Six Reasons Why Your Phone Is Probably Ruining Your Concert Experience (And Everyone Else's)

A middle-school orchestra takes a stand.
Two nights this week I trucked out to the Bell House to attend the Chickfactor 20th-anniversary shows, which honored the two-decade-old indiepop fanzine with performances by the likes of Versus, the Softies, and Small Factory. Pinned to some of the Bell House's walls was a sign asking the people in attendance to party like it was 1992—specifically, to cease using their cell phones in the concert hall.

I definitely violated this rule, because old habits die hard, especially when the enablers of those old habits are made of cool metal and in an easily accessible space. But I tried to at least abide by it 80% of the time, and I found myself enjoying the sets by the rip-roaring Versus, the pop maestro and Unrest/Cotton Candy/Teen-Beat leader Mark Robinson (who popped in for a two-song double-A-sided set of his band's classics), and the delicately gorgeous duo the Softies—all of whom are in the upper echelon of my personal musical pantheon—in a way that felt substantially different, and not just from the nostalgia pangs.

Perhaps it was the brainspace cleared out by not checking for text messages and at-replies regularly, but I had a lot of thoughts on why cell phones have pretty much ruined my show-going experience, and why they have probably ruined yours, too.

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Let's Pay Tribute To International Make Out Day In Song

Yes, apparently May 12 is the day where you're supposed to grab someone (whether a friend, a "friend," or a stranger) and, to quote the people putting this holiday on, "take a few minutes to enjoy what is probably the most singularly positive human experience ever." Hey, it's not a holiday that was made up outta nothing for economy-stimulating purposes, at least! Above, Unrest's fine tune "Make Out Club," which also inspired an early-adopter social network; after the jump, the best music-video makeout ever (and don't worry, it's not the Halle Berry/Fred Durst pairing from Limp Bizkit's "Behind Blue Eyes," which Vh1 once erroneously called awesome).

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