In a recent interview with Jaimunji of Australia’s Metal Roos, In Flames frontman Anders Fridén was posed with a question that has been plaguing live music events for quite some time now: the proliferation of smartphones and their role in our concert experiences. The issue of concertgoers incessantly using cell phones to capture moments instead of immersing themselves in the music is a topic of debate that continues to divide fans and artists alike.
Fridén expressed his own stance, asserting, “For me personally, being on stage, I’m not bothered anymore. It’s up to you. Sorry to say, but if you’re that stupid to go to a live show and then you watch your little screen instead of experience what’s going on, I feel that’s a missed opportunity.” While his words may come across as blunt, they convey a sentiment that many live music enthusiasts can understand.
“But who am I to judge? You do whatever you want. It’s your money, it’s your experience, and I can’t change that. But I wish people put the phones in their pockets. ‘Cause when they look back at this, it will be a shitty sound on your phone or you watch something on YouTube or you upload it — whatever you do. And then you were in that room and you could have had that experience, which is way greater than watch your little screen. But people can do whatever they want.” he added.
Fridén concluded, “I will never lock up their phones and say anything. Once in a while, I say stuff on stage where I go, ‘Put that phone in your pocket and go into the circle pit.’ But I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just a recommendation. It is what it is, and you can’t change people. It’s the way we live now.”
In an era where live performances are shared instantly across social media platforms and stored as digital keepsakes, the allure of experiencing a concert in the present moment often gets buried beneath a barrage of screens.
The live music experience is a unique and fleeting moment in time. Remember that the next time you have your phone in the air filming a video you’ll probably never watch again. The mosh-pit is a hell of a lot funner!
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