Put on your hard hats, Jack White fans, an avalanche of condescension is headed your way.
For anyone looking to purchase tickets to White’s much-anticipated show at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in August, prepare to be greeted with a message on the show’s Ticketmaster page noting this will be a cellphone-free concert. Electronic devices will be secured in a Yondr pouch upon entry to the venue to be unlocked at the end of the show.
And then comes this obnoxious little nugget:
“We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON.”
Does it come with a complimentary finger wag, per chance?
This is not a new development: At the Misfits show at the MGM Grand Garden in December, the same protocol was followed: You either left your cellphone in your car — as I did — or put it in one of the aforementioned pouches.
Comedian Dave Chappelle also has cellphones locked away at his shows, and alt-rockers A Perfect Circle demanded that cellphones be kept in purses and pants pockets when they played at the Palms in April.
If performers want to insist on cellphone bans, fine, that’s their right — just as it’s a fan’s right to choose whether to support said performers.
But can we get over this ridiculous notion that you’re somehow not “in person” because you want to capture a few images of someone you’ve paid to see? (Seriously, I had no idea that a Samsung Galaxy 8 could negate one’s physical being.)
I was at the Misfits show, and the cellphone prohibition didn’t have any discernible effect on the concert-going experience. (Lots of people ripped their phones out of the Yondr cases and used them anyway, which is why you can find plenty of audio and video of the concert online.) The 8,000-or-so in attendance didn’t lock arms and celebrate the communal power of song in starry-eyed unison thanks to being heroically liberated from their mobile devices.
It’s kind of arrogant for artists to tell people who’ve spent good money to see them how they should experience their show.
Don’t come at me with your “Yeah, buts.”
“Yeah, but I was at a show once where this guy held up a tablet half the show!”
“Yeah, but I could barely discern Justin Bieber’s heaven-sent dimples thanks to the glow of an iPhone screen two aisles down!”
Rude behavior is rude behavior, and it has nothing to do with cellphones.
If you’ve gone to enough concerts, you’ve probably had to deal with an annoying drunk dude or someone talking too loudly during a tasty power ballad.
But we don’t ban Budweiser and larynxes, now do we?
Here’s an idea: Can we all just follow some common-sense concert etiquette and not be treated like children by the act on stage?
Zip that in your Yondr pouch, Jack.