At the risk of sounding like someone who was born in the 50s (and not the 90s) – gigs these days are not quite the same as they used to be. I say this with a heavy heart, all while trying not to have a quarter-life crisis.
I went to a gig the other Monday and I felt old. A 24-year-old felt old.
I was surrounded by kids who couldn’t be older than 16, but who looked more grown up than I did. Like some weird parallel universe where I’m Benjamin Button, or some shit.
They were passing round one, singular, measly can of red stripe because someone ‘borrowed’ their older brother’s ID at the hope of getting some action for being cool and getting served at the bar (I assume, anyway). But when did school kids get to look so old? And when did they get to go to more gigs than I get to go to? And how the fuck do they afford it? Gig ticket prices are going up and, what with the decline of print (blah blah blah), I bet newspaper rounds are hard to come by these days.
But I suppose it’s something that is etched into teen culture. A coming of age thing. If you’re an ‘indie kid’, you go to gigs, you put glitter on your cheeks and you pretend to enjoy the mosh pit when, really, you’re fed up of that guy sticking his armpit in your face and you’re worried about people stepping on your new shoes and ruining them. But it is something one must do; an indie rite of passage, but you’re baptised in pints of cider and/or piss thrown from the back of the venue instead of holy water.
While at this gig, I stood beside a girl that took approximately 30 Snapchats of herself (for once, I’m not even exaggerating). She was doing it in order to get the best selfie lighting she could and then send it her crush. I understand that sometimes you need a few takes to get the hottest pic, but it got to a point where I was stifling a laugh and wondering where her shame was. Do people not suffer selfie-embarrassment? Or is that just anyone that is over 20-years-old. There’s nothing worse than someone catching you take a selfie. That shit needs to be saved for the privacy of your own room and not when you’re stood less than 30cm away from strangers.
I’m not too sure what’s worse, people that take that many photos of themselves or those that take that many of the act you’re watching.
Have you ever been stood behind someone who is basically watching the band through their phone screen? Who thinks you’ve spent twenty quid on a ticket to watch them record the entire set, waving her hands and smartphone in the air. The reason they have to record the gig is because they’re missing the greatness by using all her concentration to zoom in on a guitar solo. Why waste experiencing the beauty that is live music to record said performance only to watch it back at a later date to see what you missed when you were actually there. In reality.
That’s not to say I’m not guilty of this. If someone asked me if I’d ever spent a bit too long trying to take a pic of a band or a candid shot of me with a tinny, then my answer would be to put my two wrists together imitating their readiness for handcuffs – ya know, lock me away, coz I’m guilty. We all are, to some extent –unless you’re really hip and own a Nokia 3310 (not just because you’ve lost your iPhone being a drunk twat, but because you think it’s good to be ‘cleansed of social media’).
But it’s just necessary to have a few options to make sure you have the most Insta worthy pic, right? Right.
I didn’t really enjoy feeling old and teenagers spend more time taking pictures than they do actually enjoying themselves. Or maybe taking pictures is how they enjoy themselves and I’m much more of a bitter old woman than I originally thought.
Words by Eliza Frost