Concerts in Abu Dhabi

Next time you go to a concert, please leave your camera phone at home Comments

© ITP Images

In Yas Arena, few would argue that Abu Dhabi finally has itself a world class live music venue. Ever since Beyoncé stormed onto the stage as part of 2009’s F1 celebrations, folks have come flocking from around the globe to see some of the biggest names in music do their thing, be it the sequin-studded funk-pop of Prince or the hip-loosening Latin grooves of ab-tastic Shakira.

Stood in the crowd at the recent Snoop Dogg show, however, I was shocked. But it wasn’t the colourful language being spouted by the dishdasha-clad MC that had me perturbed, nor the groin-thrusting dance moves of his female entourage. What really bothered me was the sea of mobile phones thrust into the air from the moment Snoop came on stage to the moment he left, relentlessly documenting every last second of the 90 minute show. And if looked weird from my point of view, for poor old Snoop the glowing screens must have made him feel like he’s about to play to a congregation of angry androids.

I’m all for recording the odd snippet of life for posterity, but honestly – what are you ever, ever going to do with all this footage? Huddle your friends around your BlackBerry’s tiny screen and force them to squint at hours of grainy video? Of course you’re not, because that would make you a complete and utter moron.

Worse still, I’ve even seen people stood right at the front filming not the actual action on stage, but rather the large screens that flank it. These are people who’ve paid Dhs600 for the best view in the house, now enjoying a less direct experience than someone watching via the internet on the other side of the planet. It’s a phenomenon that’s left me baffled.

Sure, you could upload your wares to Facebook. But if anyone says they ‘like’ your shaky, inaudible three-minute clip of a two-pixel-tall Snoop crackling his way through ‘Drop it Like it’s Hot’, we promise you they’re that they’re lying. No – a good 95% of this footage is destined to never, ever be re-watched by anyone. All it’ll do is clog up your phone’s memory and make you say something rude when you don’t have the disk space to save an important email attachment, or take a picture of something worthwhile, like your first-born child.

So come on people, let’s keep our phones in our pockets and just enjoy the moment the next time a big act comes to town. After all, there were no iPhones at Woodstock, no BlackBerrys when the Beatles played their emotional farewell gig on a London rooftop. And from what we’ve heard, on both occasions everyone had a jolly good time.

By David Clack
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

User reviews:

Posted by: mstrmayo on 24 Apr ' 13 at 13:49

Edited by

must be something old....not wanna see you tube...your favorite band,like a U2 or Sade..nobody is able to see all concerts,but sure you wanto know when they played different songs on different wannna hear and see when they change a well-knowed song into a acoustic wanto know when they play a brandnew song,not on a album or whatever..lots of things,special moments happens on every concert..because of people who are filming,you can whitness and feel those moments...what are you talking about,no camera' would so be alone if they not taped Woodstock,live-aid...wish there was more,upclose filming,the smiles on their faces,making contact with their audience,so many things a camera can rthe ones who could not make it...hec,even the ones who attended the show,can't see all that happens...

Posted by: Nader on 26 May ' 11 at 07:16

You probably just say that because either you've never been to a "good" concert or you're not a live-show fan. Imagine going to a concert for Pink Floyd, Scorpions, Sade, or if you'd have had the chance to see one of the late legends before they passed away, then you'd want to keep some memories. I agree with you when it comes to recording the whole freaking concert, or even 20% and up, but for sure some pictures and a few video clips of favorite songs would be cool to watch again, even once a year.

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