The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Social Media Expectations are Ruining the Concert Experience

AP Newsroom
The 1975 performs at this year’s Austin City Limits Festival on Oct. 14.

I sat in shock at the Enterprise Center last week. As I looked into the pit at The 1975 show, I noticed a strange phenomenon; the crowd looked dead as if their feet were glued to the ice rink. 

What I noticed was that the crowd had their phones out filming the entire thing. Now, filming the concert is not a problem at all. But the crowd was just filming themselves.

I observed a group of women form a circle around a singular girl and film her, presumably in a 0.5 lens, as she goofily acts out the lyrics to “About You.” This video was most definitely posted on TikTok.

This refusal to engage in the music and instead focus on themselves and their online image leads to the artificial experience that many mistake as the concert experience.

This faux concert experience, as promoted on TikTok, is just filming yourself hysterically crying or violently screaming to whatever song the artist is playing. If you need an example, look for videos from The Eras Tour on TikTok, and you will find exactly that.

So, what is the true concert experience? I, a concert connoisseur, have lived through it at Lollapalooza.

Lollapalooza was a jungle of uncontrollable turbulence. Standing in the blistering Chicago sun whilst packed shoulder-to-shoulder in a crowd of faceless 20-somethings made for the true concert experience. 

The time I dropped my phone in the mud during the Destroy Lonely set and then frantically looked for it in the middle of a mosh pit was the concert experience. 

Or the time I collapsed during The Garden’s set due to over exhaustion and was in the center of the human whirlpool controlled by the band’s abrasive, hostile music. As I fell to the ground, members of the crowd in clown makeup screamed medic. 

The three unconscious women I helped carry over the fence during Lana Del Rey’s set or the several men puking two feet away every few hours also make up, what I believe to be, the concert experience.

All these things have one thing in common: they were real. These moments that I fondly remember were not captured on film. I did not produce these moments nor was I trying to. By being present and engaging in the music, I am now able to share these experiences instead of showing or posting a staged photo.

I urge everyone to engage at the next concert you find yourself going to. Talk to people that are around you. Feel the music and act accordingly, whether that means dancing or moshing. Don’t create memorable moments, just let them come to you.