I guess the title is a little misleading. When you hear “unplugged” in reference to music you assume it is an acoustic set. This was a more personal unplugged though.
I went the entire concert without using my cell phone.
Some of you may read that last statement in shock that I didn’t touch my phone. How will I have blurry pictures & poor quality videos to look back on? How did my friends know what song was playing? How did anyone know if I was having a good time? How can I prove who I went with? WAS I EVEN THERE??
Then there is the rest of you wondering why this is even worth noting. Why would I even have my phone out during the concert? Ugh, am I one of those people who holds their phone above their head for half the show recording full songs? Or am I one of those people too glued to texting, tweeting, or whatever else during a show?
For the first group. I had a great time, you can see his set list here, you are just going to have to trust that I was there. For the second group. I don’t think I am THAT bad at concerts. I usually take a few videos and take pictures while the video is rolling so I can have a bit of both. I’m pretty removed from social media/texting during the show, all of that can wait. In between sets is when I usually reach for my phone.
At Firefly I lost my phone on the first full day. There was definitely some panic when I realized it was gone. I asked everyone I came in contact with that might have seen it. That was before Paul McCartney & Zedd that night and then two more days packed with amazing artists. I couldn’t take pictures or videos, snapchat, text friends to find them, nothing. I was disconnected. I had already decided that I would be disconnected for a big chunk of the Festival by leaving my phone in airplane mode a lot of the time. The option was always there to reconnect with the touch of a button. Plus, I would still have the camera function for the shows. That was all gone. I am sad to say I didn’t watch all of Echosmith’s set, because I was in a panic.
After a little bit of time I realized I just had to accept it… then I went to the first few rows of Walk The Moon to dance it out. I got lost in the music, in the crowd, singing and dancing away. Then Shut Up and Dance came on and I could hardly see the stage, because of all the cell phones. At first it almost felt like the world was rubbing it in my face, all these people can look back on this incredible moment…but not you. Then I realized that in order to get that great shot, you can’t dance. I was one of the only people in my surrounding area that was still dancing. The song is literally called Shut Up and Dance, but no one could dance, because they were too glued to their technology. That moment changed my attitude about not having a phone for the rest of the festival. I wish I could have taken selfies with some of the people I became friends with. I wish my friends back home didn’t get panicked when I didn’t respond to safety checks. And yes, there were a few moments from some of the sets that I wish I had my own photos of. Fortunately there is this great thing called The Internet that will give me all the photos I could want from whatever set I am missing. As for my friends, I’ll see them next year, at another concert before next Firefly, or I already forgot their names so they really weren’t that important anyways.
With my new found freedom from tech I had an unplugged concert with Dave Matthews Band Saturday night in Virginia Beach. The show was a blast! It was my second time seeing them, but since they are always changing their set, I don’t think there were ANY repeats from the first time. I was in the lawn and it rained most of the time. This only added to the carefree atmosphere. It was an incredible place to just get lost and enjoy the people, the music, and forget about normal life. THAT is why I go to concerts, to escape. Not to take pictures or video. Not to have the best Snapchat story, but to just escape. Letting go of my phone was just one way to escape even farther in to the music…
Just a note: I’ll be taking a little bit of a concert break possibly until I go to Music Midtown in September, because I’ll be spending a week in Mexico in August. Gotta save some money for that trip!