Concert goers are all too familiar with the rising occurrence of a topic of heated controversy: cell phone use at shows.
Imagine you’ve stood in line for hours to see a band you adore. You pay for a ticket that costs the same as a whole shift at your job. Walking into the venue, you rush past people to get to the front of the stage to be as close as possible.
A while later, the lights drop, and as you begin to scream, someone standing right in front of you whips out their phone and holds it up the duration of the show. Instead of enjoying the band they paid to see, they are making sure their video looks good, distracting everyone around them.
This scenario is becoming more and more popular in our society where smartphones are king. While fans concentrate on getting the perfect selfies, a few musicians are fed up with this situation happening at their shows.
In July, lead singer of Slipknot Corey Taylor sparked controversy when he smacked a phone out of the hands of a concert attendee standing in the front row.
“So many people have their faces glued to their phones, and they’re not paying attention,” Taylor said in an interview with the WRIF radio station. “You’re going to come down there and film it, but you’re not going to enjoy it? People need to unplug and realize that they’re missing their lives.”
Other musicians have used more violent means to make their statements about cell phone use at concerts.
In April, concert attendee Becca Ilic was watching the pop punk group The Story So Far. During their encore, she worked her way to the stage and took out her phone to take a Snapchat video. Before she could do so, The Story So Far singer Parker Cannon kicked her in the back. She fell from the stage onto the crowd.
Ilic admits she was intoxicated and shouldn’t have tried to take the video. However, the actions of Cannon had several comment sections of music sites ablaze.
Jordan Buckley, guitarist for hardcore outfit Every Time I Die, has been physically expressive about his distaste for cell phones at concerts.
During one of the band’s performances, a fan ran on stage and attempted to take a selfie with the guitarist. Buckley kicked the phone out of the attendee’s hand, and it fell into the mosh pit below.
These musicians are just a few examples of those who are upset with cell phones at concerts. Other artists, such as Alicia Keys and The Lumineers, have provided their concert attendees with small pouches for fans to store their phones, so they won’t be inclined to take them out during the performances.
While you may be sending out text messages, what unspoken message are you sending by staring at your phone while an artist is performing in front of you?
At the next concert you attend, decide whether taking that Snapchat selfie with the dog filter is worth upsetting those you paid to see and those enjoying the experience around you.