Meta Maiden

21 Jul

Thursday 21st July, 1am

It’s 30mins since I got in the door from having watched the metal band Iron Maiden at Glasgow’s SECC. It’s about 2hrs since ‘Maiden’ walked off stage. Already I’ve been able to find two clips on Youtube of the show I just watched.

(UPDATE: Within 24 hours there are over 58 listed videos of the show on YouTube. Already as many as the total number of videos available for the show from 2006.)

At least two things were unsurprising this evening:

1. Maiden were excellent as ever and once again upped their game…

2. Despite this I’m still thinking about my project…

I don’t get the opportunity to go to many gigs these days. The last time I was at the SECC was to see the Pixies in October 2009… so the ringing in my ears has long since past.

However, I would like to draw some interesting comparisons from the last time that I saw Iron Maiden; in time they will explain the Youtube reference.

On arrival at the SECC’s Hall 4 I was disappointed to find video screens. I don’t remember Maiden having video screens in the past and while I know they are designed to enhance the audiences viewing pleasure I don’t like them. I never have. Now however, due to my research I am able to articulate more clearly (to myself and anyone who’ll listen) exactly why that might be… although I think my common sense had already worked it out!

Jim Banister in his presentation to BBC Worldwide talks about 3 forms of Storytelling and he uses the example of a Soccer game to explain the differences. They are Story Telling, Story Forming and Story Dwelling. To the folks at home watching the game on TV Story Telling is being employed; the game is being fed to the viewers via the camera operators and the director (the narrator) who dictates what it is you see. The players themselves are involved in the game and therefore Story Dwelling is taking place… they ‘are’ the story. For the crowd in the stand Story Forming is taking place; they are not directly involved in the game but the game is certainly influenced by their presence. Imagine the atmosphere in the stadium if only the players and the managers were present…

So, what’s this got to do with video screens..?

Well, at the gig tonight these same three variations of ‘story’ were also present. The band were Story Dwelling, I was in the crowd Story Forming, but for those whose gaze were lured to the siren-like screens storytelling was in play by the dictatorship of the master of camera puppets… (I know.. I’m mixing my meta(l)phors…)

I’ve always felt that my experience at a show was being compromised by the video screens. I want a memory of the experience itself… I’ll rather save the ‘dvd-like’ experience for home when I have no alternative.  It’s very easy to be taken in by the big pictures on the screen and forget that there is actually a stage to look at… the folk on stage might look quite small, but that’s all part of the concert experience. For me anyway. I don’t want memories that have been crafted through manipulated images, I want the ‘real-thing’!

…but it’s not just the video screens… it gets worse…

…in the image above a fella was taking a pic of the screens..! (a bit blurry I know but the glow to the right is the stage and the one to the left is the screen… the fella with his hand in the air has a camera in his hand…) Occasionally the camera operators would even get the screens in shot while capturing the band in full swing… how meta is it going to get (a photo of a screen with a screen on it… I fear we may explode!)..?

Is this healthy..?

Could we could be doing this from home!

What do you think? Let me know… more soon..!


2 Responses to “Meta Maiden”


  1. Meta Maiden… part two « MysteryBoxes - July 25, 2011

    […] the gig kicked off, the second thing I noticed (after the huge screens.. grrr) was how many cameras and camera phones were being pointed stage wards. The increase I would […]

  2. Is ‘anyone’ watching..? | Jon Gill - August 15, 2012

    […] Meta-Maiden (MysteryBoxes Blog, July 2011) […]

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