Last night Mr M and I went to the Waterfront Hall to see Ray LaMontagne. And a wonderful evening it was. He sang like a dream and had a great band, I bought a cute tour t-shirt, the parking was bearable and even the support (Priscilla Ahn) was enjoyable.
BUT . . . .
Mobile Phones at Gigs. What is going on?
Why does half the audience at a gig feel the need to take several dozen photos on their mobile phones of the performer? There are several things I don’t get with this. Firstly, the photos you take on a mobile phone are pretty crappy. Secondly, once you have five blurry, shitty little pictures on your phone of Ray LaMontagne playing the guitar, why do you need 20 more? They are all going to look the same (let’s face it, Ray LaM is not famed for his pyrotechnic stage extravaganzas) and they are all going to be rubbish anyway. I have been to countless gigs throughout my life and I have memories from all of them, I don’t need blurred photographs to remind me of the great/ good/ bad times I had at them!
Why dilute your experience? Why watch from behind a screen? Don’t we spend enough time behind screens? As Guy Debord in The Society of the Spectacle says ‘All that was once directly lived has become mere representation’. Shaky video of one of your favourite artists performing live is a representation, it will not supplant real emotional memories of the event that, let’s face it, you paid good money to see.
You wouldn’t do it at the theatre, why do it at a gig? It must also be incredibly annoying for the musicians in question too.
The sheer tie of the mobile phone amazes me sometimes. Maybe it is because I remember a time without it, but I notice more and more that people can’t seem to go to the cinema/ see a gig/ go out for dinner without constantly checking their mobiles, or texting, or making calls. The thing I love most about going to Crete on holiday is the lack of reason to look at my phone, let alone use it. It’s a little bit of freedom, and that’s what we should try and embrace.