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[EXPLETIVE DELETED] holding cameras up


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5 hours ago, StinkyJay said:

Just because social media isn't going anywhere doesn't mean the practice needs to be tolerated or enabled.

Ignoring for a second that the practice is flat out piracy and wholly illegal in the US, it's still very distracting to both the fans and the band.  Just because there's a selfish few who wish to engage in this practice doesn't mean they need to given the means to do it.

I agree with rlj1010.  Ban it all.  Provide a means to lock up your phone at the venue and if you're in the GA or RZ, no cell phones.  

StinkyJay, in this particular situation what is tolerated or not, would be up to the band, which includes management and/or the venue.  If Bono felt that this ballooning trend of recording/periscoping/tweeting/etc. every single second of the show becomes too much of a distraction, he may do something about it.  If he and the band decide that performing into a sea of raised smartphones is stealing from the show’s energy and bans it, I’d be okay with it.  Personally, I managed to do fine without it from Joshua tree ’87 to Elevation ’01.  I remember snapping a few pictures with my Motorola V551 wireless phone during Vertigo ’05, but it stayed in my pocket nearly the whole night.  However by the 360 Tour ’09, I had an iPhone and took many pictures that night.  I wanted to have photos from the show and cameras were allowed.  I can’t remember when they were allowed, but I always thought the band let fans bring them insteading of prohibiting them.

As far as piracy goes, if the band/management decide it is the type piracy that is a problem, I think that may bring this whole social thing to an end at their shows.  The public outcry would be big and loud (I’d imagine) and the negative reaction from a part of the population would be something that the band would take into account before instituting any type of ban.  Again, it would be okay by me.  I’m fine with leaving my phone in the car.

I read that Prince prohibited smartphones/recording devices at his shows and was very strict about it.  If U2 were to do the same thing it would have to be just as strict.  Fans would need to clear a security screening.  Folks with phones would need to have them locked up or return them to their cars.  Obviously clear instructions would need to provided ahead of time so everyone would know, but there still would be delays.  Would this be better?  Maybe.  It would mean not being able to take pictures with my digital camera, so that would be a bummer.  But it wouldn’t stop me from going to a show.  Ultimately, I would accept it and adapt.  But the only way it would work is a complete ban for the entire tour.  I would be more for it than against it.

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17 hours ago, Grande 3:16 said:

Security pounced on anyone with cameras at the Popmart show I went to, but I think that was the venue's policy more than the bands.

Yes, I remember the No Camera Policy during the PopMart show here in the States as well.  I saw them at Oakland Coliseum back '97 (can't believe that makes it 20 years) and I contemplated on sneaking in a disposable camera, but decided against it because I was concerned about getting kicked out and the cameras took lousy pictures.

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For what it's worth, I hate all of this photography at the shows these days.  I understand wanting a memento of the show, but it's turned into this bizarre thing where a large number of people seemingly aren't there to see the show, they're there to show other people they went to the show. 

Two things stood out for me about this from the 2015 tour.  On the one night I had Red Zone tickets, the Edge walked right by us and stopped to do a solo.  Everyone other than my guest and I had a phone held up in the air at that moment.  What a strange difference from when I was in the exact same floor spot on the 2001 tour; when Edge walked by to do a solo, everyone reached out to him, and he got closer, and even did a round of handshakes and high fives between songs.  There used to be a give and take between the band and the audience, and when you were up close on the floor, it felt like there was a real connection.  I was on the floor five times in 2015, and not once did I feel that same connection with the band.  It didn't matter that I didn't have a phone out if everyone else around me did; the band was no longer engaging the audience directly or being engaged by the audience.

The one moment that really killed me was during All I Want Is You... I waited almost 20 years to finally hear the band play that song at a show I was at, and the woman in front of me on the floor started leaning on me and using my body to steady herself so she could take photos or video of the song, with her phone held directly in front of my face so that I couldn't see.  I tried asking politely but she didn't acknowledge my existence.  I took a step away, and she followed.  This woman was a complete stranger but felt completely entitled to block my entire view and use my body to help get better photos.  I finally felt that I had no choice but to gently but firmly push her limbs off of my body, and she just completely freaked out and started screaming at me about how I was ruining her show and had no right to be there.  I received no help from security (who were oblivious) or fellow fans.  I can't imagine this happening when I saw them in 2001 or 2005, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happened again now.  It didn't matter that I paid for a ticket to see the show.  It didn't matter that her behavior might have been disruptive to anyone around her.  All that mattered was that she felt entitled to do whatever she wanted in that moment, and that was the only consideration that mattered.  I think of the phones as being part of a larger entitlement syndrome - the people taking those photos and blocking everyone else's views have an overwhelming sense of entitlement in that moment.  There's no longer a sense of community among fans at shows; it's "me me me".  I remember a time when if one fan had a particularly clever sign or momento they wanted to get to the band, the fans around them would band together to try to help, either by helping hold up that sign, or by helping to pass a gift to the stage, or whatever else it was.  That doesn't happen anymore.

And I don't think the band really dislike phones at the show.  If they did, why would all of their social media accounts encourage people to use them?  Every show day for the 2015 tour, the U2 website here, and their official pages on Facebook and Twitter would encourage people to take pictures and video and to post them here and other places.  The band's representatives directly encourage it.  Moderators at this official site - employees of the band (whether or not they're paid, they are working for an entity that is officially connected to the band) - encourage this distracting behavior by constantly posting links to different photos and live feeds as the shows are happening.  The community here may be part of the problem; some people here act as if they have an inalienable right to watch the show at home while it's happening.  Every time you click on a live video link from a show, you are encouraging someone at the concert to make the show more difficult to enjoy for everyone around them for the sake of you seeing it at home.  And still, for each and every show, there will be video links being freely shared here, along with encouragement to keep them coming.

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I feel you on that one, vertigojds. Concert audiences in general seem to have gotten ruder over the years. I saw Elbow in London a few months ago, and was singing along with enthusiasm as I do, then the bloke next to me turned round and shouted in my ear "Can you turn it down a bit? I want to hear him singing, not you." Me being way too polite to stick up for myself, I complied, but I really wish I hadn't. Stuff like what's been mentioned in the thread (especially in vertigojds's comment above mine) is why I prefer going to small local gigs these days.

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Thanks Peter, it's nice not to be alone in this.

Going to a live concert used to be my very favorite thing to do in the world.  15 years ago, I was seeing dozens of shows a year, big bands, smaller bands, at sports arenas, fancy theaters and hole-in-the-wall clubs, and everything in between.  Some were standing room only that I waited hours for, some were reserved seating that I walked in at the last moment for.  

Back then, my biggest concerns going to a show were (if it was a club show) whether it would end before public transportation ended for the night or if I'd be stuck paying for a cab or (if it was a seated show) whether the seats would be too small and whether I'd be sitting next to a large fellow spilling over into my seat.  Now, it seems almost every aspect of going to a show is some form of nightmare.  Automated ticket bots and states' refusal to enforce scalping laws already in existence mean that it's a brutal struggle to even get tickets at face value.  Physically entering a venue is more difficult, from increased security requirements to the congestion they cause.  (But the security must not be that important, since one of the local LiveNation owned venues here has started what I assume will be the next trend, pay $10 extra via Ticketmaster to skip waiting in line.)  You're not allowed to bring food into most venues, but most venues now require you be there so far in advance of the start time that getting dinner beforehand is difficult, so you're probably going to be ripped off getting a quick bite to eat once inside.  And then, when you finally make it to your seats or standing room area, some jerk is probably going to be standing in front of you holding their phone over their head blocking your view.  Good luck finding an usher or a security person who will do anything at all.  (I was at a stadium concert where "no photography" was clearly printed on the ticket, and the person sitting in front of me kept turning around to take a picture of the crowd at the stadium - not the stage itself - and kept blinding me with the flash that he was setting off a foot from my face.  It took me the length of one song to find a security person, and even then, they refused to take action against this person.)  It doesn't matter if I'm seeing a cheap concert in a tiny venue or an expensive one at a large venue - no one seems to be paying attention anymore.  At best, they watch the hit single and then tune out the rest.  Whether it's taking pictures, obstructing other people's view, talking/screaming to be heard above the music, posting pictures from the show as its happening or responding to unrelated texts or emails, no one is watching the band.

When I saw U2 for the first time, in 1997, the top ticket price was $50 and everyone paid attention to the show.  When I saw U2 in 2015, the top ticket price was $350 and it felt like no one was paying attention to the show.

I would be very, very happy to trade not knowing the band's setlist until the concert is actually finished, and not seeing videos or photos until the next day or never, if it meant that I could enjoy a show while actually at the show again.

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8 hours ago, vertigojds said:

Moderators at this official site - employees of the band (whether or not they're paid, they are working for an entity that is officially connected to the band) - encourage this distracting behavior by constantly posting links to different photos and live feeds as the shows are happening.  The community here may be part of the problem; some people here act as if they have an inalienable right to watch the show at home while it's happening.  Every time you click on a live video link from a show, you are encouraging someone at the concert to make the show more difficult to enjoy for everyone around them for the sake of you seeing it at home.  And still, for each and every show, there will be video links being freely shared here, along with encouragement to keep them coming.

thats us told then..

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I think I've already said this in another thread, but it is possible to take photos and / or do a live stream without bothering anyone. Hold the phone at eye or chest level, hold your elbows in (this will give you more stability with the camera, too), tilt it upward and do your thing. I streamed part of a concert a few months ago (it's a relatively unknown band and I think they deserve more recognition, so my intention was to hopefully let others see how cool they are). No one's view was obstructed in the process. Also, I didn't stare at the phone the whole time either. I held it in place and glanced down a few times to make sure everything was still in focus.

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I've seen a few acts - Steely Dan and Prince among them - where they strictly state "no recording."   I believe Radiohead requested this too on the last tour.  It really improves the experience seeing the show.  There will always be a few crafty people who still manage to film (which is great for people at home watching Periscope or youtube) but 95% of the cell phone stuff ends.  The truth is people are not going to watch these videos or look at the pictures very often.  U2 should definitely move in this direction with an explicitly stated policy on tickets, in emails, projected on the screen before the show..  "The band hates the filming" is not something the average person knows about; I didn't until reading this thread, and I've been seeing them since 1985.

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