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Mr. Hardgroove

Ban cell video at concerts? Of course! (Not?)

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The barn door swung clear of the hinges on this one.

Anything short of video-jamming technology or confiscation on entry is a pointless discussion.

 

So why do people spend so much effort to ‘get the shot’? The reason is hits, likes and views. Once again musicians and our music serve to support someone else’s agenda.

In this case, the shutterbugs use the popularity of the subjects in the shots to boost their own numbers and hip factor on Facebook, YouTube etc. The seemingly infinite numbers of poor quality videos from the most recent Rolling Stones concert tour alone support this position.

 

I’m sure there are many people shooting the same events without posting them online, but for the most part, I believe the ones that end up online are not there for any “love of the art and I want the whole world to see them” reason. It’s about “hey world look at me!”

 

Want something politically incorrect? Look for my next post on why the greatest rock band in the world may not be The Beatles!

 

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I can't blame people for wanting to take pictures, but as someone who would rather be in the moment at a show then mess around with my phone, I really don't want my view obstructed by yours.

 

I don't necessarily think it's all bad for the musicians on stage though. Sure, the shutterbugs are using the popularity of the subjects, but the popularity of the subjects grows with every shutterbug.

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Not necessarily bad, not necessarily good.

I remember seeing Nickleback at The Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC a few years back

just before the 'I HATE NICKLEBACK' campaign got into full swing. Having seen them in person

as well as many cell phone/tablet videos since, there is nothing about the vids that would make me want to see them.

But having seen them live, I can say that they are a good band and deserve to make a living.

They do have a presence that is their own. Whether I like it or don't care for it, it does exist, but it isn't transferable through

a cell phone vid from 50 rows back or even from the first row. Therefore you can get a lot of haters piling on with what may seem like

justifiable proof from a poor quality cell phone vid.

Make no mistake, when you factor in all of the elements that make up a live performance (including sound and visuals), there is no such thing as a good recording on a cell phone. They are all sub par.

 

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It's a strange thing. In the case of jazz and other improvised performances, I get it because that show will never happen again the same way. But its seriously obnoxious when dozens of people are obstructing your view and the videos are probably total unwatchable garbage. For that reason it doesn't hurt us musicians too much, but this practice screws comedians up big time. They go on tour and by the 4th show everyones already heard all the jokes off youtube... I hope its just something that becomes socially unacceptable in a few years.

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I’m sure there are many people shooting the same events without posting them online, but for the most part, I believe the ones that end up online are not there for any “love of the art and I want the whole world to see them” reason. It’s about “hey world look at me!”

 

There's certainly a huge amount of narcissism involved in the whole Facebook / YouTube craze. I'd rather see a well-done, professionally shot concert video than someone's distorted and unstable phone video shot from row 35...

 

Want something politically incorrect? Look for my next post on why the greatest rock band in the world may not be The Beatles!

 

:snax:

 

 

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The barn door swung clear of the hinges on this one.

Anything short of video-jamming technology or confiscation on entry is a pointless discussion.

 

Yeah, that ship has sailed. I don't know if there's any way to jam cell phones and prevent them from shooting video, although you might be able to keep them from getting calls with jammers, which would put an end to another source of annoying interruptions. If I was a venue owner, my concern would be emergencies and liability - I doubt many venues would use jammers because of those issues.

 

Confiscation might work in smaller venues (maybe they could set it up like a coat check system), but I just don't see how it would be practical for larger concerts.

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I can remember years ago when this was simply a forbidden taboo and could possibly have landed you in Jail. We would have never thought of walking into a RUSH concert with a video camera on our shoulder, or a cassette tape player under our arm.

But now with recording and video devices living on our mobile devices, it has suddenly become "acceptable"?

 

There are plenty of cases where artists are taking a stand.

Michael McIntyre walked off during a performance recently when someone on the front row wouldn't stop recording. Even Spacey halted his performance in a play recently and went off on an audience member when their cell phone went off for the third time and he finally snapped!

 

So it goes beyond just taping a performance some of it crosses into common etiquette and courtesy.

Personally, if I pay the prices that some of these acts are getting for tickets today, I wouldn't want to run the risk of being ejected due to taping.

 

On the flip side, there is something to be said about viral marketing and many of these short snippets of concerts get lots of momentum on social media and garner marketing legs unlike something that can be paid for.

 

Just my two pennies for the day.

 

D

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I can remember years ago when this was simply a forbidden taboo and could possibly have landed you in Jail. We would have never thought of walking into a RUSH concert with a video camera on our shoulder, or a cassette tape player under our arm.

But now with recording and video devices living on our mobile devices, it has suddenly become "acceptable"?

 

 

I don't know if it's become completely socially acceptable yet or not. idk.gif A Cell phone going off in the middle of a concert or movie is still an embarrassment for the phone's owner... taping / filming OTOH, may be looked at differently by some people. Back in the old days, bootleg recordings were done very under-the-radar, but they still happened - but the people doing them tried to remain as covert as possible, and there wasn't nearly the same "public distribution" as we get today via YouTube and the Internet.

 

Today people are starting to become more emboldened and don't seem to care as much as they once did with keeping the fact that they're recording the event hidden and whether or not they're disturbing others who are watching the show. And maybe the solution to the issue is exactly that - encouraging societal disapproval for those who interrupt the concert experience for the other fans with their attempts to make poor quality recordings of the event. If the majority of the fans take a stance against it and consider it to be rude behavior, the peer pressure will tend to keep others from partaking in the activity.

 

I understand that people like to have something to show they were there and to share with their friends from a concert event, but obviously we don't want to have them interrupting the show and ruining the experience for others - not to mention ignoring copyrights. The question is - how do we, as musicians, discourage taping and videoing our concerts, while acknowledging and facilitating the fan's understandable desire to have a sharable memento of the event?

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Hey Dendy. I remember those days for sure and many folks got booted from shows.

Timothy made a good point regarding jazz performances and the desire to capture the moment.

The Grateful Dead (whom I've only seen once) encouraged fans to record shows. From what I understand and from what I've heard, no two shows were alike. In this case, the recordings helped grow the mystique.

Then there’s Rush (who I’ve only seen twice). First on a Monday at Madison Square Garden (NYC) then Wednesday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Uniondale, NY). I never went to see them again because both shows were as identical a humanly possible, even down to the solos. Taking into account what I look for in a live music performance, those two shows were an indicator that the rest of the tour wouldn’t be a heck of a lot different.

But then that’s an accomplishment if that’s what your fans want. Orchestral performances (for better or worse) are the same way. The early days of The Police were the perfect experience for me. Great songs that could handle varied interpretations.

 

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Ultimately, I guess it should be up to the performers. Post signs, ask nicely if you see it once, and if you see it again walk off and tell the audience you'll come back when they sort it out.

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I have a cousin that is a huge Deadhead. Due to their liberal record policy, he had a set of walnut drawers built down both sides of his media room (wall to wall, floor to ceiling) and he has now collected EVERY live performance that the GD ever played that had a recording made. They trade and collect these performances like baseball cards. He has thousands of then and it took many years, but his collection is now complete. I never got the DeadHead movement, but he is deeply rooted in it.

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The performers can post signs and leave in protest if not obeyed or they can present a performance that

people want to experience in person. Beyonce, Justin, MDNA, Taylor, Katie etc, give robotic presentations that have no room for

error or expansion from night to night. For the most part their followers are paying premium prices just to lay eyes on them. The music is somewhat secondary. The Police are the model I appreciate most. No matter how many screaming teens were in the audience, they were matched by serious musicians that followed the band closely and got a fresh performance every show. Two extremes that make a nice balance.

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The reality, of course, is that no one in government really cares about intellectual property anyway, so I doubt any laws will change. The practice of recording has been become accepted by society, so the only shot at a resolution is disapproval by society and peer pressure.

 

Exactly... but as Brian was saying, at some shows, taping is not only allowed, it's encouraged. I've seen concerts where they even had a section down near the front roped off for people who wanted to record the show. I understand why some bands might want to encourage taping, and I am totally fine with that - as long as it's their songs and their copyrights, they can do whatever they want.

 

If the band is cool with it, that's one thing - but with the advent of smart phones with high-res cameras it's become so common to shoot a selfie or take a pic or video of darned near anything that strikes your fancy, and apparently that includes shows.... whether the band approves or not. And IMHO, that's definitely not cool.

 

Maybe more bands should make their policies about pictures and taping more clear and announce them more prominently at their shows, as Brian alluded to.

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I can remember years ago when this was simply a forbidden taboo and could possibly have landed you in Jail. We would have never thought of walking into a RUSH concert with a video camera on our shoulder, or a cassette tape player under our arm.

But now with recording and video devices living on our mobile devices, it has suddenly become "acceptable"?

 

That was my first thought. I still have an almost instinctive "no" reaction when I see someone recording because it was pounded into my head all those years at shows.

 

I was recently at a concert by the Cleveland Orchestra when a person whipped out her iPad and started recording. For a moment, I thought we were going to have a brawl in the isles. The reaction from the surrounding people was swift and immediate - and the iPad got stowed away, never to reappear.

 

Again, maybe it's my learning from going to shows for the last few decades, but I was struck how she had no hesitation, no pause.

 

 

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I'm taken also by how many people will stop and film a bad accident or a fight between people, but will not intervene to stop or help. It is almost like we have forgotten how to be humans.

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Like most worthwhile discussions, there are at least two positions to be considered.

1) The effects of cell phone vids on music/entertainment commerce (pro/con).

2) How individuals in society choose to use advanced. technologies. Whether for the public good or for self-gratification or self-aggrandizement as touched on by Dendy’s observation.

 

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I was driving through the wilderness one time with a good friend of and we came upon a scene of incredible beauty. I was in awe of what we were seeing and of the fact that we were in it.

 

My friend spent the entire time cursing and beating himself up for not having brought his camera with him.

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There are certainly a variety of good and bad aspects to this modern trend. My $0.02:

 

Yes, by allowing people to record and post your live performances on YouTube (and what not) you're losing some control over your IP and image marketing, but, on the other hand, you're getting enthusiastic marketing by fans essentially for free (the value of which can be quite high). The flip side is that if you're an ass on stage that night, it's going to live forever (and, in the modern day, walking off stage because people are recording could certainly be perceived as falling into that latter category -- be careful).

 

It certainly depends on the type of act you're in, too. If you're Loreena McKennitt and you're doing some sort of auditorium show, a bunch of people moving around trying to get good shots or videos can be really distracting to the rest of the audience. The positive for that sort of fanbase is that they're likely to be much more receptive to the request, particularly if its phrased as benefiting the other members of the audience and not solely the band.

 

On the other hand, look at the 183920137201 Steel Panther cellphone vids. Not only do they encourage people to do it (how many "bootleg" clips of them at a Hard Rock show exist on YouTube? Surely more than grains of sand on a beach), but they often acknowledge and participate in the phenomenon, because audience interaction is a big part of their live show.

 

A long time ago, in high school, an older theater student (whose name has been lost to an atrophied neuron cluster) gave me a bit of advice that's stuck with me throughout my life with regards to live performances: It's not about you (the performer), it's about the audience. I think, to large extent, that advice applies with regards to this topic. Would I, personally, go to a show and spend any time taking pictures or recording video? No, not really, because it would interfere with my perception of being in the moment for that short amount of time. Are there *tons* of people who, having paid to come to that same show, want to preserve that experience in some sort of digital format? Yes, obviously, absolutely.

 

Therefore, in my mind, as a performer, there's really no benefit to *me* in trying to enforce my way of experiencing a show on the many people who prefer to experience it another way.

 

It's not dissimilar to the 90s and 2000s, where instead of embracing digital distribution, many large labels desperately clung to physical distribution. Can I understand why they did that? Sure, but they were still just "pissing into the ocean", instead of adapting and surfing the oncoming wave.

Edited by Nijyo

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

This is one of my pet peeves. All those cell phones glaring back at me are one of several things that keep me from going to more concerts. I HATE it. I just want to run up and grab each and every phone and melt them on stage with a blowtorch, the inconsiderate, ego-maniacal morons!

I hate phone dependency. I hate people who think more about themselves and their own little friends back home than they do about the music.

You see someone holding up their phone at a concert and you'll see someone who doesn't give a chit about other people or about the band/fan connection. It's all about bragging rights back home. It's shallower than a mud puddle in June.

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Maybe more bands should make their policies about pictures and taping more clear and announce them more prominently at their shows, as Brian alluded to.

And then kick the offenders out, period.

 

 

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Like most worthwhile discussions, there are at least two positions to be considered.

1) The effects of cell phone vids on music/entertainment commerce (pro/con).

2) How individuals in society choose to use advanced. technologies. Whether for the public good or for self-gratification or self-aggrandizement as touched on by Dendy’s observation.

In my mind, the first one doesn't even come into play. I paid to see the band, not dozens of cell phones glaring at me in the darkness. If a band thinks videos are great to spread their message then screw them. I don't want to pay to see them. If they think that little about their fans who came to really SEE THE SHOW, then frankly, they suck too.

 

The ONLY way that cameras at concerts is acceptable is either if they are all in the back row or if all cameras DO NOT EMIT ANY LIGHT and ARE NOT BLOCKING THE VIEW of anyone behind them (even one square inch of view).

 

I swear, if I had a stick I'd hit them over the head with it.

Did I mention that I hate censored.gif phone addiction?

Well, I do. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Edited by Minning Around

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There are certainly a variety of good and bad aspects to this modern trend. My $0.02:

 

Yes, by allowing people to record and post your live performances on YouTube (and what not) you're losing some control over your IP and image marketing, but, on the other hand, you're getting enthusiastic marketing by fans essentially for free (the value of which can be quite high). The flip side is that if you're an ass on stage that night, it's going to live forever (and, in the modern day, walking off stage because people are recording could certainly be perceived as falling into that latter category -- be careful).

 

It certainly depends on the type of act you're in, too. If you're Loreena McKennitt and you're doing some sort of auditorium show, a bunch of people moving around trying to get good shots or videos can be really distracting to the rest of the audience. The positive for that sort of fanbase is that they're likely to be much more receptive to the request, particularly if its phrased as benefiting the other members of the audience and not solely the band.

 

On the other hand, look at the 183920137201 Steel Panther cellphone vids. Not only do they encourage people to do it (how many "bootleg" clips of them at a Hard Rock show exist on YouTube? Surely more than grains of sand on a beach), but they often acknowledge and participate in the phenomenon, because audience interaction is a big part of their live show.

 

A long time ago, in high school, an older theater student (whose name has been lost to an atrophied neuron cluster) gave me a bit of advice that's stuck with me throughout my life with regards to live performances: It's not about you (the performer), it's about the audience. I think, to large extent, that advice applies with regards to this topic. Would I, personally, go to a show and spend any time taking pictures or recording video? No, not really, because it would interfere with my perception of being in the moment for that short amount of time. Are there *tons* of people who, having paid to come to that same show, want to preserve that experience in some sort of digital format? Yes, obviously, absolutely.

 

Therefore, in my mind, as a performer, there's really no benefit to *me* in trying to enforce my way of experiencing a show on the many people who prefer to experience it another way.

 

It's not dissimilar to the 90s and 2000s, where instead of embracing digital distribution, many large labels desperately clung to physical distribution. Can I understand why they did that? Sure, but they were still just "pissing into the ocean", instead of adapting and surfing the oncoming wave.

Some bands think more about their band's success than about what their fans get out of your music. There's a difference. The former doesn't deserve success.

 

If someone wants to preserve a concert then buy a damn DVD or Blu-ray. It should never be someone's right to do things at concerts that ruin the experience of others. Why in the hell venues put up with this is beyond me. God, those cell videos are so atrocious anyway that they aren't even worth watching. It's ridiculous on several levels. It's a symptom of a generation that has lost focus on what's important in life (in this case, being one with the music) and focus on what value they hold for strangers around them. It's all-about-me when it comes to cell phones at concerts. It's the rudest damn thing I've seen in recent times.

 

And if you, as a band member, aren't just enough to enforce against the small minority, who so egregiously degrade the experience for a majority, then your band is not one worth seeing, IMO.

Edited by Minning Around

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If I was a touring musician, I'd strike back at the smartphone videographers by:

 

1) set up two large vertical screens. Project a live show from back stage, and EQ the final mix for that great smartphone audio quality, 300 Hz - 4kHz. (In other words, replicate the 'smart phone view' on stage)

 

- OR -

 

2) Blinding lights pointed at the audience.

 

- OR -

 

3) Randomly stop in the middle of a song, whip out your smart phone and tell the audience, "Sorry, I have to check facebook."

 

Of course any of these indignities would be met with boos and howls of protests from entitled audience members.

 

 

 

 

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