People who record shows on their iPhones baffle me. At the Jay-Z and Kanye West show in November, a dude took it to a new level by recording practically the whole thing on his iPad.
I was reviewing the show and had a seat on the floor, which went for $250. The guy with the iPad was in front of me, close enough that Ye's sweat was almost flung on him. And yet, there he was, holding his damn iPad above his head. What, was he planning to upload it and watch it on his YouTube site later?
I understand the desire to share everything we do with everyone we know is almost irresistible. Thus we create Facebook photo albums and make Spotify playlists. (Which nobody cares about.)
But what is the point of taping a concert on your shitty iPhone? Unless you're a professional — using professional quality equipment — the footage is universally terrible. Your friends most certainly don't want to watch this stuff.
Are you hoping for an exclusive for the web? Sorry, but the crush of “videographers” ruining everybody's sight lines sends their footage to blogs the minute they get home — and no one really wants to watch those links, either, unless the artist massively fucks up in some way.
So are you watching the show later, by yourself, to … remind yourself how much fun you had recording the concert of that artist you love enough to pay money to see him live? Maybe it's due to everybody being broke and wanting to squeeze as much out of the money spent on the experience as possible. But in doing so, you're almost robbing yourself of the experience completely. It's almost impossible to pay attention to what's happening musically when focused on documenting it visually.
A friend, also a music journalist, told me she sometimes records songs at shows. The last time was during a reunion of one of her all-time favorite bands. It was the first time they'd played together in ten years. She was in a European city she'd never visited before, and was starry-eyed over a boy she'd just met who shared her passion. A song that stirred her soul came on. She wanted to remember that precise moment, forever.
“And have you watched it since?” I asked, sure she hadn't.
“Sorry,” she said, laughing. “I have, definitely.”
Just don't make me watch it.