It’s called etiquette. Concert etiquette. You are attending a show, a festival, a concert for the experience. To properly experience something, you need to be engaged. You have to put your cell phones, your cameras, your drug of choice down and away and pay attention. The music artist is giving you all they have, and in exchange, you must give your full attention. That is how the arrangement works. Below are five music artists who would definitely agree with PPcorn on this one.
Number Five: The Lumineers. The Lumineers is a band that have adopted a no-cell-phone policy by this point in their career. During one show, they stopped in the middle of their hit song “Ho Hey,” to tell the audience to “Put away your phones and cameras and just be human for a while. Be more present with us.” A polite way of putting it, compared to other music artists, but if that doesn’t work right off the bat, they’ll turn the house lights on during the show to better call out people with their phones out.
Number Four: Keith Jarrett. Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett got himself banned from Italy’s Umbria Jazz Fest after he let the crowd have it for burying their faces behind their camera phones. As his band took the stage, Jarrett said, “I do not speak Italian, so someone who speaks English can tell all these assholes with cameras to turn them f–king off right now.” He then turns to the audience and tells them that if anyone else takes a photo, the band “reserves the right to leave the godd–n city.”
Number Three: Jack White. Jack White is famous for his audience-directed rants. He even has a guy whose dedicated job is to walk through the crowd before the show starts and request everyone to please rock out to the show (pay attention now, folks, put your camera phones and drinks away, and get ready to rock!). The most famous of White’s rants was at a Dead Weather concert at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, where the crowd was just too lukewarm. “F–k you, you hip motherf–kers!” spewed forth from White’s mouth. “Why don’t you rock the f–k out?! Maybe I should go grab those free drinks and shove them down your throats, you hip motherf–kers!” Later in the show, he stopped playing mid-song to demand a crowd member be kicked out of the venue for taking photos of the band.
Number Two: Peter Frampton. Recently in the news was the tale of Peter Frampton’s reaction to some rather rude and disregarding audience members. After the crowd had been repeatedly asked not to record or take flash photography, and Frampton pleads with this unrelenting duo towards the front of the crowd who just won’t stop recording him. They respond by flipping him off and calling the rest of the audience members a bunch of deadbeats. Frampton’s reaction is to finish his song, walk over to the pair with a huge grin on his face, and ask, “Hey, can I see that? Can I see the photos you’ve been taking?” The guy with the phone stupidly hands it to him, and Frampton stands and immediately chucks up towards the ceiling. The guy ended up getting his phone back later, unbroken. Not sure he deserved it, though.
Number One: Nick Cave. Nick Cave felt a similar sentiment at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. In similar words, he singled out one audience member during the show’s opening song, “We Real Cool” and told him to “Put that f–king thing away.” When that proved ineffective, he wandered into the portion of the crowd near the stage, grabbed the audience member’s cell phone, and promptly dropped it into the closest cup of beer.