Why you shouldn’t stop taking videos at concerts
It's your prerogative to do what you want at concerts
I don’t care how great your phone’s camera is. I don’t care what fancy things you think you’ve done with the settings. Your videos are terribly lit. The room you are in is very, very dark. You are too far back from the stage. We cannot see anything. The artist you are filming looks like a teensy, blurry toy army guy that we would not recognize if you hadn’t tagged them 50 times.
That’s before we even get into the audio quality. Even concerts recorded by professionals with high-quality equipment often don’t sound all that great. You, meanwhile, are recording someone 10,000 miles away from you from the middle of a crowd that is screaming their faces off. We cannot hear Taylor. I’m sorry, it’s the truth. We cannot hear her, and it’s high time somebody let you know.
I understand the sentiment of Chin’s article, and the actual story does provide more nuance than The Verge’s headline and subtitle suggest. But still, I disagree with pretty much all of this.
Record however many or however few concert videos you want. You paid for the tickets, and it’s your prerogative to do whatever you want while you’re at the show. I find a lot of joy in taking videos at concerts, sharing them with friends and family, and catching an unplanned moment during the show myself.
Sure, I can go on YouTube and find other people’s videos from the same show, and this is useful for a number of reasons. But the experience of reliving those videos isn’t the same as reliving videos that you took yourself. I can take a video at a concert and pan around the crowd, see my friends, and relive that entire moment.
On the idea that concert videos are so bad that “we cannot see anything,” there’s a big caveat to this. There’s a lot more to concerts than seeing the artist themselves on stage. There are light-up wristbands, confetti and fireworks, and so much more. Some of my favorite Coldplay concert videos are ones that show off the energy of the crowd, not Chris Martin on stage.
I also think there’s a benefit to the artist when you record and share videos at concerts. When a clip from a concert goes viral on TikTok, for example, it might encourage someone who otherwise wouldn’t have gone to a show to buy tickets. This is particularly important for smaller artists.
One more thing: record all of your concert videos using the Camera app on your iPhone. Don’t record them directly with Instagram and don’t record them directly with Snapchat. I have countless concert videos I took using Snapchat, and those videos are significantly lower quality than what I would have gotten if I’d used the Camera app.
And finally: be mindful of the people around you when taking your videos. Don’t record the entire concert and block the people behind you. Be respectful.