I am off to see Kate Bush on 1 October. I am ridiculously excited. Ridiculously excited.
Before the run of sell-out concerts began, Kate Bush sent this message out to fans coming to see the shows
"I have a request for all of you who are coming to the shows: we have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras. I know it's a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together."
My love for Kate Bush soars.
The experience, why don't we live for the experience? People are infatuated by technology, consumed by all of its features. One of a smart phone's many features is to hold memories, in this case a film or photograph.
"Photos? Photos are for people who can't remember. Drink some gingko and let the photos burn. In fact let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing." Ryan says (played by George Clooney) in the film 'Up in the Air'.
Don't. Don't burn them - you can't they're electronic. But don't live by them and I suppose, more importantly, don't shelve those memories or experiences somewhere erasable.
My initial question when thinking about reasons why someone would film or take photographs at a performance is: Why pay all that money to watch it through a screen?
I found myself at the Royal Albert Hall watching the film Gladiator accompanied by a live orchestra and choir. The score for the film is epic and the experience of hearing it live even more so. However, sat beside me was a gentleman filming various parts of the concert on his iPhone. Why? Ready to punch him in the face, a steward came along and waggled a finger. Said gentleman stopped filming. After my initial frustration, later I felt nothing but utter sadness for this poor chap who might leave the performance with nothing but muffled segments on his iPhone and a lesser experience.
I mean, what is the point of filming a concert on your shitty iPhone? The footage is universally terrible. I'm pretty sure your friends won't really want to watch it.
Possibly my favourite tantrum at a performance being filmed was given by Ms Patti LuPone, who proceeded to stop the show, mid-number, during a performance of Gypsy on Broadway to remove the person filming her. See below, ironically recorded by another audience member.
'Who do you think you are?' She yells. Who do you think you are? One begins to realise that filming a performance is hugely disrespectful to an artist. Especially when they are working their ass off to entertain you, live!
Technology is a wonderful invention, but please don't let technology rob you of the experience of live performance. Ever. For Kate Bush, I'm inclined to leave my phone at home. Besides, I'm pretty sure I'll remember that gig for a long time to come.
I'll be at Bestival this weekend. I'm certain that someone, on a smart phone, will document half of it. One finds people are filming and photographing too much rather than just living it.
"I feel sorry for them. Living a life through a screen, not being in the moment totally. I find it weird. They're all mad" - Roger Daltrey