Thursday, May 1, 2008

Are Music Events Over-Documented?

I don't get out to see live music as much as I'd like, but last night I caught an old favorite, The Breeders, in San Francisco at Slim's. It was very nostalgic for me, as I'd probably seen them (albeit a different lineup save the Deal twins) 15 or so years ago at the same venue with the same friend who accompanied me last night. The show was fun - we heard many old favorites from the early days of the band AND saw a minor altercation in the audience (some things never change).

Since I'm not seeing shows that often, I was struck a bit by the number of people documenting the event using their cell phones, iPhones, video cameras, and digital cameras. Back in the day you had to get permission to even audio tape concerts, but these days I doubt that anyone makes any attempt to regulate since everyone has recording devices on their phones. I kept thinking that people were taking pictures on their cell phones so that they could blog about the show later and wondered to myself, does everything really need to be blogged? One guy even answered his cell phone during the show (why?)-- is that necessary, either?

Admittedly I was thinking, oh, damn, I should have updated my Facebook "status update" to mention that I was off to see the Breeders (probably because I thought it would look cool).

So, it's kind of random that today I saw this posting on PSFK (via YPulse) talking about the craziness of the documentation at Coachella (you've got to follow the link to see the accompanying photo), which, by the way, The Breeders performed at as well. Piers Fawkes writes:

"...these folks are taking photos of moments in order to share those moments with others in order to gain status for having experienced a moment they never really had."

Do you take pictures at every concert you attend? Why or why not? And does this lessen your enjoyment of the show? If you don't take pictures, does it bother you that so many people do?

No comments: