October 7, 2009

A Rant About Cameras at Concerts

Last night I went to see the amazing Kelly Clarkson in concert at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. She was awesome and totally rocked. Unfortunately I had a very limited view of KC, despite the fact that I was on the floor and very close to the stage itself.

I'll be the first to say that this is sort of a hypocritical post, but the number of people taking pictures and video on their cell phones and cameras at shows is becoming ridiculous. I'm totally at fault for taking photos and video at concerts, but last night I had a revelation - Is anyone even paying attention to the artist anymore, or are they solely focused on getting a YouTube moment?

It wasn't long ago that concert security would confiscate cameras from sneaky fans trying to smuggle them into a venue, but now that everyone on the planet has a digital camera or camera phone, so trying to stop all the photography would be futile. I guess it's a sign of the times that we've all become our own little journalists, but when the only view of a performer I have comes from the display on the back of people's cameras in front of me I think we need a reality check.

Again, I am 100% guilty of whipping out my camera to take shots or video during shows, but I even annoy myself when I do it. Last night I paid around $60 for tickets to see Kelly Clarkson and paid over $100 to see Kylie Minogue this coming Sunday (OMG I'm so excited!) and I really want to enjoy the shows. Yes, I definitely want to snap a few photos of Kylie, but I think I need to remind myself (and everyone else) that the artist will be standing right in front of me and I should take advantage of seeing and listening to them with my own eyes and ears instead of waiting to upload at home. Also, there are hundreds of videos posted for everyone concert stop on an artist's tour, so why not just watch someone else's video if you need to relive your concert experience?

Do I think that venues will ever be able to stop photography at concerts? Not anymore, but maybe us concert-goers should think a little bit more about the music and the concert experience the next time we go to hold our cameras up for the duration of a song. You paid lots of money to be there, so let someone else watch the show from their view finder. You can go and watch their grainy, shaky, terrible sounding video when you get home.

What do you think?