Put your cellphones in the air

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Put your cellphones in the air

October 2004: Green Day's American Idiot — Remember that dull downtime before a band appears? Now concertgoers amuse themselves, texting messages and shooting pics from their cellphones to two giant screens on either side of the stage before Sugarcult, New Found Glory, and, of course, their beloved Green Day rock the house.

February 2005: Duran Duran's Astronaut — Not just lighters anymore. Simon asks fans to pull out their cellphones, too, as the New Wave band struts and sings the ever-popular "Save a Prayer."

March 2005: U2's Vertigo — It's a song, it's a movement, it's One. When "Text your name to UNITE" flashes on the jumbo screen, fans respond. About 10,000 text messages fly through the air each night Bono asks Americans to join him. There were 250,000 by mid-December.

The lucky ones see their names on screen. And everyone who texts in gets this personalized missive: "Hey, this is Bono. Thanks for taking action with the ONE campaign to make AIDS and poverty history." Then what appears on the phone? www.one.org.

June 2005: London's Live 8 — No wonder they set a new Guinness World Record. British fans vying to see stars blast off more than 2 million text messages hoping to win a pair of tix to the Hyde Park show. The luminaries on tap? Paul McCartney, U2, Elton John, Madonna, Sting and a reunited Pink Floyd, the legendary rock band hasn't shared a stage since 1981.

To enter? Text the answer to: What's the city closest to the G8 Summit in July? A. Berlin, B. Moscow or C. Edinburgh.

July 2005: Live 8 — Rock stars hit their notes at 10 Live 8 concerts across the globe. And music lovers dispatch 26.4 million text messages to support the organizers' anti-poverty campaign. Shakira and the Cure play to a crowd of about 100,000 at the Palace of Versailles. In all, more than 1 million attend the shows.

August 2005: Coldplay's Twisted Logic — Look behind the band. During "Low," a countdown runs on the elongated video screen so fans can grab their cellphones, point 'em at the stage, aim and shoot. Later, during the changeover between "Scientist" and the midshow acoustic set, Chris, Guy, Jon and Will snap photos of the crowd with disposable cameras, then toss them into the audience.

August 2005: Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang — Sit with your idols. Ticket holders text-message in to win onstage seats.

August 2005: AmsterJam music festival — About 6,000 fans text "JAM" to the keyword "GREEN." They win stuff like backstage tours, VIP seats and flash memory sticks to download music on-site. Fans await Snoop, who swoops into New York City in a G4 jet, then hops in a limo for Randall's Island.

The messages: "10 minutes to Snoop on the main stage!" or "Snoop is about to take the main stage!" and "Red Hot Chili Peppers are up soon!" They also get a call from Bootsy Collins with a thank-you and a reminder to drive home safely.

Courtesy The Seattle Times