kasey schumacher | social cues | march 2019
If I had to listen to only one song the rest of my life, it would be “Hotel California." Feel free to judge – I know it's an interesting choice. To put it lightly, I am a HUGE Eagles fan. Give me some Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmidt and Glenn Frey (RIP) any time of day!
Last year, I finally had the opportunity to see them play live. It was one of the first performances at the new Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. I got tickets the minute they went on sale and anxiously waited for the days to go by until I could see them in all their live glory.
I have been to many, MANY shows where all you see is the light from cell phones as people take pictures and record videos of artists performing. I've done it many times too. It feels almost necessary sometimes to have proof that you were somewhere exciting.
I decided to make a rule for myself that I was only allowed to take one picture at the concert and before it even started. I wanted to make sure I had a picture of my husband, Ross, and I enjoying one of our first big nights out since becoming parents (picture included here!). However, I was not going to film, snap, Instagram or showcase anything else from the show. I wanted to be present, focused and not looking at the concert through the screen of my iPhone.
I also knew we were going to be on the younger demographic of the concert-goers seeing the Eagles and quite frankly, I didn't want to look like one of those gosh darn millennials with their face stuck in their phone all night.
It ended up being a great decision to make and I'm so thankful I consciously decided to stow my phone away in my purse and just watch. (What a concept, right???) My memories of that night far surpass being able to replay a scratchy video on my phone. The images I took in my head will always be better quality than a grainy, zoomed in snapshot. I saw so many details I wouldn't have, had I been constantly opening up my phone, editing pictures and sending videos to friends and family who weren't at the show. I simply sat and took in “Take it to the Limit." I studied Don Henley as he sang “Desperado." I had tears coming down my face when the opening notes of “Hotel California" started playing (yeah, I can be dramatic!). I watched other fans enjoying their favorite numbers. I danced with Ross during “Life in the Fast Lane." I was so in-the-moment and it was the best concert experience I've had in a long time.
Like I said, I could have taken a thousand photos and video clips to commemorate my Eagles concert. I could have been capturing performances to watch again and again. But you know what? If I really want to watch a live version of one of their songs, a simple YouTube search will yield me results much better than I could've taken myself. I can google image performance photos of the Eagles and trust me, it's way better than what I could have taken too. My photos and videos and social media postings would have never come close to the feelings and emotions I had being completely captivated by the entire experience around me.
I have my one photo (a selfie before the show started) from that night. Looking at that ONE picture evokes an entire evening I will never forget – and it doesn't even have a single band member in it! I want to remember that feeling of being “disconnected" in a good way as I attend future shows and performances. Being present is irreplaceable. I wish more people got to experience what I did when I simply watched with my own eyes and not through the lens of a screen…like they did in the “good old days" – right?
Kasey Schumacher is the marketing director for Let Me Be Frank Productions by day and a performer for the troupe by night. When she isn't updating Facebook or singing a 1970s classic, she enjoys running, cooking, questioning final rose picks on 'The Bachelor" and planning overly extravagant trips to Disney.