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"...What I tell you three times is true" (Lewis Carroll, "Hunting of the Snark" ).

Rammstein: stadium concerts in 21 century

Rammstein has just given the second show in Moscow on the stadium of Olympiysky, and Metallica is awaited in April. I was at this show after a long break in visiting big stadium shows. And I have noticed that things are different today. I am going to share my ridiculous experience with you.

Well, the show consisted of new songs, old songs and hits. It included everything it should, like pyrotechnic effects, costumes, and keyboardists sail along the fans hands sea. It could be more fire effects, or less. Honestly, I visited their concert for the first time and have no opportunity to compare. But I have visited lots of the large shows like this. And I was astonished. Everything was good, sometimes wonderful, but the thing, making me to get surprised was not actually show, but the publics reaction.

I was sitting on the tribune, rather far from the stage and was like outside observer, because the people on the tribune did not dance, but could speak and hear each other. It was the first thing, which made we wonder. The people were behaving as it would be a TV show, not an alive show. It could have an explanation like: this tribune was rather far, but: it was not too far. The slight alienation was to be felt even in the fan zone in front of the scene, which I was observing from my tribune. And it was new for me. There was nothing like this 5 or 10 years ago. The people turned then into one body, covering tribunes and fan-zones.

And very soon I realized what the reason was. Everything is obvious. The reason was obvious and it was cell-phones with cameras. Video cameras. The Captain Obvious, i.e. me (or Deus loci communis, if you prefer classic), was looking around the huge hall of the stadium. The Captain Obvious smiled. The hall was reminding the night landscape of Pandora planet from the film Avatar, everybody has already seen and maybe even not once (even I have done it twice). Have you already guessed why? Okay, the stadium was full of lighting bugs of cell phones, smart phones and other devices like this. Their displays were glowing in the semi-darkness of the hall with different acid colored light. The hands of the public in the fan-zone were like unearthly grass, and the cameras like lighting bugs or other Pandora species, the names of which I dont remember. The people were dealing with their cameras, or, more precisely, with the show through the mobile phone cameras, being in the meters from the show, feeling the heat fire. Some of them remembered about the cigarette lighters and even have set on the fire during the ballads. But the Pandora species did not disappear. There were two types of the light and two types of perceiving the show, which also pretty reminded me, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, instead of the costumes of diggers, they appeared in.

All the show reminded me a disco in the space, where the representatives of different types of the life are consuming the show with different equipment and gadgets, because some of them cannot see and hear directly, like the Earthmen. I also made a few videos.

The moral is, that such a little thing like camera in a cell phone can influence so considerably on the way of perceiving. I havent seen the crowd, which has forgotten itself. Nobody from the people sitting around me has even left the habitual shell. And the estrangement has played its positive role: I havent seen any potentially situation. It doesnt mean that the people are not so aggressive any more. They are simply different today. They have however noticed the Lindemans brilliant pronounce in Russian, and his costumes, and not only his, already during the concert. So the gulf is not yet very deep. It reminds me Gadamers thoughts about the fail of communication in the society: the development of technique for communication paradoxically leads to the failure of communication in the traditional meaning.

March 2, 2010 02:41

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