On Concerts: Just Because Our Phones Are Up Doesn’t Mean We’re Not in the Moment

Maria Romero
PUBLISHED December 5, 2018 04:19 pm | UPDATED December 13, 2018 12:29 am
Art by Dani Elevazo

Nothing beats the feeling of hearing the artists and bands we love lay it all on the line for us; it’s much like a euphoric comedown. The instant the arena closes its light and the vibrant color of spotlights coming from the stage meet our skin, we momentarily forget all our troubles and hope to keep that scenic view until eternity.


Since there’s really nothing like the first time when attending concerts, filming it is now considered the staple concert experience. All thanks to technology (again), we can now record everything in a clasp. Thus, today's audience dread comes with the constant sea of smartphones and blinding lump of LEDs.



Concert-goers filming Chance the Rapper's performance. Photo by Maria Romero


Is it so wrong to deify such experiences? We bet not. News flash: immortalizing the "now" through snaps and videos does not equate to failure of “being in the moment.”


Living vs Immortalizing fleeting moments


Between being in the moment and collecting digital trails of our experiences, how does one remember a live show? Or is there really a proper way to preserve temporary moments like those?


If you head to Twitter, you will be surprised at how much netizens discuss filming concerts. We stand by the fact that if a person’s way of enjoying a show is by recording parts of it, then so be it. And those who insistently claim that to truly savor a live show means having no phone at hand can go and have their lives now.


In this time of easy access to technology and social media, it’s only fair to scrutinize its bad consequences and the faulty practices we develop out of it. But blaming it for ruining the way we live our existing experience and making us feel terrible about it is an unreasonable judgment. Because the truth is, we paid for a once-in-a-lifetime concert and we would film as we please. Unless there are strict rules not to do so, of course. Some film the concert with their hands up as they dance to every beat while some only take snippets of the show. Some even relish the experience without their gadgets.


Case in point, if whether filming it or not is what it means to truly be in the moment, we have every right to do that as long as no one was infringed on the other side of our lenses. After all, the impulse of wanting to document our experience is what’s keeping our heads sane despite the surreal feeling of seeing our fave artists play for us in the flesh; it is for posterity’s sake.


So yes, the video we took may be shaky and you can barely hear the songs from our screams. But did we regret taking those snippets? NO. We were only thankful that despite months that passed since Chance the Rapper gave us a memorable Friday night, we can easily relive those moments when Chance made us feel the blessing coming down than wait for a biopic to happen ten years later.



Photo by Maria Romero


Since time immemorial, as far as our capabilities and resources can, human beings will incessantly find ways to keep records of every situation—from the declaration of independence to celebrity events, to our graduation day and to last night's dinner. In this way, we'll be able to see if we've gone to enough places, met enough people, read enough books, and made enough adventures to know we truly lived our lives.


If we’re to make our own rules in this fast-evolving world, it would be this: We will still take concert videos and that will not be someone else’s business. And remember that just because we are always with our phones doesn’t mean we are NOT living. The older generation has done enough to learn from old mistakes but we, the younger ones, have fought enough to know how quickly what we do can fade.

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