Cincinnati, OHIO--High school Indie band Megadontist warned a near-empty church basement hall to "silence your phones" during their premiere performance this week.
Lead singer and percussionist Kyle Schmitz posted a message on the band's Facebook fan page with a "request" for those attending their debut show to "put down their iPhones and other electronic devices so you can share in the experience together." Schmitz further explained on the fan page: "We want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones. It would mean a great deal to us if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the show."
Schmitz's policy of banning electronic devices during a musical performance follows a trend in the music industry where such popular artists as Prince, Jack White, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kate Bush and others have also issued similar requests.
Schmitz described Megadontist's music as "Post-Grunge, Retro, Afro-Beat, Electronica, Hip Hop, New Folk and Calypso," with "some serious beats." He said he named the band after his two heroes: Megatron from the Transformers movies, and his dad, Eric, an orthodontist.
About seven people attended the band's debut performance, including Schmitz's parents and members of the school's AV squad, plus the church custodian.
Schmitz told the handful in the audience that the band was very excited about their show and had been working very hard in their respective basements and garages in preparation. He hinted that he might halt the show, though, as a result of any flashing camera lights.
"We want you to experience with your own eyes and not watch our show through a tiny screen in your hand," he explained one last time before starting the show. "Let's make this very special. Silence your phones."
While the sparse audience was mostly respectful of Schmitz's "no electronic devices" policy, not all heeded his warning.
"Mom, put down that Smartphone! Not cool!" Schmitz shouted from behind his drum kit while performing the band's opening song, "I bleed." Visibly shaken from the Smartphone interference, Schmitz managed to complete the 30-minute set without any further disturbances from the audience before the church custodian turned on the lights.