Guitarists from Jeff Beck to Prince have been known to disallow smartphone video recording at their shows for various reasons. It's distracting, they don't feel like they can connect with the audience, they don't feel like their audience can connect with the music, they don't feel like their live show was meant to be viewed through a two-inch screen, or listened to later through a cell phone's degraded audio-recording device.
When Peter Frampton's "Do You Feel Like We Do" was released in 1973, few could have predicted that over 40 years later, people would be spending good money to watch live concerts through a camera in their phone held up to the face of their favorite artist.
And few artists could have predicted that instead of looking out into the faces of their audience, they'd be playing to a sea of smartphones.
That's probably what Peter Frampton hoped to avoid at last Sunday's show at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, when fans were told by club management before the show started that they weren't allowed to take video or use flash photography.
But that didn’t stop one couple in front, who continued taking photos and video all night—even after being told to put their phones away.
As Onstage magazine reports: “At first, Peter kept gesturing to them, saying, ‘No, don’t do that. Stop!' But they just did not get the hint. He was frantically looking for security, but they were nowhere nearby…The male from the front row was even stupid enough to back up to the stage [during the performance] and get the girl to take a 'selfie' of him with Peter.
"Eventually, someone from the venue intervened, and the couple stopped. But only briefly. During ‘Do You Feel Like We Do,’ Frampton had finally had enough. As he neared the end of the song, you could see the absolute look of desperation and frustration on Peter’s face. I have never seen an artist so upset before. At his breaking point, and the guy in the front row unrelenting – apparently with no self control considering he’s already flipped Peter off and turned around and called the rest of the audience a bunch of deadbeats – Peter ends the song, walks over, and with a huge smile on his face bends down and says, ‘Hey can I see that? Can I see the photos you’ve been taking?’ The guy hands him his phone and Peter stands up, spins, and flings for the rafters! Yes! The phone went flying to the back of the stage and we all erupted in cheers!
"With years of experience playing guitar, we just knew he had a great arm!”