Shooting concerts with your phone: did you REALLY have a good time?

Sep 9, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Shooting concerts with your phone: did you REALLY have a good time?

Sep 9, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Risking to sound cheesy and cliché, I must say: I couldn’t live without music. It adds flavor to my everyday life and a soundtrack to most of my memories. When I go to a concert, it’s the best night out I can imagine. But, concerts in the 21st century come with a phenomenon I rant about whenever I can: smartphones.

Every time I go to a concert, I feel like I’m the last of the Mohicans: someone who has come to a concert to enjoy the music, sing along, dance, cry, laugh, and clap my hands until my palms are numb. Other than listening, I’m there to watch the performance, too. But it seems that most people prefer watching the entire show through the tiny displays of their phones. And this time, I won’t even bitch about how those people are blocking everyone else’s view. I wanna discuss whether or not they can even enjoy the show if they watch it entirely through a smartphone screen.

When you look at some people’s Facebook and Instagram posts after a concert, you’d say they had a great time. There are group selfies with big smiles. There are videos where you can hear them screaming “wooo!” There’s a photo of them with the stage in the back, with a pose and an expression on their face saying: “Oh, I’m so crazy and wild and I’m having a great time!” But if you lived the entire experience through your phone, did you really have a good time? In my opinion, it’s impossible.

When you spend half of the time posing for a selfie or for someone else to take a photo of you, you absolutely don’t focus on the music. Not to mention that you don’t watch the show, but instead watch your face in photos and try to figure out if you look pretty enough to share them on Instagram. After the photos are taken, you add filters, write captions and share them on social media for everyone to see how much fun you’re (pretending to be) having.

When you raise your hands to film the concert, you need to stay still if you want relatively steady footage. Standing perfectly still in a concert sounds wrong in the first place, if you ask me. Plus, you watch everything on a tiny screen rather than on a huge stage in front of you. I’d say that really lessens the experience (both for you and those behind you). But hey, at least your 34 YouTube followers will get to see the entire concert they missed, with terrible audio and shaky video. Yes, it will still be pretty shaky, you stood perfectly still for nothing.

Now, I’m not saying you should lock your phone away during the entire concert (although Jack White would probably disagree). Taking a few photos for memory is perfectly okay. Recording a short clip is totally normal, despite the shaky footage and crappy audio. But really, what is the point of shooting the entire show with your phone?

There will likely be a professional recording available on YouTube or somewhere else online. You know, with proper audio, and filmed with a stabilized camera. There will be plenty of professional photos captured by concert photographers, way better than your phone images shot from the crowd, 500m away from the stage. You can always look for those after the concert and relive the memories. But the best way to relive the memories is to have them in the first place. And I highly doubt that you’ll have vivid memories of the concert if you weren’t present with your ears, eyes, heart, and soul, but only with your phone.

[image credits: Noralí Emilio on Unsplash]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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12 responses to “Shooting concerts with your phone: did you REALLY have a good time?”

  1. Chris Oaten Avatar
    Chris Oaten

    Fuck people who do that.

  2. Jonas Lind Avatar
    Jonas Lind

    If it ain’t on FB it never happened…… Sick

  3. Sascho de Beer Avatar
    Sascho de Beer

    I feel the same. I take a picture here or there, but for the looks of it. Sometimes the stage light looks perfect with a nice backdrop etc. But only one or two pictures, I can’t enjoy the show with my phone in the hands all the time…

    1. Sascho de Beer Avatar
      Sascho de Beer

      Even though I must say phone cameras are trucking good these days, I love my p30 pro for its camera. See the picture, latest concert two days ago. Nice colors, sharp and good quality.

  4. Trino Pam Avatar
    Trino Pam

    Stop whining about this. Just accept that it is how it is now.

    1. Freelance cameraman China/HK Avatar
      Freelance cameraman China/HK

      Great idea,
      So when I’m going to the cinema, I should also accept people answering their phone there cause it’s so 2017?

  5. jazzmsngr Avatar
    jazzmsngr

    I challenge this every time I see these types of articles, most recently Steven Tyler telling (people who paid him) to do stuff with their phones. I ask you….or anyone….WHO, ACTUALLY films or photos THE ENTIRE concert with their phones? Have you documented them? Did you spend YOUR ENTIRE concert watching them and their phone behavior? If so, you have other issues…..

    OR…..is it WAY more likely that there are 10,000 people in the audience and that each of them decides at any random given moment to do exactly what you gave us all permission to do “take a couple photos or a few min of shaky video to enjoy the memory”……if they all do that at random times and there are 10,000 of them, when you look around it may seem like people are filming the whole time…..they are not….there are just a lot of us ants in the world and you are bent that more of them are not like you ….or something.

  6. JC Gonzalez Avatar
    JC Gonzalez

    Actually I did. I was front and center and Anderson .Paak put on a great show. I was 50% shooter mode and 50% spectator mode.

  7. Nadine Pankow Avatar
    Nadine Pankow

    There was a time when any cameras were banned at concerts. Before there were the phones. Why can’t it just banned again??

    1. Nadine Pankow Avatar
      Nadine Pankow

      I think almost then the concert would be canceled because of too little audience.
      Sad and sick! If the people want some good Photos or Videos, go and bye it from merch!

  8. Kris Avatar
    Kris

    They are probably enjoying more than you hating on them in this article.

  9. angrybanana Avatar
    angrybanana

    I’ve become more conscious of this during recent gigs I’ve attended. I only take vids of a few songs now just for keepsake. The rest of the time I’m headbanging.