Do you live life through a camera lens or your eyes?

You’re at a live show. You don’t need secret intelligence to know it’s going to be amazing and this creates a dilemma. I mean, do you attempt to capture it on camera? Or do you shun technology for a few short hours? You know – live in the moment. Really let go and feel that music, crowd and energy. Be glad where you are with whomever you’re there with.

Photo by John Pennell

Don’t get me wrong – there are times I’m glad I recorded part of a performance. Japanese punk band SA and Dan Deacon’s dance circle are priceless memories I want to be able to look back on. But part of me just feels like excessively documenting something ruins it. The whole point of going is to have an experience you can’t get any other way. And because cameras are everywhere, it’s rare that there aren’t at least a few cell phones waving in the air and obstructing the view. I sometimes want to tell people that their photo will be grainy at best and question whether they are doing it for any other reason than a Facebook status update. But I don’t. I take solace in the fact that if  I’m not doing what they are, I’m probably enjoying the show a lot more. I leave that to the professionals and people covering the event because I’m pretty sure it’ll be up on YouTube within 48 hours if I really need to see it again. That’s just me though. What do you think? Have you ever had to cut yourself off for the night?