Posted by Sarah Henry
Recently I went to see the Arctic Monkeys live at Earls Court. While the concert itself was nothing to write home about, it was even harder to enjoy due to the fact that I could barely see over the ocean of phones before me. As a fairly short person I struggle during concerts at the best of times, but the sad fact of the matter is I ended up watching Alex Turner through the Samsung screen in front of me as, I quickly realised, did the person whose phone it was. Which got me thinking, why bother spending 50 quid on a gig when you can get a better picture sitting in front of your computer at home?
My main issue is that gigs are great; you’re surrounded by people who enjoy the music as much as you, you get to sing along and act like a complete fool and no one will care. Yet we’re so adamant on documenting every single facet of our lives, so we can enjoy it later that we stop enjoying it in the moment. Then later we’ll post it on Facebook with the tagline ‘This gig was amaaaaazing’ when I know for a fact that that person spent the whole time completely still, trying to get the best least shakey video possible whilst at the same time trying hard not to drop their phone. How about putting the camera away, dancing like an idiot, enjoying it and then later telling your friends how much you loved it and ACTUALLY meaning it. And if you so badly want to watch a crappy video of the gig where you can barely hear or see anything then go on YouTube, there’ll be plenty of other videos up by the end of the day.
Life is amazing and short and on our death beds we won’t be remembering all the likes or retweets we got for that status that one time describing an experience, but we will be remembering the experience itself.
As Ian Brown told the crowd at the Stone Roses’ warm-up show in Warrington, ‘If you put your cameras down you might be able to live in the moment. You have a memory there of something you’ve never lived.’