I've been lucky enough to see a couple different concerts lately (okgo at terminal 5 in nyc and the new barenaked ladies at the taft theater in Cincinnati). We were close to the front at both shows, but I'm short, so it was still sort of an obstructed view. That obstructed view got even more obstructed throughout both nights by people holding up cameras and phones to snap a photo of the band.
Digital photography and the emergence of phones that are more multi-purpose tools than anything, have changed so much of how we interact with the world and engage in experiences. People who wouldn't normally carry a camera can now use their phone to capture reasonably high quality images. People who do normally carry their camera can now record entire songs, or shows, and capture 1000's of photos in one night. Little LCD screens distract and detract from the concert for other people, though- people who just want to see the band and hear the music right there, in the moment.
As much as anything, my question is why detract from the experience by recording it? I'm a huge fan of photos and blogging, and everything, but concerts are a hard place to get a decent photograph or recording. The lighting is extreme and there is lots of background noise (how many youtube videos have you seen where you can clearly hear the guy a couple seats over singing along?) Leave the recording to the professionals and fully enjoy the hour that you paid good money to witness. Why not let the ticket stub and happy memories be your recording of the night?
(photo by Cameron Cassan on flickr)