21 May 2009

a Keane observer / cameras at gigs

I saw Keane - Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley, and Richard Hughes - at Constitution Hall this past Tuesday. read all about it on my PopWreckoning review. really fine form. Tom Chaplin sings and prances effortlessly across a stage. however, I wonder how long his voice will hold out with the kind of workout Tim's songs give it. think how great Robert Plant was back in Led Zeppelin's heyday. and look at him now. just sayin'. so if you want to hear Keane live, do it - soon.

my absolute favourite of the night - no surprise - was the gorgeous "Perfect Symmetry." I think that was the single best song that came out in 2008, hands down. biggest surprise? "Playing Along" done solo and acoustically by Tom. I guess he liked our side of the stage b/c he spent a lot of time with us!

I am really impressed with the Helio Sequence. if you like the Lilac Time or like a little electronic sound in your pop/rock, definitely have a listen. and any band that covers the Beatles's "Tomorrow Never Knows" gets Brownie points in my book. big fan of their last album.

Mat Kearney - meh. I guess b/c I've been spoiled with other singer/songwriters, he just seemed very MOR. not really my thing. I kept looking at my watch, wondering when he would get off the stage and Keane would show up.


I'm curious what your opinions are on whether cameras, with or without flash, should be allowed at gigs. I think in a big arena type atmosphere as where I was on Tuesday, a thousand flashing cameras does detract from the live experience. it was nice to be at a gig where I didn't have to worry about setting a shot and could actually enjoy the entire sound and visual experience without having to be behind a lens. it was kinda annoying also to have these arms in front of me holding mobile phones or cameras of every description, blocking my view constantly. I saw some of the pics the girl in front of me took on her phone - they sucked (must have been the camera phone), and she was in fourth row. do you really need 100 blurry photos of the stage?

however, at smaller more intimate gigs, I think cameras are ok, provided that a person isn't flashing their cameras every 5 seconds. I'm careful not to do this and if possible, try not to photograph someone if they're looking in my direction, b/c it sucks when you get blinded by a camera flash.

that said, I take photos with flash b/c I know I'm not professional enough to be able to do it without. I know it's annoying from the band's perspective, but considering how I'm cognisant of NOT pestering them too much with the photos, I'm being thoughtful. I take photos to promote bands, not to wallpaper my bedroom, or to show them off to friends. free PR, right?

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