If there’s one performer who’s particularly picky about their shows, it’s Prince. As anyone who caught one of the Purple One’s sideshows when he was in Australia earlier this year will tell you, he’s pretty strict when it comes to keeping his gigs old-school, and that means no flash photography and amateur filmmakers thank you very much.
Something that Mark Foster, the namesake of synth-pop sensation Foster The People, learned the hard way when he failed to recognise that most basic rule of gig etiquette: keep your phone in your pocket.
According to TMZ, Foster was one of the lucky hundred or so that managed to catch Prince playing an impromptu show at Sayers Club in Hollywood, in which he and the NPG took to the small stage for a late-night jam of originals, obscure covers, and long-winded work-outs.
Foster was ejected from the venue however when he was spotted by security supposedly filming the performer. According to a gig report from Billboard, many smartphones were confiscated at the door, with similar signage to Jack White – another iPhone jockey hater – saying that there was to be no filming or photography at the show.
Foster was escorted from the venue when he was caught tooling around with his phone, then begged security to be let back inside, which may have happened to him before considering he was well prepared with a few excuses; including saying he had an open bar tab he’d yet to close, saying he was merely checking his phone for an SMS, and when all else fails – namedropping his band.[do action=”pullquote”]Foster was escorted from the venue when he was caught tooling around with his phone, then begged security to be let back inside[/do]
Security were either feeling sympathetic, or were big fans of ‘Pumped Up Kicks’, letting Foster back into the show, but only after checking his phone for incriminating evidence that might infringe on Prince’s ever-important mystique. TMZ also hounded Foster after the 150-capacity show finished at around 2am, with Foster calling his ejection a “big misunderstanding.”
“It’s cool,” said Foster before offering the humble brag of: “Prince doesn’t play in front of 100 people every night.”
The use of smartphones at concerts is a distinctly modern gig-going concern, but one that grinds the gears of many musicians, including Jack White, who began a ‘one-man crusade’ against such “gadgetry” with his worldwide solo tour for Blunderbuss, urging punters to “please leave your phones in your pockets/purses and enjoy the show live and in person.”
Similarly, ska/soul revivalists, The English Beat, called for a ban on the use of smartphones on their recent Australian tour, with frontman and band manager Dave Wakeling, saying he found the Sydney crowd thrusting phones into his direction “quite distracting and detracted from him being able to enjoy and connect with the audience.”
You can watch footage of Mark Foster pleading his way back into Prince’s gig below (courtesy of TMZ):