I had really low expectations.
I was taking Google Glass to its first rock concert, and I was going to shoot some photos and videos with it. I knew the photos would be fine, but I expected the videos to be a disaster. Actually, I was worried about the audio more than anything.
Here’s why: About a week before the concert, I shot my first Glass video on a bike ride near my house. If you watch that video, it sounds like I’m in the middle of a major catastrophic weather event. It was windy, but not that bad.
So, at the concert, I assumed the loud music would overwhelm Glass’ tiny microphone and leave me with something that sounded like a chainsaw trying to cut through iron.
I was wrong.
Glass blew me away. I shot two videos at a concert by The Boxer Rebellion last weekend in Portland. You can check out their song “Spitting Fire” on YouTube if you want, and I’ll embed “Diamonds” here to save you the click if you just want to check out some audio:
There’s a tiny bit of scratchiness here and there, but that audio quality is every bit as good — if not better — than videos that I shot on the last U2 tour with a regular Canon camera.
And I’d say that the experience of shooting at The Boxer Rebellion show was better with Glass for me and those around me. My arms didn’t get tired from holding a camera aloft for four-plus minutes, nor did I block anyone’s view in the process.
But, two downsides: One, if you’re shooting video with Glass, and you want the final product to be watchable, you have to keep your head pretty steady — dancing or grooving to a favorite song isn’t recommended. (Watch that “Spitting Fire” video if you want an example.) Two, the battery life on this version of Glass is pretty dreadful when video is involved. Those two songs I shot totaled about seven minutes and they were played back-to-back during the gig. The battery drained by 20 percent from start to finish.
Still, I consider my first Glass concert a success — especially after the disastrous audio on the bike ride. Now if only U2 would tour soon, I’d be able to test it again in a bigger venue with thousands more people singing along and making noise.