Akeasha Branch, general manager at Lakewood, said complaints have ranged from people smoking inside the venue to a broken chair to inquiries about the location of the bathroom.
Views obstructed by smartphone recorders have been reported, but, she said, they have been minimal.
"You can obviously see it in the audience, but for years, you haven't really been able to do anything about it," Branch said. "Unless people are standing in the aisle taping the entire show, there isn't a whole lot we can do about it."
But, she added, "These phones are such a distraction no matter where you are, whether you're at a show or sitting at a stoplight. But the fact that live productions are changing and shows are being packaged differently -- look how huge the Kiss/Motley Crue show was (last month) -- it's hard not to put that on a phone video as a keepsake."
Keepsake or interruption?
While concert attendees who don't participate in recording concerts typically view the practice as both selfish and inconsiderate, those who find no harm in recording a song or two often cite the keepsake angle as their reason.
"It's no different than taking photos," said concertgoer Angela Oliver. "If you were at any public event -- a relative's graduation, a political rally, a sporting event -- would you not want to capture that experience with a snapshot? Some people can't afford to regularly attend concerts, so if someone gave them a ticket or they won it and might not get a chance again (to go to a show), why not shoot a few seconds of video to preserve that memory?"
But what about the artists? How do they feel when they look out from the stage and see people not singing along to a hit song or interacting, and instead, are greeted with the backs of thousands of smartphone camera lenses staring at them?
"I find it very, very strange," said Ed Robertson, lead singer of Barenaked Ladies. "I think people are far more engaged with their gadgets than the place they're in and the experience they could be having. I love the Foo Fighters and went to see them. Dave (Grohl) goes out on this long stage, and it's just a sea of people holding up phones and cameras. Why don't you make eye contact and not worry about tweeting about it? I hope the novelty of this connection and technology will wear out and people will realize that the authentic experience is so much more rewarding."
Fred Schneider of the B-52s is equally baffled by fans' priorities and has found it increasingly difficult over the years to maintain their attention.
"It's obvious that people don't even care if you're singing or lip-syncing up there," he said. "I get so angry with that and think, 'Why am I up here?' We will take down anything we don't like from YouTube. It's a selfish (practice) by fans. It's all about them. We'll have people hold up iPads during the show, and I'll stop the show and say, 'Put that away and just get out."'
Other artists, such as Richard Marx, a veteran singer-songwriter and touring presence for more than 20 years, said he completely understands fans' infatuation with wanting a digital souvenir.
"If I could have done that all of the years I was going to concerts, I would have," he said. "I don't ever feel like the audience recording me is in place of anything -- I always feel they're totally with me."
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