Californian band Tool are set to end a long wait for fans by releasing new album Fear Inoculum on August 30.
Tool fans are being warned to leave their “distracting” phones in their pockets during this weekend’s shows. Otherwise, they risk being ejected from the concert.
The “strict” warning comes as the Grammy-winning rock act prepares to play the first of two sold out shows in Auckland tonight.The band is touring here for the first time in seven years on the back of their new album Fear Inoculum.
Spark Arena says Tool’s no-camera policy will be strictly enforced. In a stern note on its website, the venue says “no photography or video recording of any kind” is allowed during the shows.
“We have been asked to enforce this policy very strictly, and would ask that you respect this, and keep your phone or device in your pocket or bag while in the venue.
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“In any show, it is extremely distracting and unfair to other audience members to use devices during the performance and strict copyright rules apply to recorded content, so our staff have been asked to remove anyone who doesn’t comply with this request.”
The statement says the band wants fans to “enjoy the night” and “live in the moment”.
Spark Arena says fans can use phones in the foyer “in the event of a personal emergency”.
Large handbags, backpacks, bottles and poster tubes are also banned.
No camera policies are rare at music events these days, with many artists utilising the power of social media to promote their tours.
Some create brightly lit stage shows with their Instagram potential – and free promotion from fans – in mind.
Some artists, however, are known for requesting no cellphone usage at their shows, including Bjork, Jack White, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
But it’s rare for an act to enforce the policy – and even rarer to threaten to eject fans over breaking it.
Tool’s policy seems to be working, with only a handful of videos from their recent Australian dates available for viewing on YouTube.
One recent review said security staff were “eager” to enforce the no-cellphone ban.
It has led to complaints, with some fans posting venue signs on social media that say: “You will be ejected from the show without the opportunity to return and without a refund if you violate this simple request and elect to take photos during the performance.”
Some fans say Tool’s no-camera policy is a good thing.
“No cameras or filming was allowed at the Tool concert. This should be mandatory at every f…… concert. The experience is worth more than anything,” wrote one concert-goer recently on Twitter.
“First concert I’ve been to with a no camera policy. I think I am a big fan of this,” wrote another.
And others say that if the audience behaves itself, Tool sometimes relaxes and lets fans film the final song of the set.
“For the final tune the band said it was all good,” said one Twitter user who posted his footage online.
Tool has had rave reviews for its recent shows in Australia, with TheMusic.com.au calling its Perth show a “near-perfect performance”.
* Tool perform sold out shows in Auckland tonight and on Saturday.