Mobile phones at gigs drive me insane. This incessant need to film grainy and crap footage of a band rather than actually enjoy them makes no sense to me, and I wish it would just stop. I am far from alone in feeling like this as well, with recent times seeing everyone from Jordan Buckley from Every Time I Die to David fucking Draiman getting annoyed at people being glued to their phone during a gig. All of which seems to have climaxed in Parker Cannon of The Story So Far kicking a female fan off the stage and the mainstream media attacking him for it.
Now, like many I have a problem with this, but possibly in a slightly different style to others. I don’t think you should kick a fan offstage – although Cannon’s kick is more of a foot based shove – but not because that is out of order. No. Because look at Randy Blyth. Randy, whatever the events of that day in Prague, now has to live with the idea that someone died during one of his shoes. I can’t imagine that is something Cannon wants to live with.
The outrage about this is also a bit hard to take seriously when the women herself has come out and said she holds no ill will against the band. The truth of the matter is, you shouldn’t be on stage trying to take a selfie or whatever she was doing. The video footage clearly shows that The Story So Far have no problem with people stage diving but the second you decide to hang around, you are in their space. The same way you don’t touch a wrestler you don’t stand around on a band’s stage. Much like the Randy example shows why you shouldn’t be booting fans into the crowd, the Dimebag one shows why you should always be careful who is up there with you.
Here’s the final take on the matter, this is punk rock. It might not be the most punk rock punk rock in the world, but Story So Far and their fans at least believe they are part of that genre. When Buckley booted that fan’s phone into the crowd, I like many cheered his choice. David Draiman has never been cooler than when he was dressing down that woman even if she did turn out to be a middle-aged mother. Even Bruce Dickinson was cheered for suggesting someone get off their phone and enjoy the music. You are at a rock and roll show, and if you get on the stage and be a twat, then you will get what is coming to you. Do I think bands should be going around drop kicking fans? Of course not. But in the same way a polar bear attacking someone for stumbling into their territory is not really to blame, you have to accept that if you climb on that stage, you’re playing to the band’s rules.