Go to any live concert these days and you'll see many audience members watching the performance through a small screen instead of their own eyes.
In response to this epidemic of diverted attention, indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs recently put the proverbial foot down on concertgoers with a sign that instructs those with a smartphone, tablet, and/or camera to "Put that s*** away."
Spin discovered the anti-screen proclamation during a Yeah Yeah Yeahs performance at New York's Webster Hall. The sign read, "Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera. Put that s*** away as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian. Much love and many thanks! Yeah Yeah Yeahs"
As the sign illustrates, it can be annoying to get caught behind someone holding up a bright screen. According to Spin, the notice worked, as there were minimal sightings of active devices at the show, especially after lead singer Karen O reminded people about putting away the screens during the second song.
Simply put, I'd argue that people need to stop the crowd-angle video. Most devices don't have a microphone capable of properly handling and normalizing the intense volumes of nearby speakers, so most recordings end up having horrifically loud audio that isn't even worth listening to. The video quality usually suffers from moving about, too. It's very likely that you'll have a much better time at a show if you soak in the visuals and let your ears dance to the sound.
I'd suggest promoters and venue managers enforce the anti-screen rule, but offer a reasonably priced high-definition video of the concert (on a USB thumbdrive or disc) after the show is over -- or a place where people can sign up to purchase and download the video later.
Fortunately, the proliferation of Google Glass and other head-mounted displays (with a built-in camera) could one day make this sort of disturbance a thing of the past.
How do you feel when you see a swarm of screens at a concert?