Whilst living in the UK, I was lucky enough to see Ed Sheeran live at Wembley Stadium in London. WOW, he is such an incredible performer and entertainer, and the entire concert was like a dream! A big thank you to my mum, my sister and my boyfriend for organising these tickets. I can’t express my gratitude to you all. (A special shoutout to Joe for not laughing at my questionable dance moves) I had a general admission standing ticket, and as someone who loves to have a good ol’ boogie, I prefer standing nearer to the back so I have room to dab to my hearts content. What I don’t love is looking at the stage to see that ginger angel in all his glory, but instead having to shuffle between the many smartphones to get a glimpse of him. I genuinely felt as though I was watching him through a smartphone video, and I can’t get over how sad that is, and frankly how rude it is to block other concert-goer’s views. Now before I go on, I would like to apologise, because I have definitely been that person; the person who just MUST snapchat all their friends to let them know how fantastic their night is; the person who CANNOT live without filming their favourite song, instead of simply enjoying the live version; the person who NEEDS to get the perfect selfie in the crowd; and the person that holds their phone up for 90% of the concert. I have been that person, and to anyone who has ever been to a concert with me, or has been near me at a concert, let me just say how sorry I am.
I look back and think about all the concerts where I have filmed songs and posted stories, and I am saddened by the fact that I didn’t live in that moment. When I saw Sam Smith in 2015 his voice moved me, but instead of belting out the lyrics to ‘Lay Me Down,’ I have a poor quality video of him singing. I do not mean to make a generalisation, but I know at least for me, I never watch those videos back and I never show them to my friends. Instead, these videos get stored away, wasting space, never to be touched again. If I could go back, I would whack the iphone out of my hand and tell my past self to grab hold of that moment and enjoy seeing the performance. Why did I need to let my friends know where I was? Why did I need 20 minutes worth of videos? Why is it that I felt as though I HAD to share the entire concert? For me, the answer is simple; because everyone else is doing it. We are following the norm of sharing and sometimes oversharing. Yes, I love that you’re having the best time at the concert, but instead of seeing it all over social media, let’s sit down with a coffee and you can tell me about how incredible it was.
I do want to quickly say that if you take videos of a particular song for a friend, or you call a friend for their favourite song, I don’t wish to discourage you. I am rather talking to the people that are forcing me to watch an entire concert through a phone screen. Put your phone down and look up at the artist. Put your phone down and live in the moment. Put your phone down and enjoy the hour and a half setlist. Just put your phone down! Maybe it is just me that never watches those sorts of videos back, and if it is, I do apologise, but if I am resonating at all with you, perhaps next time you go to a concert put your phone away and sing and dance until you’re voice is gone and your legs are weak. Instead of trying to capture the moment through a screen, perhaps just try to live in it. Instead of filming every second of the concert, look up and recognise the pure happiness you’re feeling seeing your favourite artist live. How incredible is that feeling you get when you’re jumping up and down and screaming out your favourite song surrounded by people you don’t know, but have found some common ground with through an artist?It is an indescribable feeling to know absolutely nothing about a person but to be screaming out your favourite song alongside them.
As with many of my other blog posts I am encouraging you, the reader, to live in the world, not on your phone; to recognise the beauty in losing yourself in a song and remembering that feeling instead of trying to relive it through a video. Some of the best days of my life have no photos, but I remember the feeling I had throughout the day, and when I went to sleep. Those feelings could not be represented through even a million pictures, and although I love taking photos of day to day events, I also love to simply remember the experience. Let your mind take the pictures and videos, and grab hold of every second. To end this blog post on an incredibly cheesy note, ‘photos fade but memories last forever.’