‘Fed Up’: Rock Legend Roger Daltrey Rants About What’s ‘Ruined’ Concerts
source: wikimedia.org

‘Fed Up’: Rock Legend Roger Daltrey Rants About What’s ‘Ruined’ Concerts

In a recent interview, rock legend Roger Daltrey, frontman of The Who, expressed his frustration with the current state of live concerts. Daltrey, known for his powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, didn’t hold back when discussing what he believes has “ruined” the concert experience for both artists and fans.

Daltrey’s grievances center around the pervasive use of smartphones during live performances. He argues that the constant recording and photographing by audience members detracts from the immersive experience that concerts are meant to provide. “People are more interested in capturing the moment on their phones than actually living it,” he lamented. This sentiment echoes a growing concern among many artists who feel that the magic of live music is being overshadowed by the digital age.

The Who, a band that has been synonymous with rock and roll since the 1960s, has always been about raw, unfiltered energy. Their concerts were legendary for their intensity and the palpable connection between the band and the audience. Daltrey reminisced about the days when fans would be fully engaged, eyes glued to the stage, feeling every note and lyric. “Now, it’s like performing to a sea of screens,” he said, clearly disheartened.

Daltrey’s comments come at a time when the live music industry is grappling with how to adapt to the digital era. While smartphones have made it easier for fans to share their concert experiences with the world, they have also introduced a host of new challenges. For one, the constant presence of phones can be distracting for both the performers and the audience. It can also lead to issues with unauthorized recordings and the potential for live performances to be prematurely leaked online.

Moreover, Daltrey pointed out that the incessant use of phones can disrupt the flow of a concert. “It’s hard to maintain the same level of energy and connection when you’re constantly seeing flashes and screens in the crowd,” he explained. This disruption can be particularly jarring for artists who thrive on the energy exchange between the stage and the audience.

The Who’s concerts have always been about more than just the music; they are a shared experience, a moment in time where the band and the fans come together in a powerful, almost spiritual way. Daltrey fears that this essence is being lost in the digital age. “Concerts should be a place where people can escape, where they can lose themselves in the music and the moment,” he said. “But it’s hard to do that when everyone is focused on their phones.”

Daltrey’s concerns are not unfounded. Many artists have taken steps to address the issue, from asking fans to put their phones away during performances to implementing phone-free zones at concerts. Some have even gone as far as to use technology that locks phones in pouches during the show, ensuring that the audience is fully present.

Despite these efforts, the challenge remains. The convenience and ubiquity of smartphones mean that they are unlikely to disappear from concerts anytime soon. However, Daltrey hopes that by speaking out, he can encourage fans to be more mindful of their phone use and to prioritize the live experience over capturing it on a screen.

In addition to his thoughts on smartphones, Daltrey also touched on other changes in the concert landscape. He noted that the commercialization of live music has also played a role in altering the concert experience. “It’s become more about the spectacle and less about the music,” he said. “There are so many distractions now, from elaborate stage setups to pyrotechnics, that the music sometimes takes a backseat.”

Daltrey’s comments reflect a broader concern within the music industry about the balance between entertainment and artistry. While technological advancements and elaborate productions can enhance a concert, they can also detract from the core of what makes live music special: the connection between the artist and the audience.

As The Who continues to tour and perform, Daltrey remains committed to preserving the integrity of the live music experience. He hopes that by raising awareness about the impact of smartphones and other distractions, he can help bring the focus back to the music and the shared experience of a live concert.

In the end, Daltrey’s message is clear: concerts are meant to be lived, not just recorded. He urges fans to put down their phones, be present, and fully immerse themselves in the moment. “That’s what live music is all about,” he said. “It’s about being there, feeling the music, and sharing that experience with everyone around you. Let’s not lose sight of that.”