Some bands are banning cellphones from their shows. Slipknot has a different approach.
As live concerts become the most important revenue generator for artists, a lot of controversy now surrounds the use of phones at shows. Some bands are cool with it, others hate looking out at a crowd that can’t stop texting, filming, or taking selfie group-shots while ignoring carefully-rehearsed songs.
Which brings us to Slipknot’s lead singer Corey Taylor, who has taken the policy of destroying phones he sees out in the open. “I see it every once in a while,” Taylor told radio station WRIF in a 2014 interview. “People don’t do it so much at our shows, and if they do, they do it from quite a ways back, because I empty whole water bottles into people as soon as I see them staring at their phone or tweeting or whatever.”
Basically, Taylor will mangle you and take your phone down in the process. Which brings us to this latest incident involving a fan texting in the front row. Here’s what happened at a weekend show (full video below).
Step 1: The Approach.
Step 2. The Slap.
And here’s the full video.
Amazing, but, not every band can get away with that. Others, including mega-artists like Beyonce and Metallica, have taken the approach of admonishing audiences from the stage. But verbal warnings only go so far (and are sometimes recorded!)
Actually, Apple is apparently working on a technology that can disable certain recording functions within a specific radius. That would theoretically solve the problem with iPhone users, though so far, this is just at patent filing stage. And, from a business standpoint, Apple could lose sales if buyers are routinely losing their recording capabilities because of something Apple invented.
That said, there’s a huge tech opportunity to block certain phone functionality for all devices, regardless of the manufacturer (listening VCs?) That would be welcomed by bands, theater owners, and a range of other performers, not to mention police, who now find themselves surrounded by devices during every enforcement episode.
One recent company trying to address the opportunity is Yondr, which invented a locked pouch for devices. Basically, the pouch is given to attendees, who keep their phone inside the pouch, and can’t access them unless they leave the show. That invention was tried recently with the Lumineers, who wanted to prevent filming of newer, unreleased content. The approach seemed to work well, and fans were reportedly even thankful to be relieved of their constantly nagging devices.