Pit Stories: Losing A Shoe And Taking A Beating To See Pantera Up Close And Personal
We've been chatting up metal fans and band members everywhere to get their best pit stories from live metal shows. This week Tony Piccoli from Detroit prog metal act Imminent Sonic Destruction shares the following tale of suffering abuse in the pit to see Pantera up close and personal:
Back when I was living in Arizona, and still in high school, I attended the Pantera/Soulfly concert at the Mesa Amphitheater. It was my first Pantera concert, and I was supremely excited. I was very much into Pantera at the time, and NOTHING was going to stop me from getting to the very front of the crowd. I literally memorized lines from their famed "home videos." I withstood the pain of being smashed into the bar of the rail at the front. I've been in many pits in my time, but this concert was special to me, and I wanted to be at the very front to witness the band in all their glory. As the pit circled behind me during the opening acts, the force that was pushing me into the top of the railing (which lined up perfectly to my chest) was growing stronger, and the pain was escalating. Using the bar, I started bracing myself, and pushing back into the crowd. This offended the big, giant Mexican dudes behind me. Oh man, they were pissed, and with that, the "fun" began.
The last of the opening bands was wrapping up, and I could feel the energy of the crowd behind me growing as the time for Pantera drew closer. The big guys behind me continued to push into me... sometimes leading with their elbows. I continued to take it, and respond with a pretty powerful push back against them, and the crowd, which continued to anger the big guys. Finally, the last opening band finished up. At this point, there was clear discontent between me and my boys, and the big guys behind me. However, since I was the one pushing back, they were most upset with me.
Fast Forward to Pantera's set. BOOM. The crowd explodes into a violent flowing ocean of humans. It was amazing, and... painful! The big guys behind me were seriously going after me. Multiple elbows to the back, a punch to my shoulder (after all, the pit was directly behind me) and finally, a direct closed fist hit to the back of my head.
I was done. "Fuck this."
I gave one final heavy push back, turned around and hit the big guy in the face, near the top of his head with my open hand. Without taking my hand off of his face, I quickly grabbed the bar on top of the rail that left a sizable bruise on my chest, lifted myself up to the top using the rail and the big guys face, and aimed for the other side of the rail. After getting over the rail, I fell awkwardly, and the big guys were cursing me up and down, to a soundtrack of Pantera. I got back on my feet, only to see that I LOST A FUCKING SHOE! FUCK! "Are you serious?!" I thought to myself, thinking I would have to sit through the rest of this show with one shoe. Just then, I saw my shoe go flying over head, and onto the stage. I lunged towards the stage in an effort to go get my shoe, not thinking that I wasn't welcome up there. A security guard yanked me off the stage before I could get up there. I yelled to him; "MY SHOE!!" ...He thankfully went and got my shoe for me. I walked to the back of the amphitheater, and watched the concert from afar. A little disappointing that I couldn't hang, but I got this story out of it.
A few months later, I was able to see Pantera again at Cobo Arena in Detroit with Morbid Angel and Slayer. It was awesome, and in a way, it made up for the lousy experience in Mesa, Arizona. Pantera is one of the best bands I've ever experienced.
Imminent Sonic Destruction is set to release the "Recurring Themes" album (reviewed here) on February 24th, 2012. You can check out the band's music by heading over to the Imminent Sonic Destruction Facewbook profile here.
Check back in again next Tuesday as we share more pit stories from live shows.
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