Put Your Phone Down, Please!

I beg,
plead,
implore,
sternly glare,
inwardly scream,
silently mutter,
request,
ask

to respect the part in the program which states:
"out of consideration for all of the performers and audience members, Loreena respectfully requests that you refrain from unauthorized photography and from making audio or video recordings of this performance."

There was a couple in front of our seats that repeatedly disregarded this and took multiple photos and video during the performance, distracting from at least and ruining, at most, several key moments of enjoyment of particularly meaningful songs for us. Think to yourself, if you are ever tempted to preserve the moment when you are at a concert, the memories and imagery you have in your ownership came at great cost for the rest of us who endure repeated flashes of bright LED light and broke the reverie and enjoyment of what is otherwise a beautiful evening.

Perhaps this would come with stronger weight from Loreena, if she had to play hall monitor at each show and repeat that exact sentence out of her program, maybe people would feel a bit more reluctance and respect for those around them and for her, but I would hope we could all be adults here and unless you are an emergency first responder or someone awaiting an emergent phone call, to please put the phone down!

Thank you.

Original Post

I completely agree.  Someone next to me, and someone a couple rows ahead and off to one side, who took pictures during the show.  Fortunately, they didn't take many, and they weren't in my direct line of sight, so it didn't really bother me.  Didn't it ever occur to them that when they hold their camera/phone out in front of them, it blocks the view of the person behind them?  Even from the side, the LED screens can break the spell.

Unfortunately, they pretty much OK'd the use of cameras before the show, when the stage manager asked that there be "no FLASH [emphasis mine] photography".  

Angie H posted:

I beg,
plead,
implore,
sternly glare,
inwardly scream,
silently mutter,
request,
ask

to respect the part in the program which states:
"out of consideration for all of the performers and audience members, Loreena respectfully requests that you refrain from unauthorized photography and from making audio or video recordings of this performance."

There was a couple in front of our seats that repeatedly disregarded this and took multiple photos and video during the performance, distracting from at least and ruining, at most, several key moments of enjoyment of particularly meaningful songs for us. Think to yourself, if you are ever tempted to preserve the moment when you are at a concert, the memories and imagery you have in your ownership came at great cost for the rest of us who endure repeated flashes of bright LED light and broke the reverie and enjoyment of what is otherwise a beautiful evening.

Perhaps this would come with stronger weight from Loreena, if she had to play hall monitor at each show and repeat that exact sentence out of her program, maybe people would feel a bit more reluctance and respect for those around them and for her, but I would hope we could all be adults here and unless you are an emergency first responder or someone awaiting an emergent phone call, to please put the phone down!

Thank you.

Hear, hear! 

I wouldn't doubt that anyone would flout or ignore that rule of photographing or videograph Ms. McKennitt, despite that being stated. Apparently, you can find examples of that on YouTube.  They can both a pain and very much like one taking a home video of someone special in their lives.  I can understand why someone would do that. For certain people, it is a cheap and convenient souvenir as that particular individual wouldn't want to wait in line for the merchandise stand or purchase anything from it for affordability reasons. 

ChuckS posted:

I completely agree.  Someone next to me, and someone a couple rows ahead and off to one side, who took pictures during the show.  Fortunately, they didn't take many, and they weren't in my direct line of sight, so it didn't really bother me.  Didn't it ever occur to them that when they hold their camera/phone out in front of them, it blocks the view of the person behind them?  Even from the side, the LED screens can break the spell.

Unfortunately, they pretty much OK'd the use of cameras before the show, when the stage manager asked that there be "no FLASH [emphasis mine] photography".  

I take it this was at Knox Church? I was curious to know what the atmosphere was like there vs. Revival House. From the outside, Knox Church seemed positively expansive. 

At any road, I know that it's all but impossible to stop people from taking photos and video unless you make them relinquish their phones, but while it is annoying like a gnat in a vast auditorium, this was like trying to ignore a repeated flashlight in the face. And for all the time, money, travel and sacrifice this trip was, I'm trying to not let it bother me.

Angie H posted:
ChuckS posted:

I completely agree.  Someone next to me, and someone a couple rows ahead and off to one side, who took pictures during the show.  Fortunately, they didn't take many, and they weren't in my direct line of sight, so it didn't really bother me.  Didn't it ever occur to them that when they hold their camera/phone out in front of them, it blocks the view of the person behind them?  Even from the side, the LED screens can break the spell.

Unfortunately, they pretty much OK'd the use of cameras before the show, when the stage manager asked that there be "no FLASH [emphasis mine] photography".  

I take it this was at Knox Church? I was curious to know what the atmosphere was like there vs. Revival House. From the outside, Knox Church seemed positively expansive. 

At any road, I know that it's all but impossible to stop people from taking photos and video unless you make them relinquish their phones, but while it is annoying like a gnat in a vast auditorium, this was like trying to ignore a repeated flashlight in the face. And for all the time, money, travel and sacrifice this trip was, I'm trying to not let it bother me.

Aside from very minor issues with phones, the atmosphere was perfect.  The entire audience held their applause in check until each song was completely finished, so that one could savor the final soft notes as the song died down.  The sound technicians did a great job - I've got a bit of measurable hearing loss, but I could pick out everything from the lowest bowed bass lines to the oh-so-light ringing of Ben Grossman's tiny cymbals.  

The church is fairly big, but I wouldn't describe it as a "vast auditorium".  I'm not sure of the capacity - maybe 500?

The church is fairly big, but I wouldn't describe it as a "vast auditorium".  I'm not sure of the capacity - maybe 500?
 

Apologies Chuck, I was unclear. I was thinking in my head and not typing as clearly on the computer about the comparison from the typical tour venues I've seen her in - opera hall, auditorium, theatre (thousands), as compared to Revival House (120). I remember sitting in the middle of the theatre in 2016, and while it was annoying to see these little pin points of light, it was a lot easier to ignore.

Your report of Knox Church is what I presumed, a couple hundred people which does sound perfect. It sounds like a nice environment for the sound to travel. Revival House did seem a bit small for the amount of performers on stage, at least from where I was sitting to really give the sound a chance to blend and meld. There were a bit of technical difficulties balancing out the sound. I'd be curious, in an alternate world, what the Revival House show would've sounded like when it was just Caroline and Brian. 

It seems like by the time the end of the week came around, the performance was a lot more grounded, not only in set list choices, but tweaking all the important elements that goes into a show like this. It gives you a new appreciation when you do see a performance on tour, just how much thought, consideration and time has gone into what you see.


I think the cell phone ban is a bit of an overkill.  People like to take pictures or video to memorialize the moment, or to show off on social media.  For me at least, it’s the former.  I enjoy looking at photos or videos to relive the moment of what I felt.  I’m not saying that banning phones is wrong, but there is another perspective to consider. 

I was pretty surprised when it was specified that photography was allowed as long as there wasn’t a flash. Some of us in the front rows even asked again if non-flash photos were really okay, just to make sure, and we were told they were. Just no flash or video/audio recording. That’s a big change in the policy!

Just to build on Chuck's wonderful description of the glorious environment of Knox Church, the acoustics made Loreena's already impeccable vocals sound even more heavenly. Aurally, at least, I'm sure there was not a bad seat in the house. And the beautiful carved woodwork and triptych painting made a gorgeous backdrop for the performers, and really enhanced the mood of certain songs, transporting you to another era and place (for me, some those were The Lady of Shalott and Tango to Evora). 'Twas just as promised, a distinct psychological atmosphere in which to experience the music. I think it would have been incredible, though, to have been in such an intimate space as the Revival House! 

Given that atmosphere, it should be clear why some of us are so bothered by the compulsion some people have to take (conspicuous) photos and videos: Please consider the disrespect -- even if unintentional -- to the performers, who are up there sharing their gift with you, 100 percent *present*, as well as the other audience members who have a right to enjoy the full performance without distraction. Also, consider, for your own sake, that you may savor the experience more and create stronger, more enduring memories if you just let yourself be in the moment! Just absorb and don't worry about picking up a device, pressing buttons, and all that. Let yourself be transported to another world in which none of the worldly distraction exists, and you may find yourself grateful for the decision to forego the video or photo. Plus, Loreena was generous enough to stay for hours after what must have been an exhausting week of performances to personally greet and take a photo with every person who wished to meet her.

That said, I tried not to let it get to me this time, either, Angie. Normally, I have a hard time ignoring distractions in public performances because I'm exceptionally sensitive to extraneous noise and movement (and coughing! Oh, the coughing. It kills me. Why does someone always have to cough or sneeze in the final, quiet moments of the most moving musical performances?!). So the "videographer" toward the front of my section was irritating, but I really tried this time to ignore that and focus on the music completely. Fortunately, the power of the performance, coupled with the church atmosphere, made that possible! And don't get me wrong -- I'm all about having fun and dancing in your seat to the Irish tunes!

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