In Flames Frontman Opines on the “Cell Phones at Shows” Debate
The discussion on whether it’s appropriate or not for fans to use their cell phones to take photos and videos at shows has experienced a bump as of late, with dozens of concertgoers being ejected for doing so at a recent A Perfect Circle show at the behest of the band, and both Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel doubling down on that policy in the press.
In Flames frontman Anders Fridén has now jumped into the debate. Asked by Finland’s Kaaos TV whether he’s bothered by the inevitable sea of phones in the air at his band’s shows, Fridén hedged, saying he’d prefer if fans put their phones down and watched the show but that he didn’t plan to take any action on it. Further, he revealed his own 13-year-old daughter does the same thing:
“Well, ‘bother’ is not the right word,” he replied. “I think it’s… Honestly, I think it’s stupid, in a way. They paid a lot of money to be [at the show], but I would never throw them out. But I do say it pretty much every show, ‘Focus on the people up on stage instead of us through the lens of a camera.’ As I said, [fans] paid a lot of money to [at the concert], and it’s live music. But I also get that people are extremely eager to get, like, a memory and someone may wanna put something on the phone or on YouTube or update whatever thing they need to. And I would never go as far as [to] throw anyone out or judge them. I can only address it and say, ‘Hey, maybe you think about just putting that phone down for a while.’ But at the same time, I was with my daughter at another show the other day, and she’s 13, and her whole generation, they’re just sitting by the phone and are watching and filming and whatever. So, I mean, it is what it is. I can’t do anything, and I won’t do that much about it.”
Fridén’s approach is, in my humble opinion, the right one. We ALL wish people wouldn’t hoist their phones in the air so often at shows, but we understand that it’s going to happen no matter what so fighting against it is pointless. Booting fans who’ve paid money to see a band play is only going to cause antagonism and shows a refusal to accept change.
As always, sound off with your thoughts on cell phone cameras at shows in the comments below.