Black Crowes Frontman: 'Anyone Filming a Show on Phone Looks Like a Douchebag'

As Chris Robinson notes, he isn't a fan of the practice, as he thinks it ruins the live experience.

Black Crowes Frontman: 'Anyone Filming a Show on Phone Looks Like a Douchebag'
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The Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson has been speaking with Phoenix New Times about his thoughts on people who film concerts on their cell phones. As Robinson notes, he isn't a fan of the practice, as he thinks it ruins the live experience: 

"I think anyone at any show, in the front row or back row, filming, looks like a douche bag. And I think that you're ruining it for everyone around you who is there to listen to some music. It's sad if you're that excited about your f--kin' phone. Take a picture, get it over with, that would be fine, but people sit there on their f--king phones all night. It's annoying. It's insulting to the band. I'm sure there's young bands or people that like it but I'm not that way. And some drunk person in the front row with their camera out, it's distracting to musicians and everyone around you. If anyone ever asks me what we think about it, we think you look foolish. You're taking those moments away from the band and the people around you. But people won't listen."

He went on to note that people filming shows is equivalent to them removing themselves from the live experience:

"It's insane. It's like people are saying, 'Oh my God, I love this song so much, I'm actually going to film it and remove myself from the experience immediately.' People do it all night. It's just selfish. I had a guy last year in the front row at a show and told him 'Hey, enough with the phone.' He was embarrassed. But I ran into him months later at a different show and he told me he felt like a jerk and that he hadn't taken his phone out at a show since. He said he has such a better time now. I was like 'Yeah, I know' [laughter]. It's crazy."

Robinson is currently fronting his own band, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. The Black Crowes have been on hiatus since 2011.

71 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Bollockser
    Totally agree, but on the flipside it would be nice if bands would officially release all their concerts in professional quality, so you can buy the show you were at and re-experience it. That might be a win-win situation for all.
    jesse1994
    Like what Metallica did.
    Bollockser
    Pearl Jam, NIN, Primus, Pixies.. I've gotten official bootlegs of shows by all these bands, of the shows that I attended. Wish more bands would do this. It's such an easy way for them to make more money and it keeps the fans happy!
    The_Wilrus
    Springsteen, stones, U2, etc. also. It's just an insane expense that can only be carried by massive tours.
    milanio
    You could buy a digital version of each concert the Chili's played on the I'm With You tour too
    thejester
    You could also buy a digital version of each concert the Black Crowes played on their 2013 tour. UG - Black Crowes played a national tour that ended in December of 2013 so they have only been on a 'recording' hiatus since 2011
    Jmoarguitar
    I bought the show in Montreal and it's great to be able to hold that memory so clearly. Me and my buddy that went with me frequently throw it on while drinking
    bradd101
    I think this would probably only work for bigger bands but some bands do something where as they play, the sound is recorded directly through the mikes, along with a recording of the crowd, and then the entire thing is sold on a USB at the end of the gig. Now THAT is a practice I can get behind
    Bollockser
    Precisely, they don't have to turn it into a big expensive marketing campaign, just pay them an extra 10 or 15 bux for a USB stick with the show on it, or download it a week later from an official fan website, and if you already attended the concert put in your rebate code or whatever for a discount.
    Superperfex
    Or we, as fans, can let go of the notion that we OWN that moment in time. Sometimes it is much more meaningful and beautiful if you witness something with a room full of people and it was just for you guys. Something you wont forget (unless you waste time filming)
    Malchius
    That would be cheap wouldn't it.
    BlackLabel5150
    Exactly, welcome to the real world people. Goods and services cost money. This will hit home as soon as you move out of mommy and daddy's place.
    PRSfanatic
    The Black Crowes already do this ( liveblackcrowes.com ) It would be even cooler if the people who got tickets got a free copy of the show, I think KISS did that a few years ago.
    Lord_Doku
    Or you can just go to another of their concerts. There's more solutions to this problem.
    finallife6
    Yeah, because that is really simple and cheap right? For example since Metallica was mentioned earlier, Metallica hasn't played where I live (Toronto, Canada) for almost 5 years and while I'm complaining I know there are alot of people who even have never seen their favorite band live or have them even visit their hometown at all. Its easy to say go pay and see the band, but reality is that many people can't afford it, which is why these guys are recording the concert, but at the same time if I ever went to a concert I wouldn't want to look at some dudes phone or camera for 2 hours. TL;DR make it easier for bands to see your live shows with out interfering with the crowds experience.
    badfish_lewis
    I live in Toronto to. Perhaps it's worth looking into a car trip, bus trip or dare I say a plane trip to go and see your favorite band if they aren't coming to town anytime soon. Just a thought.
    finallife6
    I made the comment because the above poster just told everyone to book it to the bands next concerts when that isn't possible for us all.
    mosh_rocker2006
    Cool! Are you paying for the tickets, hotels, gas, food, etc? If so, then I'll definitely take you up on it.
    bobbyk1978
    But Metallica DOES play in Ottawa, Montreal, and Buffalo more frequently. Buffalo is 90 miles, the drive is more than doable. When I lived there I made the drive almost every weekend to Toronto to visit my family there.
    finallife6
    Yeah well, I don't have a passport so thats impossible, and I don't have a car and wouldn't want to take a bus ride that long Also, Metallica has only played once in Quebec or Ontario since 2009, and I don't want to travel half way across the country. I guess I should be thankful I have the option compared to others however... http://www.setlist.fm/stats/concert-map/...
    medic24
    I wanna go see Metallica but I'm not willing to put any effort into it and I'd like someone to pay for it and wah wah wah. grow up
    Vickshow
    As someone that lives near Ottawa, not really. They're playing Montreal this summer, but that's the closest they've come/only time they've been back in Ontario since 2009 when I saw them. Before that the last time they were in Ottawa was for the St/ Anger tour in 2004, so they don't really get around these parts too often.
    GameSkate
    Hell, I was only on one serious gig that I could just hop into trolley to get to the venue and then went back, take shower and go to sleep. All other gigs was like - take a train/bus, drive for 4 hours, wait couple more for gig, attend it, then go to train/bus station and wait there (hotels are bit too expensive for poor student) all night for first bus/train that would bring me back to my home. All these gigs was worth it, even if I feel like zombie (~30 hours without sleep) next day.
    Jonbagga
    There is usually red tape from Labels about recording and selling certain songs, i think it would be good to record a couple of shows on each tour and sell them at the merch booth.
    PRSfanatic
    The Black Crowes already do this :. ( liveblackcrowes.com ) It would be even cooler if the people who got tickets got a free copy of the show, I think KISS did that a few years ago.
    MaXiMuse
    Well, filming for a few seconds so you can 'relive your concert at any time' is fine with me. But some people just record a whole show, I'm like.. WHY?! I didn't record a single second of Meshuggahs concert and I still know it was the best hour of my life. I don't need some low quality potato-movie for that...
    munkybusiness
    its a bit stupid to go to a gig and not allow yourself to enjoy it because youre trying to hold your arm still and above the guy in fronts head. then again, seen some good bootlegs on youtube of dedicated "douchebags" so whatever.
    slash_015
    Anyone filming a Show on Phone IS a douchebag. Fixed. Especially at concerts where a lot of cameras are around. Sry for my fu--ed up english
    biff022
    Someone above corrected Chris properly… You don't just look like a douchebag recording shows on your phone… you are one.
    DMRIOT
    I'm with Chris on this one. Well said sir! People want the wee thumbs up on the Internet instead of listening to the music.
    ninjamo
    Agreed. Put away your damn mobile and stop experiencing life through a shitty little screen. I guarantee no one wants to watch a shaky, low-quality video of the back of people's heads and arms with crackly music in the background.
    slapsymcdougal
    Maybe other people have better phones than me, but mine records crappy video quality, and the sound from gigs is utter gash (on my phone).
    Nemesis44UK
    When going to a concert a few years ago at the 02 Arena, there were signs up everywhere before you went in: "NO CAMERAS NO FILMING Violators of these rules WILL be removed from the premises." I walk in and the concert starts and 20,000 mobile phones come out and start filming. *facepalm*
    thejester
    i think when you are either holding up your beacon of light or blocking someones view behind you then you are spoiling a show. Saw them at their last show in San Fran last year and it was amazing. Such a musical band with original Rock n roll. great tone, great sound.
    FERAL1975
    This annoys me so much, they always stick their phone up right in front of your face.
    Jimjambanx
    People say it's so they can "relive the moment" yet how can you relive it when you completely removed yourself from the moment to begin with? Nothing brings my piss to a boil more than seeing an entire crowd at a rock concert just stand (or worse, SIT!) still with their phones out.
    ibanez124
    Concert etiquette started going downhill when cell phones replaced lighters
    Linkerman
    I completely agree. Just yesterday I went to see Martyr Defiled + The Year + More Than A Thousand + Architects with my bandmates and a couple of friends. I didn't touch my phone for as long as there were bands onstage, so I managed to survive 4 hours without touching my phone. I enjoyed the show, jumped, sang and screamed, and had a fantastic time. Afterwards, when the bands were hanging at the bar and merch table, I finally picked up my phone to take a couple of pictures with members of the bands (Sam Carter is a great guy, btw). Now, I have pictures of me and my friends with the bands for a souvenir, and if I want to remember the live experience I just have to go to YouTube -- most bands have a couple of live videos with (at the very minimum) acceptable video and audio quality. If I spent any time worrying about recording video or taking pictures (or even the safety of the phone), I might have missed some great moments, because the whole audience was really into the show, and the atmosphere was incredible. Plus, I pay my hard-earned money to enjoy the full experience of the concert. If I want to see the show through a small screen, I might as well stay at home.
    medialint
    Poor douche bags. Whatever did they do to become synonymous with such cretins?
    MaidenisGOD89
    Agreed with everyone above. They should release pro quality films of the show for everyone who went though! i think that would help cut down on the use of recording devices during live shows. Seriously though, go to a show to watch the ****ing show!!
    bobbyk1978
    And add to the cost of the show as well. That equipment, while common place, still isn't cheap. The cost will be passed on to the consumer
    Bollockser
    they wouldn't have to make a Video DVD out of every single one, but at least making a soundboard recording of the audio would be easy and cost would be minimal.
    archangels
    Fixed headline: "Crotchety old man hates kids, their newfangled futuristic toys, and anyone not actively clapping at his shows."
    bobbyk1978
    But the people doing the filming do ruin the experience for others. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to shows and some arsehat is trying to film it, pushing people out of his way to get a better shot and yelling at people to shut up so he can get better audio. Yeah that just enhances the experience huh?
    KingV911
    Not sure your age, but people used to actually live in the moment. In the last 10-15 years that has completely changed, and yes it is terribly sad.
    ifc69
    LOL. I think he's right, but still thought your post was hilarious.
    DevilsRedRider
    nothings more annoying than having to try look past a sea of phones. its a ****up of humanity