In my less than three decades spent of this planet, I have already been to more concerts than I can remember and lost more of my hearing than I'd care to admit to. I have also been witness to the evolving way in which people document their concert experiences.
Recently a very close friend graciously invited me to check out Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd fame) perform The Wall in its entirety at Toronto's Rogers Centre. For anyone familiar with The Wall stage show, you know just how visually astounding its production value is.
As advertised, there's a gigantic white wall (which in part doubles as a video screen) that gets built up and subsequently brought down as the performance goes on. Then there's the flying inflatable pig that's obviously the largest pork-related remote control-based item I've ever seen, and the theatrical elements of the show that help carry along the story of The Wall.
When I went out to this event, I knew that capturing some footage from it was a must - the key word being "some." While I could've brought my actual camera, I instead opted to stick with my iPhone. Why did I do this? Well, I didn't want to take up the pocket space with said camera, and I didn't want to be a slave to it once the show began. I figured that I would need the iPhone anyways, and if photo opportunities were to happen, so be it. If not, I didn't weigh myself down with more cargo.
As the show got going, however, it seemed to feel like I was slamming my hand into my pocket with way too much enthusiasm and intensity, just to get my phone out in time to capture the moment. Why was it in my pocket you ask? Well, I only have two hands and one needed to support the Budweiser, while the other had to be prepared for fist-pumping moments.
Anyways, at the end of the night the number of photos and videos I had taken at the event stunned me. Not because I didn't think that The Wall would be visually impressive, but because I rarely ever dedicate so much time behind the viewfinder/screen of anything when attending a concert. I like to kick it old school and actually watch the show without being distracted by a tech device in-hand.
However, it now appears as if I have become one of those people - the one that is perpetually dragging himself (at least a little bit) away from the moment of what's happening on stage, in hopes of shooting a Facebook-worthy image or video.
I guess like the rest of society, I am falling victim to the convenience of it all. As we all know, the iPhone essentially allows for individuals like you and me to easily capture a moment at a moment's notice, without the need of having to decide whether or not you want to put the time and energy into deciding on which camera to bring, which settings will work best, whether or not the memory card is full, and if the security guards will confiscate it because they deem it to be too professional of a camera.
I kind of miss the old days of being afraid of getting busted for bringing a camera to an event, because now I always have one on me - the primary difference is that it's my phone as well, and I'd have that with me anyways. Therefore, when something cool is happening now, I often feel such an obligation to whip it out and be temporarily distracted.
I remember the days where I'd roll my eyes and laugh at these cronies. Now I have become one of them and I can't tell quite yet if I am comfortable with this. Most of the little voices are telling me that I'm not, but I should enjoy the fact that technology is allowing me to approach events like these differently.
That said, while it is nice to have these collections of moments in my pocket, on my device, I kind of miss the days where I could justify using just my eyes to hold onto an image, as opposed to Steve Jobs' wonder kin.
Photo by: Andy Newson
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