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Behind the scenes at Webster Bank Arena

Who’s sick of cell phones at concerts?

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This is a common sight at concerts these days.

This is a common sight at concerts these days.

Frank Sampedro was scowling.
The guitarist in Neil Young’s band, Crazy Horse, was playing on stage at Webster Bank Arena last winter and he looked out into the mass of fans near the front of the stage and saw her.
She was using her cell phone to take a bunch of pictures and appeared to be immediately texting them. In other words, she was not really paying attention to one of the greatest rock and rollers of all time. Sampedro mimicked the woman to Neil Young and I remember being afraid that this is what Young would remember of his time at the arena.
But I’m sure the band saw such behavior at every show on the tour. Rolling Stone magazine posted a list of annoying concert behavior a few weeks back and it was mostly about the ever-present cell phone camera. Years ago, bands would ban video recording of their shows. That’s still a common policy, but arenas have generally given up trying to enforce it. Every cell phone is a video recorder and camera and many fans spend the entire night holding their phone aloft and later post the poor-quality video on YouTube.
It’s not just concert vets like Neil Young and Crazy Horse who don’t like this behavior. Hip indie band The Yeah Yeah Yeahs recently asked fans to knock it off. A live performance is a magical connection between artist and fan and constant use of cell phone seems to diminish the bond.
I get the other side of the argument, too. You paid $75 for a ticket and you want to document the experience. Get over it, Mr. Rich Rock Star.
So what do you think? Are you sick of constant cell phone use at concerts?

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