Two days ago, a 27-year-old New Jersey man went to a Bebe Rexha concert in New York City on what he thought would be the night of his life and left with an assault charge on his record.
Nicolas Malvagna was arrested and charged with assault after he allegedly threw his phone at Bleta “Bebe” Rexha during a concert Sunday, sending the pop star to the hospital and ending her performance early. The forceful toss left the singer-songwriter bloodied and bruised, according to police and photos that she posted of her injury. She was rushed off stage and taken to a hospital, where she received stitches to close up an open cut above her left eye.
— Alex Chavez (@captiv_8_) June 19, 2023
When asked about why he did it, Malvagna admitted that he did it out of amusement, according to the New York Post. The video of the incident is making rounds on social media and has sparked a debate about ‘entitled’ fans crossing boundaries at concerts and meet & greets. There have been many incidents of concert-goers hurling objects on stage – either as gifts for the performer or just to get their attention.
This has been happening for decades – at a 1966 concert in Marseilles, France, someone threw a chair at Mick Jagger, and David Bowie suffered a blow to his eye with a rogue lollipop at the 2004 Norwegian Wood Festival. In modern times, artists including Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Justin Beiber have called out fans for throwing things at them like bras and water bottles. Although artists have endured it in most cases, many are now starting to fight back. Many performers have cut their gigs short, stormed out and publicly called out said fans.
Thanks to the integration of social media like TikTok, BeReal and Instagram in our daily lives – we have become used to documenting every single thing we do. There’s an audience for every niche, and anything has the potential to go viral if you play your cards right. However, in this age of living our lives through screens, there is a risk that we are prioritizing the pursuit of social media clout over the true essence of the concert experience.
This shift towards clout-chasing raises important questions about the value we place on real-life experiences. Are we sacrificing the authentic joy of live concerts for the fleeting validation that comes with a viral moment? By constantly focusing on curating our digital presence, are we missing out on the genuine connection and emotional resonance that we can only find in face-to-face interactions?
Of course, there is nothing wrong with documenting your memories. While capturing and sharing highlights from concerts can be a meaningful way to remember and share experiences, should we let it overshadow the importance of being fully present and immersing ourselves in the music and atmosphere?