Peanut Butter Vibes and Eight-Second Video Clips

Oh I like this song. Wait, what? The hell is everyone doing?

JDG was in town from UCSB for a few days, and wanted to check out Glass Animals at Rickshaw Stop. No arguments from me. I kinda dig their sexy jungle-by-way-of-Oxford vibe, even if every track on the album sounds pretty much the same. I figured it’d be music best appreciated live. And I was right.

Now… I’ve got nothing against taking pictures at a show. Before every phone doubled as a camera, we used to sneak SW’s little Sony into Bottom of the Hill, The Fillmore, Slim’s, and every other venue that once upon a time clearly printed “No Photos” on their tickets.

Before I deleted my Facebook, I felt compelled to document every live show with at least one snapshot; I still do that, to some extent, on Twitter. Now that I’m blogging again, I do it for my readers. All six of you.

But… those are still photos. One hand up, for all of two seconds, and away goes the phone. I’m done. When the opening drips of “Gooey” filled the room, half the audience simultaneously squealed and raised up their devices. Two hands, steady. And: record. Little red lights throbbing on dozens of tiny screens with tinkling images of what I should have been able to see very clearly a few feet away.

One dude in front of the stage, right in front of the lead singer, recorded practically every damn song. When I was a kid, and I was far off on the lawn of an open air arena, or somewhere in the cheap seats at Oakland Coliseum, I always felt a little cheated when my eyes were drawn to the video boards or screen projections. I’m at a live concert. Why am I watching the band on a big teevee?

This is the complete opposite. I’m in a small club, maybe ten people deep, and my vision is obscured by all these stupid little teevees.

Yeah, I know how I sound… Put your phones down! Get off the lawn! Damn kids. Grumble grumble…

Seriously, though. No one wants to see your eight-second video clip of “Pools.” Or if they do, they’ll say, “Can I watch one that sounds better?” And they can. Because one already exists. Put your phone away and watch the show.

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