Should People Stop Filming Concerts With Their Phones?

Back when you wanted to tape a concert, you usually had to sneak in a bulky VHS camera, or a tape recorder, and the quality could be very dodgy at best. It was in the days before music was free everywhere and people didn’t pay for it. Today it’s surprising to realize that so many people are capturing concerts with their phones, and we see more glowing phones out there in concerts than cigarette lighters. 

There were many concerts I wish I had a copy of, but there’s nothing like being in the moment, experiencing a band, and not worrying about getting the whole thing down so you can upload it on YouTube later. This is why Karl Sanders, from the metal band Nile, is against people filming shows with their phones, and he may have a good point. 

As he told, “When you’re filming the show, you are not in the show. You are no longer a part of the experience. When people are involved in the show, when you’re listening to the band, you’re watching the band, your fist is there, you’re headbanging, you’re moshing, you’re involved, then you are part of a singular community experience.

“All of us are focused on the same energy, and that’s an incredible experience,” he continued. “And you can feel that — it’s real — and the band and the fans, they unite, they’re together… So when I see people out there, you know, with their cellphones, texting or, you know, filming the show, or whatever, they’re missing out on an incredible, wonderful live experience that they could be part of. And that hurts me, that discourages me.”

Sanders also brought up the point that you don’t want your girlfriend texting somebody when you’re having sex, which is what fans capturing the show with cell phones feels like to him. 

While taking phones away from people, like Sanders does at concerts, can be even more distracting, you just have to hope that this generation, or the next one, will look more at the world around them instead of staring into tiny little screens all the time.