The Police Reunion Tour and the Web 2.0 Generation

July 6, 2007 at 7:58 am | Posted in Fun, social software, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment

I’m starting out a little slow today after my first arena-scale rock concert in about 15 years – The Police. I used to go to several a year in my college days and had gotten used to the feel of them and their traditions such as lighters for the slow songs and guessing which song they left for an encore.

But I forgot we’re leaving in the Web 2.0 era, which has changed everything from politics to, apparently, rock concerts. When the opening notes of Message in a Bottle start up I look to the stage and from my vantage point I can see the screens of a sea of mobile devices glowing in front of me. Hmmm, I don’t remember that from Def Leppard ’88.

The guy sitting in front of me is on his Blackberry about 50% of the time. Apparently the communal aspect of 45,000 fans around him isn’t sufficiently social for him, so he feels the need to constantly send emails to friends and family. Sample email (hard not to see the screen in the dark): “I’m at The Police concert with your daughter. Cool.”

As they work through the set list I am not at all surprised to hear most of the favorites off of their Greatest Hits album. And if there was any mystery left, it was eliminated by the Wikipedia entry that already exists for the concert listing the set list, encores (two), and tour dates.

When Wrapped Around your Finger started up a smattering of people held up lighters, but most of the crowd held up cell phones instead. The eerie glow of the cell phone screens was no substitute for the star-like effect of thousands of lighters.

The show went off well though. A few wrong notes, but not as bad as the show on May 31st. How do I know that? Because of Stewart Copeland’s blog entry that day of course (is this entry legit?). This is the Web 2.0 era. Cell phones instead of lighters, e-mail during the concert, recent pop events already chronicled in encyclopedia form next to World War II, and online journals from band members are now just par for the course.

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