I went to my first rock concert in years last night. Wife and I took our oldest daughter to see Snow Patrol.
The base player for opening opener Silversun Pickups had an amp with a GREEN LIGHT on it instead of a RED one. What’s up with that? Kids these days…
Seriously, it wasn’t very different from years ago. OK Go (the middle band) had a a screen behind them with their music videos playing. The music was pretty much like early U2 with a maybe a little Iggy Pop thrown into the first two.
One thing that was kind of weird: no lighters in the air. There was enough cigarette smoking to make my hair stink, but not very much. No pot. Instead of lighters, people held up their cell phones!
Some of that was for taking pictures. It’s kind of interesting that where they used to ban recording devices (they may still do so, officially), there’s no freakin’ way that they can effectively stop that now. (The drummer for one of the bands actually whipped out a little camera to take pictures of his bandmates on stage taking their bows. From behind. Probably included a lot of the audience.) I wonder why they don’t have a live Web site on the screen to which the audience can upload their pictures while the show is in progress. More participatory and all…
Anyway, seeing all those cell phones being held up in the air was pretty weird. It was like some sort of bizarre Verizon ad.
It occurs to me that one of the reasons that we are all so accepting of government abuse is that we came of age going to concerts where we would be searched for alcohol (and recording devices), and then be served alcohol on the premises. There’s no flipping principle of safety or law at work there — it’s simply the exercise of commercial power. We accept it when it’s convenient enough to do so, and don’t accept it when it irks us enough. For example, we’re not going to throw away our cell phones during the entry search. And the “them” accept that, and only try to enforce the abuse of power that they can get away with. So as long as the government keeps the planes running without TOO much delay, and doesn’t send us personally to Iraq, we acquiesce.