I found an article a few days ago about a plan by Apple to make iPhones unable to film live music. Promoters and venues get tired of making exclusive live recording deals with bands only to see the shows turn up in a jillion different Youtube videos. Apple is creating technology that would detect the fact that a live musical performance was going on and shut off the camera. Phoning and texting would still work.
I had several thoughts after reading the article, the first one being, I’m glad I have an Android phone. The idea of having product features and then having them taken away pisses me off. I also have a few questions: What about indie bands that need the publicity and WANT the audience to film them? How “smart” would the technology be? Would it stop you from filming a robbery or a cop beating a suspect?
All interesting questions, but it also raises another issue with me: Rudeness at concerts. Is technology making us forget our manners? Just because your smart phone can film a concert, does that mean you should? It’s probably a little annoying for a musician to look down from the stage and see nothing but a sea of iPhones instead of people like, paying attention. At some point you should probably just put the phone down and watch the damn concert.
I’m guilty of it myself. I’m always trying to get shots for this blog, even though my camera and smartphone pretty much suck for concert pics. I try to hang it up and watch the show once I get what I think I can use, but maybe I do irritate some people. I get annoyed (and a bit jealous) when I see people in front of me with smart phones that have cameras better than my actual camera, snapping away through the whole concert, but for all I know they could all have blogs too. At the very least, they’re putting pics up on Facebook, which isn’t much different. Maybe I’m just a hypocrite.
It’s not just smartphones that lead to rude behavior. Some people are just rude. You always have a few bad apples. (The Austin-American Statesman recently had an article about the problem.)
The guys who were deliberately loud and disruptive during John Pointer’s show come to mind.
I saw an otherwise great show from Slim Bawb in Bastrop the other night that was disrupted by a table full of oblivious loud-talking women. Yap yap yap. They never shut up. Didn’t even look at the stage. They texted, laughed, posed for pictures, talked all about their shallow little lives and basically ignored the show. I don’t know why they were even there.
The crowds at Psych Fest were pretty well-behaved in general, but there were a couple of instances where groups of people would wait till everyone was in place before a show, then rush through everyone right to the front. Tends to be guys too big to beat up and girls who know they probably won’t get beat up.
Then there was the guy at Emo’s several years ago who threw a plastic water bottle back over his head and hit some girl in the face. That could be construed as rude.
Always a few bad apples out there. That’s life. The smart phone thing isn’t just a few people though. It’s a LOT of people at every concert. Maybe even most. Are we all turning into jerks when it comes to smart phones at concerts? Or are we just changing as a society and it’s just something we all have to get used to. Technology certainly does change us, mostly for the better, but not always. I think smart phones and social media both have a downside: We get so busy trying to document our experiences we forget to live them.