The invasion of cell phones at concerts is very much the norm these days. However, there have been artists of late attempting to create an "in the moment" experience with their performances by banning cell phones. During a recent chat with Three Days Grace's Matt Walst about their upcoming Outsider album, he discussed how social media sharing has changed the concert-going experience.

One of the standout tracks on the band's upcoming disc, "The New Real," addresses this. "We use social media, we put out pictures. But you see with kids now, it's become a thing where it's hard to get away from. And I find myself in the same situation. Like, I pick it up and I start going through social media and watching videos, crazy fight videos. It's so addictive and it's hard to put down, but after a while I find myself - what did I just do with the past two hours of my life? I could have been doing something productive and I don’t think I did do anything productive other than watching these crazy videos. It's entertaining but after awhile you find you're wasting your life away by looking at a little small screen."

And, of course, that carries into concerts, where people spend a lot of time on their "small screens."

"People want to see it later on, I get it. I also post: 'I was there, I saw this.' But after a while, I don't take a lot of photos," says Walst. He takes it a step further as a traveling musician and seeing sights while on tour. "I see a lot of beautiful things but I remember it and I feel the experience at the time and I feel like it's the moment that's special," says Walst. "It's not going to be as special looking as it was from at your pictures in your phone. What's really cool is, your phone can't pick up the sky and the moon. You can't really pick up that stuff and that's the most beautiful stuff."

Getting back to the live performance aspect, he adds, "A Perfect Circle, I went and saw them a few months ago and they don't allow any cell phones or any video taking stuff and I think that's because probably Maynard doesn’t want all the cell phones up in the air in front of him."

As for Three Days Grace's take on banning cell phones at shows, Walst states, "I don’t think we'll ever get to that point." But he adds, "You should experience it in the moment instead of having a little screen in front of your face filming it."

Three Days Grace are currently ramping up to the March 9 street date for their Outsider album. While only a few festival dates have been announced, more shows will be coming. Stay tuned for more of our chat with Three Days Grace's Matt Walst, coming soon.




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