Over the weekend, one of your Idolators went to a concert at a medium-sized venue in the suburbs; before the opening act, an announcement came over the venue’s sound system reminding the audience that cameras and other digital-recording devices were banned from being used during the show.
Then the house lights went down, the opening act walked onstage, and about 10 flashbulbs went off to commemorate the moment. (The fact that this particular venue was “in the round,” and your correspondent was sitting on one side of the stage, made the flashbulbs a little more noticeable.) The camera-wielding patrons didn’t seem like your typical rule-breaking, boisterous, screw-’em-all concert attendees–instead, they were suburban women, seated but clapping, a few with greying hair, all with digital cameras of various sizes at the ready.
After a brief flashback to the Pokemon-induced seizures of 10 years ago, we wondered if this show was a final, definitive sign of the “no cameras” era at shows ending. We’ve seen our share of cameraphones and digital point-and-shoots at the club shows that we’ve attended, but at this concert, people were whipping out really nice cameras, including a few with film, and doing so from their seats–despite the pre-entry bag check, where the security guard regarded our smartphone with interest, but said nothing about our small camera (which, alas, we did not use).
So we’re in an era now where cameras in venues are “illegal,” but since so many people carry cameras around in the everyday, chucking them pre-show is both inconvenient and extremely inadvisable (we have awful memories of a Morrissey show where all patrons were required to check their cell phones, resulting in a lot of post-show chaos). Obviously, to set up a nice photo rig that’ll inconvenience other patrons should still require a pass–but has technology made the idea of people not bringing cameras into shows at all obsolete? (And if we’re going to enter an era where cameras are okay at shows, can we at least encourage people to not use the flash when they’re taking pictures? Because it seriously felt like there were strobe lights coming from the seats at certain points.)
R. Kelly – Red Carpet (Pause, Flash) [MP3, link expired]
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