Going to concerts has long since lost its innocence. Tickets are cheap only for small artists, larger bags can only be brought into the room in exceptional cases, security checks are everyday life, and beer costs so much that the second question raises the question of whether it is worth it. And now cell phones are going to disappear too?
Bob Dylan is not the first musician to want to protect himself from distraction machines. Jack White also made the listeners forget about smartphones for the evening. Analog purists from another world where the word event has no meaning among themselves? It misses the point. Obviously, this is a restriction of freedom. I would like to decide for myself if I want to write a message during the show or if I want to productively use the long time between entry and start. And you don’t really hear anyone on the phone during the concert. It wouldn’t mean much either.
There are no more concerts without mobile phones
But it’s not just about ringing and muttering. Smartphones are ubiquitous in music performances, as cameras, video cameras, digital lighters and sound recorders. You are a destructive factor. For musicians on stage, because concentration and intimacy have disappeared (of course it hits a folk bard more than a metal band). For the audience, because someone is always holding the device up, because there are less spontaneous meetings at concerts, when everyone is just preoccupied with themselves and their cells in moments of boredom. But also for every listener, because the magic experience of the concert in which the connection between the stage and the hall is established is lost.
You know this from your streaming experience: as soon as your concentration drops, your cell phone is pulled out to save yourself from boredom, fun is only half the fun – and concentration doesn’t come back that easily. No goosebumps! Of course, you could now say that it would be enough if there was simply an acoustic request to turn off cell phones before each show. Just like in the cinema. That would be a good solution at the beginning. But it’s not that easy at concerts. And it is not so much about the wisdom of the audience, who listens to good advice to be less distracted and finally be able to enjoy music with all their senses again.
We’re killing concert magic
One of the most important reasons why cell phones should no longer be allowed in a concert hall is quite different: musicians and bands are no longer interested in experimenting, as they are recorded around the clock. Failure is a necessary part of experimenting. Who wants to try something while it’s being ruthlessly taken apart in front of the world. Because almost everything that happens at a concert, especially when it deviates from the norm, goes to the Internet.
As a result, concerts become more simplified and there are fewer surprises. Setlists are less diverse. The stage announcements seem more rehearsed or harmless (who wants to say something provocative when tomorrow is everywhere, out of context). And: New songs only premiere on their own Instagram feed, but not during the concert.
It is a pity because live music is so powerful that there is such a spontaneous moment that cannot be compared to anything else. Inflationary use of mobile phones paralyzes such moments and takes away the aura of the moment. Putting them in your bag for the evening, turning them off or even leaving them at home is a win for everyone.