Love or loath technology, we cannot escape its presence. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages, so what happens when we apply it to concerts?
Billie Joe Armstrong has famously spoken out against the use of phones at Green Day concerts. He believes that they are a distraction to audience members as we forget to live in the moment. Likewise, recording videos of artists to share online does not capture or do justice to them, as there is nothing better than seeing live music.
This is also a breach of social media terms of service as posting videos from concerts on some platforms like Instagram and Facebook will not be permitted to be streamed to your stories. If you somehow do manage to get it online, these companies will take it down.
On the flip side, it allows a wider exposure for up-and-coming artists. We are more inclined to watch videos from gigs if our friends are the ones recording! Furthermore, stars like Ed Sheeran would not have had the success he has had if he did not rely on people sharing videos of his early performances. Can you imagine a world without Ed Sheeran?!
It must also be noted that it allows people to try before they buy. They can judge whether these acts are worth investing their time and money in to see. It is annoying and disheartening when you are hyped up to see your favourite artist and they don’t live up to your expectations. Granted, sound systems and acoustics do play a part in sound quality, but it allows people to see how artists engage with their audience as well as set out expectations for the show.
I would always record videos at gigs I attended as a teenager so I could re-watch and re-live them. However, I would just end up cringing when I watched it back; video recording and singing were not my strong points. It was as I got older that I stopped recording them. For me, I became so focused on my phone that I forgot to look around me. All my focus and effort went into keeping my phone still and making sure it was good. I have seen Green Day live and do believe that Armstrong’s points are true. I want to live in the moment and have that shared experience with my friends that I can reflect on for the rest of my life. I want to enjoy every moment of it for the price I pay too.
With that being said, there is a place and time for phones and it is up to the individual on how one wishes to go about it.