The Jaw Drops

We gave three musicians a Jawbone UP 3 each and tracked their sets

Words: Dylan Muhlenberg | Photographs: Nick Gordon

The concept was simple: give three Jawbone Up 3 fitness trackers to three musicians playing three different styles of music on three different stages in order to see how much sweat goes into a set.

For those unfamiliar with the Jawbone, this innocuous looking bracelet forms part of the biggest buzzword in a minute: wearable technology. Basically it’s a bracelet with over 230 patents, made from Thermoplastic Polyurethane, and which incorporates computer and electronic technology that tracks activity allowing it to exchange data with a connected device without requiring any human intervention. 

Will this information improve our lives and change our world, or is it another insidious transfer of everything to the Internet? 

It’s still too soon to tell, but in the meantime we asked three of our rockstar friends to wear one of these newfangled doohickies while playing a certain festival that asked not to be named, in order to see what interesting data we could pick up.

Jakob Snake

Jake Lipman got DJ lessons from his mother for his Bar Mitvah and has gone on to mix a career that’s as eclectic as his sets are. Jakob Snake is a DJ, drummer, aspiring- producer, curator, connector, tastemaker, manager, festival owner, homie, lover & learner. He runs his own agency, GAARTJIE, and as Communications Manager for Red Bull Studio Cape Town, he has been an integral part in the running of their Electronic Stages at all major SA Festivals.

Age: 29

Height: 1.83

Weight: 90KG

How fit are you? Right now… moderately fit but not match fit. 

Describe your set. That Nu World Beat Club stage was incredible. The crowd was super up for it, I stayed relatively stable and consistent in terms of speed, but got to play a ton of different sounds. 

Which moment in your set do you think you went hardest? Most likely the last section of 140BPM stuff, specifically Stormzy “Know me from” or a Kaytranada x Okmalumkoolkat mashup I made. 

What will you do with your Jawbone after the experiment? Keep wearing it to find out interesting information. 

Were you surprised by any of the data? I’m quite surprised by my heart rate peaks and how the stress of my daily job affects my heart. I’m basically a hamster. A constantly running, frantic, slightly chubby, music industry, Jew hamster. With wings. 

What added features could this thing benefit from? I think the accuracy is a bit lacking with all the features it boasts. Also, with the sensors on the device being able to read my skin temp and all that stuff, I think one could really explore interesting possibilities in terms of unique features and apps and readings.

"Jake has shown a great deal of activity during his 1 hour set, with over 1000 steps logged in a short space of time, being 10% of a total recommended step goal for an active individual. A great result indeed, burning over 1,000 calories, the highest of the 3 participants. 1,000 calories is the equivalent of a large fast food meal, so with this result, Jake can reward himself with an unhealthy snack after a busy DJ set without worrying too much about overstepping the mark." - Ewald, content specialist at Quantifi (Jawbone distributor South Africa).

Death Panthers

James Nevin plays guitar for the Death Panthers, a garagy, noisy, surfy punk rock band that has one other member. The sound is raw and unpolished as James is.

Age: 18

Height: 1.93

Weight: 103kg

How fit are you? I don't know how to run or anything like that.

How active are you normally? I have to walk to Castle Bar pretty often.

Describe your set. We were pretty drunk from a long day of watching the other bands, so when we got on stage it was pretty surreal. Five songs in or so, we started experiencing a bit of technical difficulties on my side, but they were mainly my fault. Other than that, we had a super great time with a super great crowd keeping us going. The organization backstage was also super rad.

Which of your tracks do you think you went hardest? We have one instrumental called Mexico and I tend to party the hardest to that, but Death Shark was also great fun that night. 

What will you do with your Jawbone after the experiment? My mom runs marathons and shit so she's getting gifted the band, although I'm pretty reluctant to do so because, ask all of my friends, the app is constantly open on my phone. Such interesting reading. 

Were you surprised by any of the data? I was surprised by how much I moved around on stage, 2km is almost definitely the most I've ever done in one activity.

What added features could this thing benefit from? I'd liked to have seen my heart rate whenever I opened the app but that's probably possible, I'm just really useless with technology. 

"James moved a whopping 2,5k steps, bringing him to the top of the leader board achieving 25% of a daily goal in just 45 minutes. This result could also largely be attributed to James presumingly wearing his Jawbone UP3 band on his strumming arm, indicating an increased result in activity. With the first half of the performance showing a higher level of activity than the second, this could be attributed to faster songs, heavier rhythms and an increased level of engaging the crowd. Burning 779 calories in such a short space of time is an exceptional result!" - Ewald, content specialist at Quantifi (Jawbone distributor South Africa).


Jack Parow

Jack Parow is the romantic Afrikaans rapper who has toured overseas, collaborated with Die Antwoord, made a baby with a swimwear model and gone platinum.

Age: 33

Height: 1.8

Weight: 85kg

How fit are you? Pretty fit. But mostly drinking fit.

How active are you normally? I surf, box, play golf and rugby and I also play a lot of shows. So pretty active actually now that I think about it. Fuck, I should become less active or I will have to start wearing cycling shorts like a doos.

Describe your set. F**kn p*es cool. F*k. Blew my f**kn mind.

Which of your tracks do you think you went hardest? 'Dans Dans Dans' or 'Bloubek'.

What will you do with your Jawbone after the experiment? Sell it for booze money, but if nobody wants it I’ll probably just use it as a cable tie.

"Jack Parow’s one hour set definitely showed some impressive results. With a total burn of 658 calories, and 552 steps logged, Jack showed a slightly more active result than Jake the DJ. This is due to his energetic performance on stage, peaking in the second half when the energy of the show showed a significant uptake. During one hour, Jack achieved 5% of a daily step goal for a fit and healthy individual. Jack’s calorie burn shows that he can indulge in 2 slices of pizza without worrying too much about the consequences." - Ewald, content specialist at Quantifi (Jawbone distributor South Africa).

The lesson we learned here?

Next time we should use athletes and the Sports Science Institute instead of rockstars. Still, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to an experiment, just data, and after viewing each performer's information, it must be said that the only person who worked harder than these three musicians was the sponsorship guy who accused us of leveraging off the festival. Ho ho! That guy's stats would’ve been off the charts the way he pushed his luck, calling our experiment an activation and demanding things like R140k (ex vat) and 20 Jawbone units if we wanted to shoot our friends backstage. And this is after we paid for our own tickets! Not since that douchebag hedgefund bro jacked the price of a pill from $13 to $750 have we witnessed such blatant greed. 

Take it easy chap, you'll strain something.