those folk who feel the need to whip out your camera. If you are, help me to understand. Would love to know what you do with the recording(s) ? Do you ever look them again after the following day? Do you ever regret that you didn’t just enjoy the experience of hearing the artist (that you paid good money to see) live ?
I will leave the last word to Fran Lebowitz who sums up brilliantly what I have been saying… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mK-gDMdmh0