I wish Black Francis would’ve covered this sign last night. I noticed way too many (meaning one or more) shitheads preoccupied with recording or taking 1,000 pictures at this relatively intimate show.
This one guy near me had some sort of upscale mics onboard his Droid or whatever and was glued to his phone-screen like he was filming the fucking Last Waltz.
While I like gadgets as much as the next person, I just don’t get this phenomenon. What’s the reward here? A perfectly objective memory of a live band experience that you’re going to rewatch how many times? Never? Is that a number of times?
What’s wrong with just having the experience in your head, imperfect and as hard to completely recall as it is? Some of the most fiery and amazing rock shows I’ve ever seen would probably not seem so spectacular if I could see a replay on YouTube. Conversely, some of the worst, most uninspired shows I’ve ever seen might have some previously undiscovered beauty if I saw them preserved on a friend’s laptop. (I don’t like to think I could be wrong and I like being proven wrong even less.)
And how about the organism-in-motion that is a live audience? That dancing girl in the long flowery dress that has no idea who the band is and just came with the guy who has the acid and really loves to dance at you. The bartender who yells requests from his station and gets dressed down by the singer. The guy who knows every word to every song and sings ‘em loud and proud and is actually not too bad. The house cocktail that you need to put your camera down to enjoy.
This is what you’re missing, Half-Ass-Scorcese. You’re not watching the show, your gadgets are. And I’m pretty sure Black Francis and all other musicians everywhere haven’t written any material that reaches out to your goddamn iPhone. Get what you paid for, and let that artist put something in you, not your SD card.