Try enjoying the live gig — live

February 07, 2018

News editor Cameron Whiteley wonders why people feel the need to film in the middle of a live music gig, rather than just enjoy the experience. Picture: AAP

What exactly is good etiquette at music gigs?

Respect other people’s space, don’t spill drinks on fellow concert-goers, stay out of trouble and just think about the reason you and everyone else are there, to enjoy the show. Sound about right?

But what about blocking people’s view? A frustrating practice seems to be catching on where people feel the need to film part or complete songs on their mobile phones while watching a show.

The continued emergence and development of smartphones has made it easy for people to take good quality video and, if they choose, immediately upload it to social media or save to watch later on.

I love watching live music and would not even think to take out my phone at a gig and film it — I really just want to enjoy the experience, soak up the atmosphere and get the most out of what I paid for the ticket.

Recently I went to a gig in Melbourne to see one of my favourite live acts — Cog, a progressive rock band that formed in Sydney in 1998.

Such is my appreciation for the music, it was the fourth time I had seen them play live in the past two years since the band re-formed in 2016 after a lengthy hiatus.

I don’t think I could ever tire of seeing them perform and each time a tour is announced I jump straight in to buy a ticket for a Melbourne show, as they usually sell out fast.

The band has a loyal following and judging from commentary on social media posts it is clear many are like me and are repeat attendees at shows.

As usual, they were in great form with the set flowing well and huge applause from an appreciative crowd after the completion of each song.

It was especially exciting given they were playing new music live for the first time — so I was keen to soak it all up.

The crowd was mostly well-behaved, apart from one man who got into a scuffle and was promptly removed by security guards.

Mostly, people were there just to have a good time, enjoy the show and were completely captivated by what was happening on stage.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and left feeling satisfied by another brilliant performance. I considered myself lucky to be there — it was a full house and tickets had sold out pretty quick.

But I did leave feeling slightly frustrated at those who did not appear to be fully cashing in on a great opportunity to witness such a talented and entertaining band playing live.

While they were definitely in the minority, I was surprised by the amount of people filming parts of or complete songs during the show.

While it thankfully did not happen directly in front of me, I am sure this would have directly impacted a lot of people who were forced to crane their neck just to see the action.

I do not know why people would pay good money to go to a gig, only to get their phone out to record and watch parts of the show through their screen.

Not to mention that holding up a phone is inconsiderate to the person standing behind them.

My view is that while we are reliant on our mobile phones for many things, if there was ever a time to put it away and just enjoy what is happening in front of you, this would be it.

Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t get it.

Cameron Whiteley is news editor at The News.

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