Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Regarding Cell Phones at Concerts

I was fortunate enough to snag some snag tickets to Death Cab for Cutie back in January, and after months of waiting, actually go to the concert Monday night. It was all I could have wanted, a strong show to say the least-- and the set list was perfect.

Part of it was great though, was that I decided to take a break from being a journalist/blogger and just be there as a major Death Cab fan. I'm not breaking that promise... yet, but I would like to take a moment to register a complaint about various parties at the show who seemed to be unaware that anything was happening outside their cell phones screens.

Yes. $40 to sit on the bench and stare into a Blackberry. Really? Can we not survive without technology for a few hours? Or at least until in between sets. What's the point? How often do you get to "get away?" This concert was a very condensed and much need vacation, I wanted every little part of it. Why put an hour glass on it?

A woman sitting in front of me sat there and played Brick on her phone. If you're bored, why are you here? Seems a bit illogical. Another pair of women Twittered and checked email every few minutes. And then there's the texting. Put the damn phone away. Even if I had gotten a text, I'd have ignored it. Operating on the same principle as when I'm watching Stewart or Colbert-- don't talk to me! I'm occupied.

I don't mean to rant, but I do think that it says something awful about our culture. Apparently live music at a relatively intimate venue is not enough to hold some people.

When I first started blogging, I wrote a blog post about the vanity of concert t shirts and someone left a comment. The anonymous commenter wrote a phrase that stuck with me. He was talking about how the experience of a show, "the rare great event." I like that phrase. It applied so perfectly.

So, the next time you find yourself in a position to take a break from these ridiculous crutches we've created for ourselves in this mad society, please do. No one's dying. The cell phone will still be there, Ben Gibbard won't. In a few hours you'll have no choice but to reconnect to technology. Embrace the escapism. Enjoy that "rare great event."

Or at least know how annoying the glow of your screen is.


Ben Lenox said...

That just tells you about our culture's thirst for connection. Even in such an intimate venue at the Ryman, people are still looking for more intimate ways to interact. As if they're actually going to find that intimate interaction on Twitter or Email. People need to re-learn to appreciate the damn moment.

Jane Approximately said...

Exactly. It's pretty tragic, when you think about it. I feel like this generation is the most connected in history, and ironically, the most lonely.