Jump to content

Coldplay , Cell Phones and Cameras


Recommended Posts

Not that long ago--a decade, maybe?--every single concert ticket contained a warning in big block letters: NO CAMERAS OR RECORDING DEVICES. Anyone who dared try to slip in even one of those disposable cameras (remember those?) risked being roughed up and ejected.


I even remember going to gigs in the early days of cell phones where signs admonished people for even thinking about bringing something like that to a concert. Many venues and tours insisted that they be banned or be confiscated at the door. No, really.


Eventually, though, the cell phone won. Now when you go to a gig, half the audience is watching the show through a tiny screen that they're holding up in front of their face.


A couple of years ago, I went to a Green Day show on their 21st Century Breakdown tour. About halfway through the show, Billie Joe Armstrong got mad.


"Put down those fucking cell phones! You're HERE! This is NOW! This is THE MOMENT! Don't experience this later through a stupid little video! BE HERE! NOW!"


The dude had a point. People were so busy trying to capture the moment, they were missing it. These thousands Green Day fans were no different than those vacationers who miss their vacation because they're too busy framing it through the viewfinder.


Naturally, Billie Joe was ignored and people went right on watching an amazing gig through a 4-inch LCD. And they paid money for this?


Billie Joe's words came to mind last night as I watched Coldplay perform in the parking lot of MuchMusic on a promo tour ahead of their Mylo Xyloto release. Hundreds of people had waited hours and hours in the rain to get a good spot close to the stage. And what did they do when the band hit the stage? They watched the show through their iPhones and Blackberrys.


I get it. You want to preserve the experience so you can relive it later. But what exactly are you preserving? You have a shakey, grainy private video of the band onstage with the audio in mono, adulterated by crowd noise.


What about the emotional experience of a live performance? Did you preserve that? Or did you even have one because you were so busy trying to video the show?

(Full disclosure: I'm guilty of this, too. But I never video more than a minute or so of any gig and the number of pictures I take is small. I'd rather take in what's happening around me. But maybe I'm just old-fashioned.)


I love technology. I love the democratizing power of it. I love how technology has been a boon to music. But for the love of God, people, I wish you'd put down your bloody phones and just get into the music fer chrissakes!


A professionally shot version of the show will be available on MuchMusic and elsewhere for years. Or are you telling me that you'd prefer your crappy little production complete with the drunk dude next to you who keeps going "WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?"


Or maybe you do like the guerilla video. My recommendation is to let someone else worry about it. Just Google "Coldplay MuchMusic" and you'll find plenty of bad audio and video.





EDIT: I'm sorry if this should be here or not so feel free to delete (to mods) but i think this is a great article to read.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always thought that about concerts and agree that enjoying it and reliving the memories is all you need, of course I am grateful to those who capture and record one off performances of songs because it gives us a chance to hear them, take Solid Ground, one of my favourite coldplay songs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally get what you're saying. I love photography, and take thousands of pictures a year. Of everything, my yard, kids, pets, sports, concerts, our vacations etc, and I make photobooks. But I very very rarely record songs at concerts. The one time I recorded a song, and shared on youtube, I got a "violation" notice, so I won't do it again. But it is so distracting to see hundreds of cell phones being held aloft and not just for a quick shot or two, but the cameras are held up for song after song. And with all those cameras being held up high enough to take any pictures, it blocks the views of those people behind them. How can you dance, sing, get into the performance if you're too concerned with a shaky video so you end up not moving? Last week at ACL, I did take quite a few pictures, but maybe 5 shots a song, like when Chris was oh like right in front of me? Couldn't quite help myself. But overall, I agree and get what you're saying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im guilty of this. :P and I do want to enjoy that moment, so next time I will not be trying to take video (as much :P)I I still think its cool to take pictures from the point of view I had :)


When I went to Lollapalooza I took my Flip camera and recorded much of the show, but I wasn't worried about what I recorded. I just held it in my hand, and let it record whatever came up. I captured some cool videos and I got to really enjoy the concert too :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it does my head in. I was at an amazing acrobatic circus performance last year and the whole show was ruined by some stupid fucking kid and it's family video taping THE WHOLE THING on a tiny digital camera. I couldn't get into the show because everytime I looked towards the stage I would see bright screens to my left.


It made me so damn angry. Why don't you just put the fucking camera down.


I understand filming some things. Like the guy who filmed Up in Flames - it's a new song and he understands lots of the community want to see it. But filming a whole Coldplay set? really? Who the fuck wants to hear Yellow again shot through a tiny megapixel camera 500 metres away? Youtube is filled with the junk, why do people insist on adding to it.


Tl:dr - People annoy me. Nearly every experience I have had in a crowd or audience has been ruined by someone being a dick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great, great oh very mighty post you have made, Skuze, and I agree completely. Watching some inferior quality video later does nothing to relive the moment compared to just living it (that sentence doesn't seem to make sense, but it does to me so nyeh!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I understand filming some things. Like the guy who filmed Up in Flames - it's a new song and he understands lots of the community want to see it. .


That's the video I got in trouble for putting on youtube. I was at the ACL taping and I recorded it, too, I was on the other side of the theater from him. He had his video removed from youtube, too, but there are still others up. Not as good as ours were though. :smug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Sorry if this might be considered as bumping an old-ish thread, but I found it when searching for digital camera info threads!


Have to say I'm very very guilty of doing this at pretty much every concert I've ever been to :embarrassed: I do understand about what was said in this thread though and how it could be annoying for people behind you having to either look around your camera or watch the concert through it too... oops haha! but it can't be as bad with someone only having a small digital camera, compared to someone trying to film the concert on an iPad (or other tablet device) :| going by that Coldplay tweet/blog post I saw about it anyway :P


Anyway despite this, and despite having a mix of good/bad/decent/awful videos from concerts over the years, I still like to be able to have those videos to look back on and experience/re-live the concert again from my own point of view! rather than other peoples better quality videos or a concert/tour DVD of it.


I am still however looking for that 'perfect' (or ideal) camera for recording concert videos on, but I'm about to make a new thread for explaining all of that and hopefully getting help! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...