Monday

Concert goers - throw down your phones.

I love a concert.

Love them.

I've been lucky enough to see several, with artists varying from old rockers to jazz guitarists to some of the best (or at least most popular) Dj's in the world today.



The feeling of gentle excitement that builds from the moment I know that the ticket, just purchased, will admit me through the turnstile and into a world of music and wonder.

Excitement that builds as I count down the days, and then the minutes before I find myself with a group of friends walking from our mode of transport and joining the river of humanity that is flowing along in the cool night air toward the gates.

All share the excitement, and strangers smile at each other as they share a common bond of love and appreciation of the act they are about to see.

People chat in food and beverage lines, laughing, being, experiencing.

So what have I got to complain about? Why am I taking up your valuable time by banging on about the happy experience of a concert?

Because something dark and disturbing has started to leak into the concert experience.

That something is the smart phone.

It seems that for a large proportion of the previously happy-go-lucky crowd, the same people I have been singing praise about in the paragraphs above, just being there isn't enough...

...they have to video it.

On their phone.

A lot.

Sure, I take a camera to just about every gig I go to and, yes I have been know to take a couple of shots - but please note the quantifier there though... a COUPLE of shots...

What I don't do is switch my phone to video mode and then hold it above my head, staring at a 3 inch screen for the duration of my favourite song instead of looking at the artist, playing that song right in front of me, in the flesh.

I know a little about technology, and one thing I know for sure is that the sound recording capability of a smart phone is shit.

Well, it is comparatively shit, when stacked up against the purchase of a live album of the same artist.

You see, the phone's recording device is very good if someone is standing directly in front of it and speaking at a reasonable volume. What it is NOT great at is trying to compress a million decibels of sound, from all ends of the aural spectrum into a crappy Mp4.

Of course there is also a low light issue that I won't bore you with, just take on board the flavour of the rant if you don't mind.

Paying for a ticket to a concert only to film a shitty clip on a phone is a sure sign that the perpetrator of this crime is mentally deficient.

If someone wants to watch a clip of their favourite artist, with bad light compensation and truly awful sound, all one has to do is go to YouTube and watch hours of the shitty things. Of course there is an implied sense of jealousy that follows - not for the fact that someone else has experienced a live version of a favourite song, oh no. The jealously I am referring to wells from the stomach pits of these dimwitted folk due to the fact that the poorly filmed clip they are watching has had almost a hundred hits on YouTube, which is more than the clip previously posted by the infernal watcher. The Doofus takes this disparity to mean that because their clip has been watched less times, they are nowhere near as popular as their co Doofus who has garnered such a staggering (?) click rate.

Doofus, don't cry . I'm sure that the shame will pass. Just film yourself riding a bike into a post and you will totally own your shit-video posting nemisis.

The added benefit of keeping the smart phone brigade out of concerts is that I (and people of my ilk) won't be subjected to having their crappy device raised immediately in front of our face every time the artist decides they are going to play something that has all but been played to death on radio,  or iTuned or whatever it is that you source your musical enjoyment from.

So, I am leading a protest, or more importantly an action, and I implore all to take up this flaming-brand and perform the task with gusto.

In the last several concerts I have attended, much to my wife's horror, I have taken to doing something that fills me with so much joy that I have at times been influenced to go to a concert just so I could do it.

It's simple really.

  1. Wait for the miscreant to spend 5 minutes trying to work out the settings on their phone so that they can video the moment (and thereby miss the best part of 2 songs) and then wait again as they place the camera in such a position that allows them to begin their filming. 
  2. Give it 10 seconds.
  3. Make your move toward a drink stand, or bathroom, making sure that you have to pass right underneath their upstretched arms.  Take the time to duck, maybe even make a show of accommodating their stupidity.  If seated simply angle your head toward the device and smile.
  4. Pick a word, any word, and say it repeatedly. Or, if you can manage it, sing along to the melody, but only use your chosen word for the lyrics.
  5. Move back to your place with a warm feeling in your heart that you have done something truly great, and are now imortalised on a shitty-video's soundtrack as proof.


The "perfect storm" version of this technique involves something I like to call "Crop Dusting". This works best in a standing up event, and the crop duster needs a line of Doofuses to have formed near them. Follow all the steps above but instead of limiting the process to one Doofus, the Duster can nail a few at a time.

My record is 5 in one dusting session, and I'm sure that that is no great challenge for those of you who wish to be part of this movement.

Please note: When crop dusting it is far more effective for the duster to take a couple of passes through the Doofus field to ensure proper coverage.

Your word is like your signature, so settle on one and use it all the time.

If you were wondering... the word that I utilise is "Penis".




Andrew Webber is an Australian author living in the Middle East, his first book "Erasure" was released in June 2012 to critical acclaim. Available in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.com


2 comments:

  1. gold.
    an outstanding variation on the crop dust.
    in fact if one could combine your "crop dust nouvelle" with the "crop dust classique" you might just have Epic Lulz. Getting a posse of chums to simultaneously develop atomic flatulence at will would be an interesting diversion also. Imagine five crop dusters working along a row of videophone doofuses on their way to the aisle?

    deep smile.

    (should that be "doofi"?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to think of this incarnation as having the joy of the Classique, but coupled with the knowledge that the result is boxed up and taken home to be truly appreciated later.

      The Nouvelle still has the same surprise element though, an homage to the original.

      As to combining the two - hmmm... I think it would work better in teams. The Nouvelle to act as sweeper, the Classique to bring up the tail - so to speak.

      My reasoning is that in the ensuing video two distinct waves could be documented. I have concerns that combined deployment might overshadow one or both of the functions.

      Delete

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