People and their damn cell phones, it just gets worse and worse.
It’s annoying enough to have some ass clown in front of you at a concert that will never put the damn thing down for 5 seconds so you can get a glimpse of the stage, but now I’m seeing people at concerts that purposely stand in the front row right in front of the artist blatantly filming them, even after the artists politely ask if people would please not film the concert with their phone cameras. This isn’t even a copyright issue, I’m sure that’s part of it but it’s also an issue of image and quality control for the artist. I mean, there is nothing an artist likes more than a thousand terrible cell phone images circling around social media making them look like a Sasquatch or some kind of playground watching pervert. Or hundreds of terrible amateur cell phone videos that show up on YouTube with awful sound, bad video quality, and a bunch of wonderful comments like:
“Wow, these guys really suck”,
“Worst band ever!”,
“The Music’s bad and you should feel bad!”,
“Jeez, just give it up already”,
“Man, look how fat he looks, what a giant gross elephant!”,
“AHHH YOU’RE RAPING MY EARS…..MAKE THE HURTING STOP!”
And other such wonderful gems from YouTube comments that really help to build your self-esteem as an artist.
From what I’ve seen from going to the actual shows and then seeing cell phone videos of it after, the cell video will always pick up the worst frequencies possible and amplify them by 1000 while making sure that every little mistake made is highlighted and glaringly obvious for everyone to pick out and laugh at. If you have any blemishes or wrinkles on your face at all, the video will be sure to focus on this making you look like you’re covered with some kind of strange contagious rash or transforming into some kind of brilliant sacred light being. Plus they just sound horrible, a cell microphone is not designed to take that kind of volume, so everything just clips and runs together to create a brain splitting madness that can make even the best artists sound like a drunken garage band. Now if you had actually been at the show things would have been different, as the vibe, the sound, the songs, the artist, and the crowd all come together to create an awesome experience. But cell phone videos DO NOT pick up that vibe or experience whatsoever, in fact, they make you look like a liar in saying that the show was awesome. So when you post these kind of things to your social media or YouTube, you’re not promoting your favorite artists at all, you’re actually hurting them and making them look terrible. This goes for all artists, big time or small time.
A great example of this is the Stephen Stills show I went to see back in May. There were several cell phone recordings of prior shows on YouTube that I watched just to get a glimpse of what I was going to be seeing, as this is one of my musical heroes and I was very excited to say the least. Well, a lot of them were bad, really bad. It really made me nervous about the quality of the show I was going to be paying for. But when the actual show happened and I was there in the 3rd row, it was much much different than I had previously seen on YouTube, Stills was amazing live. The sound was amazing, the performance was great, and it totally blew away all my expectations created from watching those crappy cell phone videos. So I guess you could say that there could be a positive side to cell videos, since the live performance is going to blow away the videos, but from what I’ve read and seen, the negatives outweigh almost all of the positive benefits. During the Stills concert there was a guy in the front row, right in front of Stills who filmed the concert THE WHOLE TIME. He never put the damn thing down for a minute, even after Stills stopped and told him right to his face, “Hey, you know you’re not supposed to do that, right?” “Would you please knock it off?” “There are other people here that would like to come up front too, you know?” Dude, a rock God just told you to stop it, you should probably stop it. But he didn’t stop, he didn’t move a muscle, and just kept right on filming. What a giant douche canoe, I wish Stills would have grabbed that camera phone and threw it out into the crowd like Peter Frampton did a little while ago. I really enjoyed hearing about that incident with Frampton, good for you, Peter. It would piss me off too, especially after repeated pleas to stop the cell phone madness. Plus, do you really want to be “That guy”? You know, the one everyone hates and wants to punch in the face for being an inconsiderate dick as he’s knocking people in the back of the head with his dumb cell phone trying to get videos? Or the guy gassing everyone around him with the BO of a thousand corpses with his arms up in the air trying to film? Yea, he’s a true fan, you can tell by the ripped up sweat stained, sleavless tour shirt from the elder days……….and the smell. HE DESERVES PICTURES AND VIDEOS! GET OUT OF HIS WAY!
Cell phones, I’ve never liked the damn things, I waited until I was 28 to get one, and only because it became absolutely necessary to have one. To me, it’s an electronic leash and an attention sucking little box of doom. Sometimes I just want to throw it off a cliff. It’s hard not to abuse their features, I understand that. As I’ve taken some bad cell phone video and pictures a few times myself, but I rarely post any of it to the internet. A little more self-control is all it would take to help lessen a lot of these problems. But sadly, I even see bands on stage now that will pick up and play with their phones between songs when they should be tuning or, you know, playing another song. Dude, you can message your girlfriend after the show. So put the damn things down and play!
I no longer take my cell phone into concerts with me and I feel pretty good about that, but that’s just me.