Jack White's Medieval Mobile Phone Concept
Jack White’s Medieval Mobile Phone Concept
Recently, Jack White has become the most recent star following, Annie Mac and Yeah Yeah Yeahs in banning mobile phones at his upcoming shows. Whether it’s the noise, lack of concentration from the holder or the just plain annoying light that flickers in the corner of your eyes, the trigger of the ban is not 100% apparent however, it certainly has riled some fans.
In his tour of the US leading up to the release of his upcoming album, Boarding House Reach White has posted a Twitter statement announcing that all shows will be “phone-free” and confirming,
“No photos, video or audio recording devices allowed”.
“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,”
“Upon arrival at the venue, all phones and other photo or video-capturing gizmos will be secured in a Yondr pouch that will be unlocked at the end of the show. You keep your pouch-secured phone on you during the show and, if needed, can unlock your phone at any time in a designated Yondr Phone Zone located in the lobby or concourse.”
After announcing his first UK show in four years and this bombshell, it has become more obvious that some musicians seem to remain stuck in the past with their medieval way of thinking. Yes, phones at shows can be annoying when you’re not the one using them however, it is the direction in which live shows are heading. When thought about, lots of aspects of the music industry are annoying however, the best possible solution is to adapt with them as opposed to try and cut them out completely as that is just simply not possible.
For example, paid meet and greets are annoying. However, when not an extortionate price and looked at in a different light, they are a perfectly reasonable way for fans to meet their idols whilst the musicians make back some money they have lost through other aspects (i.e. through lack of physical album sales due to their music all being free on the internet.) The same approach should be looked at for mobile phones at gigs. It’s how a certain generation enjoy their adventures. As previously stated, I get how fucking annoying phones can be however, they are also a wonderful device in which one can capture a moment they may want to relive forever. Who is Jack White to decide how people must enjoy their night?
The modern-day aftermath of a concert has evolved into the act of showing your friends a video of something amazing you witnessed. Not too dissimilar from before the era of mobile phones, however one would’ve just have to recount the night. However, because of the wonderful and scary development of the technology, we can now relive those precious memories and physically show someone what we saw. What an incredible concept. (I’m obviously disregarding the people who just stand there and film every. fucking. second as those people are in a whole different category to your normal gig go-er.) But, those wanting to take a quick snap or a short video to remember the night are now unrightfully banned from doing so.
More importantly, we are forgetting that a musician banning mobile phones seems a ridiculous concept anyway. Without mobile phones, musicians wouldn’t reach half as many people as they have done through the likes of Spotify, YouTube and Bandcamp. In addition, I haven’t even taken into consideration the number of unlikely fans musicians capture by the usage of the mobile app, Shazam. The app that makes finding any musician’s name the easiest it has ever been and quite possibly will ever be.
Gigs are exciting.
No matter your age, ethnicity, wealth or background this remains the same. How people chose to express their excitement should NOT be dictated by one person. Yes, some may get carried away with the use of devices to have a good time however, that is a society issue- that’s not a gig problem and specifically targeting gigs makes it seem that way. Jack White should let his fans appreciate his music in whatever way they please and get back to doing what he does best.