OPINION: Peter Frampton and I plead with you to put your cell ph - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

OPINION: Peter Frampton and I plead with you to put your cell phone back in your pocket

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Peter Frampton doesn't like cell phones at concerts. Neither do I. (PHOTO: Wikipedia) Peter Frampton doesn't like cell phones at concerts. Neither do I. (PHOTO: Wikipedia)
SPOKANE, Wash. -

It's a sign of the times. The familiar blue hue of cell phones lighting up a club, theater, arena or stadium during a concert. The one tap of the screen with an index finger to focus, and then a subsequent tap to take the photo. We can't escape it.

Often times, the result is something no one wants to actually see when you get home and feel the need to update your Facebook with a blurry, grainy photo of some nostalgia act with the hashtag, "#GreatTimes". But was it really? Did you get your money's worth when you paid $50 to go watch a band through an iPhone screen? I've seen so many people missing out on so many talented and amazing musicians who are performing right in front of them, because they are watching the entire show through a 2" x 4" screen!

The worst is when you get a video sent to you from a friend at a show who thinks you need to hear the song this band is playing at 1:00am, so they are going to record it and send it to you. The result of their efforts? A blaring, inaudible drone that sounds like Godzilla screaming into their phone.

"Did you get my video last night, bro? Styx did an AMAZING version of 'Come Sail Away!'

"Really? Because it sounded like you were trapped in a cement factory with Yoko Ono screaming for help. And why would you think I'd want to hear Styx anyway?"

It just doesn't work. Stop it. Enjoy the show.

We used to go to concerts to see our favorite musicians. To experience and feel the music. We'd jump around, dance, sway and swivel, head bang, or throw a fist in the air. The music dictated the experience we had. Maybe, maybe we'd take a picture or two with a camera that we would then have to take and get the film developed. Most of the memory was packed away in our brains or perhaps a concert t-shirt.

Call me a crotchety old man. Call me old-fashioned. I'm only 31 years-old but I yearn for those days. I admit that I've taken cell phone pictures at concerts, but I certainly don't spend my whole time staring at a miniaturized version of my favorite band because I feel it not only diminishes my experience and other's around me, it's disrespectful to the band. They are working their tails off to entertain you, and you're missing it!

To steal a line from The Wedding Singer, "Billy Idol gets it." Or in this case, Peter Frampton.

Recently before Frampton's show on August 3rd, fans were told by the club that they were not allowed to take video or use flash photography. So pull out your cell phone and snap off a photo or two without the flash right? The result won't be great, but at least you can get your two horrible looking photos, put the phone away and enjoy the soothing sounds of "Do you feel like we do?" right? We'll for one couple up front, they completely ignored the request, and spent the night taking photos and videos, despite being told to please put their phones away.

Frampton himself apparently kept gesturing to them, "No, don't do that. Stop!" When Peter Frampton tells you to do something, you do it, right? Right. Well, not for this couple.

The flash from the camera was enough of a distraction to where Frampton actually played with his back towards the audience for a few minutes. Eventually, the couple stopped, but only briefly. Witnesses even say the man flipped off Frampton while continuing to record and called the audience members pleading with him to stop a bunch of deadbeats. Frampton at this point had enough.

A witness account of the incident said that at the end of 'Do You Feel Like We Do', Peter walked over with a huge smile on his face, bent down at the front of the stage and asked, 'Hey can I see that? Can I see the photos you've been taking?' The guy handed Frampton the phone, Peter stood up, and hucked it into the rafters behind the stage! The crowd erupted!

Now, I'm sure Frampton can afford the $200 civil suit heading his way to buy the guy a new phone, but I'm also sure it was well worth it.

I know I'm in the minority here because every concert I go to, there are more people watching through the screen on their cell phones, than actually living in the moment. I know there are many who disagree with me and think, "I paid my money, I should be able to take as many photos and pictures as I'd like!" Well, you can. Just know that in most cases, the artist doesn't appreciate it and most of the people around you who are there to actually experience a show don't appreciate it. You're that guy.

Many of the bands I frequently see will actually let you set up equipment and record their shows! The Black Crowes have been doing this for years! And if you have the right equipment, it's an amazing souvenir to take home. There's no need to take out your phone. However, without fail there are always the people who do. 

Put it in your pocket. Enjoy the ride. It's so much better.

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