Pit Stories: Jason Newsted's Unintentional Stage Dive
The pit is the heart of the metal scene, and just about every metal head has a favorite pit story, which is why each week we check in with musicians from around the globe to get their best tale of moshing mayhem.
Today Detroit act Wilson shares this story of a stage dive gone wrong while the band was supporting Newsted at Highline Ballroom on May 21st, 2013:
Recently Wilson was honored with the privilege of being Jason Newsted’s direct support for his new endeavor aptly called Newsted. We went out on a string of dates from May 15th – 23rd together. Each night venues packed in tons of middle aged veterans of metal who had most likely just dropped off their suits to the dry cleaners on 5th Ave right before they traded their Hush Puppies for a pair of Converse to "kick out the jams" for their well-deserved evening of debauchery. I mean no disrespect here, the folks that were in attendance at these shows were ready to let the juices of the metal parking lot coarse through their veins once again, however, these folks were not there to “mosh it up” like they had in their teens, they wanted to bang their heads, crush some brews and party hard, (as hard as a 40 year old pissed off teen turned carpenter could) but not to harm each other. You could literally see the aggression build in each one of them as Newsted ripped through bangers every night, but never crossing that line…except in NYC.
The gods of metal were toiling with the crowd at the Highline Ballroom and as Newsted starting ripping the opening riffs to Whiplash (the only Metallica cover he played) the crowd went ape shit. Let me precursor this by adding this was the only show on the tour that did not have a barricade of sorts… and after that night it would be the last. About half way through the song (you know the part where “its fucking WHIPLASH”) a rapid fan had let his blood boil enough and just HAD to get on that stage with the legend for some honest to goodness stage divin’. And just as he thought his coast was clear and he spotted an open area to let the hands of the crowd carry him into sweet, sweet drunken revelry …BAM!! His body met the body of a Mr. Jason Newsted. In fact the collision between him and Newsted was so fast and jarring it sent Jason flying off the stage face first into the crowd. Well, the crowd and some floor.
The music stopped, all tried to figure out “what the fuck just happened” people were chanting “ASSHOLE ASSHOLE” security came ripping into the crowd and then the dudes face appeared, very high off the ground for a moment maybe he thought he was in the hands of the loving crowd and all went according to his plan. But as he was being put in a headlock by a 6’5’’ man and as his little man legs flailed around trying to touch the ground beneath him all was clear that he just made a big boo boo and a huge ass out of himself. Jason picked himself back up and carried on the show, barely missing a beat. The only mention of it was something to the effect of “I’ve played a lot of shows in my life and that is the first time anything like has happened. I trust my brothers here to take care of it. Anyone get a good look at that motherfucker? Don't kill him - just bruise him up a bit."
And the show went on just like that.
Want more pit stories? Check out our archive of past tales here and check back in next week for more. Wilson's new album "Full Blast Fuckery" is due out July 9th, 2013 and you can also catch the band live:
7/10: Lansing, MI @ Common Ground Music Festival w/ Slash, Monster Truck and more
8/10: Birch Run, MI @ Dirt Fest
8/17: Richmond, VA @ GWAR-B-Q
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