I got a little behind on my Ear Candy reading, but when I cruised over to Travis Hay's Seattle music blog today, I noticed his story about a series of unfortunate circumstances at last week's Tool concert at KeyArena. In brief, the situation went down like this: Travis forgot his notebook and tried to take notes on his cellphone. Travis was told not to take notes on his cellphone because there was a no camera phone policy in effect. Travis was hassled three times about it and almost evicted.
Travis is a friend and a pro. He forgot his notepad. It happens. It's kind of a nightmare. But it happens. In fact, some people take show notes exclusively on their iPhones. It's not a big deal. At least it shouldn't be. But Tool's photo policy illustrates one of the most annoying issues at concerts: Bands trying to tell their fans not to take photos. It's bad policy and a losing battle. Here are 13 reasons why bands with such policies look like absolute jackasses:
1. You look like Metallica trying to shut down Napster.
2. Get on board with it, don't try to shut it down.
3. Announce after your first song that everybody in the room should take as many pictures as they possibly can during song number two, and then promptly put their cameras and camera phones away. All 20,000 fans will love you a little more, and police the hell out of your generous policy.
4. There's no good reason to not permit some phototaking.
5. No, obstructing the view of other attendees is not a good reason. Why don't you prohibit girls from getting on dudes' shoulders while you're at it?
6. In case you haven't noticed, concert tours aren't exactly kicking ass this summer. Why don't you do what you can to make sure your fans get their money's worth.7. It makes you look like Paul "No Eye Contact" Simon.
8. You can't stop it.
9. Trying to stop it makes you look like an asshole.
10. You probably are an asshole.
11. People paid a TON of money to see your show.
12. People WANT to take shitty pictures of you at your show.
13. You should make reasonable efforts to allow your fans to experience the show they way they'd like. Within reason. Like taking your picture with their cell phone camera. Not showering with you.