Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

The Magic Is In The Memory


I watched a debate the other day on Twitter.  It was about using camera phones at a concert. In this case it was in a comedy club and when the comedian asked the person to stop, there was an argument which spilled over to Twitter.

It made me think about the number of YouTube videos people make from their own concert experiences. Almost all of them are fuzzy images and sketchy sound. I don’t really understand bothering with that.

So I sent a tweet that went as follows: I would think it takes something away from a concert experience recording it on a phone. The magic is in the memory.

That was retweeted by more people than almost anything else I have written.

The physical part of a great concert can’t really be duplicated. The goosebumps  you feel when the artist first appears on the stage as the crowd roars their approval. The satisfaction of hearing your favorite song in person and being encouraged to sing along. Walking out afterward, exhilarated and feeling like it was money well spent.

Can’t capture that on a phone.

But since this is my story I have an exception to this rule.

There is a video of a Paul Simon concert at which he invited a young lady on stage to sing one of his songs.  You can find it on YouTube. Her name is Rayna. And the song was Duncan.  The joy of her moment on stage is amazing. She could play the guitar and sing. The sound isn’t very good, but you can see Paul Simon nodding his approval as she sings.

There are two versions of this: one from a random concertgoer and one from her husband.

The random one was taken by someone who just got the camera that day. I had a chance to talk to her in the comment section of her post and she was so excited to catch that incredible moment. It was in focus and very well done.

The other by the husband consisted of him yelling “Yeah, Baby” over and over. Rendering the video useless if the purpose was to capture HER Moment not his.

So, in conclusion, just because you can record a concert with your phone doesn’t mean you should.




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4 thoughts on “The Magic Is In The Memory

  1. Debihen on said:

    I’ve met my fair share of famous people and to date I have zero pictures or autographs to mark the moment. But I remember how it felt to meet them; the magic was in the moment. In 2010 I went to 5 concerts. 5. That was a huge number for me. One was Sir Elton John who came to our freckle-on-the-map town. We bought tickets and fully expected to be punked right up to the second he walked onto the stage. “Holy Crap! It’s Elton John!” All I wanted was for him to sing “Levon”, my all time favorite of his songs. 3rd song in I heard the familiar chords and my husband looked at me “It’s your song!” I remember how that felt, how that whole night I was 14 again, listening to Elton’s songs over and over. The magic was in he moment.
    Last January, we went to Disney World with the grandkids. We were in our cab, headed to our hotel after a long day of travel. 6 year old Carter & 9 year old Tristan spotted the Cinderella’s Castle at the same time. “GRAMMIE! I SEE THE CASTLE!!!!!” It still makes me all tingly to remember it. I think you’re right. The best moments, the magical moments, are captured with he heart, not film.

    • I think my next post might be about concerts I have gone to over the years. I am happy that there were some people who agreed with my point. And I was happy to see your comment. Thanks for reading this.

  2. You actually lose most of the moment because you are distracted by staring at it through the phone screen. It is almost like trying to own the experience. You can never own it. This moment will pass and you learn to enjoy the next one.

    Unless, of course, you post it to YouTube.

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