When it comes to filming gigs, leave it to the pros
If you had spent an eye-watering amount of cash to see Adele in concert, would you watch it through the lens of your smartphone?
OK, there’s another issue here about the exorbitant cost of gig tickets, but let’s focus on the second part of the question.
When the ‘Hello’ singer’s tour stopped in the Italian city of Verona, she was forced to halt the show to call out one audience member who obviously had some Scorsese-like ambitions.
“Can you stop filming me with that video camera because I’m really here in real life?” she snapped. “You can enjoy it in real life, rather than through your camera.
“Can you take your tripod down?” she continued. “This isn’t a DVD, this is a real show. I’d really like you to enjoy my show because there’s lots of people outside who couldn’t come in.”
In a wonderfully ironic twist, the incident is now available for anyone to watch on YouTube, after another fan filmed the exchange.
The reaction to Adele’s outburst has been mixed. Some have criticised the star for humiliating an individual audience member when thousands are guilty of the same thing (albeit not always with a tripod in tow), while others have made the point that because the tickets are so expensive, YouTube footage is often the only way for fans to get a taste of their favourite artists on tour.
But – as we’ve argued here before – we’re in Adele’s corner on this particular issue.
The best thing about going to a gig is the experience of being there. The pre-show excitement, the noise of the crowd, the personalised if identikit banter between performer and audience (We love you London/Glasgow/Manchester!”). Anything that doesn’t involve the six foot five inch guy with the hat standing in front of you, or the drunk next to you who talks loudly through the quiet moments.
But filming a phone with your gig kills the experience stone dead, both for you the amateur film-maker and your audience online.
It’s also distracting to other fans, when a gleaming viewfinder is held directly in their line of vision for a whole song. Can you imagine the person in the seat in front of you at the cinema holding up their phone during a film? How long would it take until you grabbed it from them, or at least took the British approach and politely alerted an usher?
Forget the copyright breach of filming live entertainment, leave that for the authorities and their sensationalist “piracy funds terrorism” ads.
No, the issue here is the fact that fans feel like they haven’t experienced a gig until they’ve uploaded the shaky footage on to YouTube. When the opposite is true.
Next time you’re at a gig: keep your phone in your pocket, or take the odd photo if you really have to.
Just don’t bring along a tripod and lighting rig. Leave that for the pros.