The Rolling Stones played a surprise gig at Los Angeles' 700-capacity Echoplex club on Saturday night (April 27), but you won't find the standard shaky YouTube videos that such events usually inspire. Show organizers expressly forbade cameras and smartphones from the event — a tough pill to swallow, no doubt, for the girl in the above clip who shouts, "I'm 16 and I'm gonna go see the Rolling Stones!"
The legacy rock-and-rollers are the latest in a string of artists to ban or beg off the ubiquitous presence of tiny glowing screens at their shows. Recent SPIN cover stars the Yeah Yeah Yeahs kicked off the trend with their amazing "PUT THAT SHIT AWAY" sign earlier this month. Savages then posted a similar, albeit politely worded, notice at their Seattle show. And Beyoncé isn't even allowing the media to shoot her.
As the National Post reports, "The lack of personal recording devices made the Stones’ performance feel even more exclusive and old school, freeing concertgoers’ hands of the gizmos that have become commonplace at concerts nowadays, and further bonding the crowd, many of whom built up camaraderie during the confusing ticket lottery earlier in the day." That quote came to us via The Awl, who gave their post on the matter a title worthy of an Onion article: "Fact That People Actually Concentrate on Performance at Concert Commented Upon."
They weren't the only ones with jokes. "Welcome to Echo Park, a neighborhood that’s always coming up," Mick Jagger reportedly said after the Stones played "Respectable" from 1978's Some Girls. "I’m glad you’re here to welcome an up-and-coming band." The band's "50 and Counting" North American tour officially kicks off on May 3 at the 20,000-cap Staples Center arena.