Archive: Pit Stories Columns
Other than New Release Friday, each Tuesday is always my favorite day of the week - because it means more heavy metal Pit Stories to share!
This week we've got a tale of a show absolutely filled to the brim with shenanigans, and it just happens to have been the band's debut live performance. Guitarist Adrian Barnes from New Brunswick progressive metal band Tactus tells the story like this:
We have a bunch of funny things that actually occurred at our very first live show ever in 2013. We were playing at Pub Down Under in Saint John (which we’ve played a few times now, great little spot!). As most pubs have, there were a few weekend regulars who just happened to be at the pub during the metal show, some of whom clearly didn’t understand what to expect in the pit. In the middle of one of our songs, a few people were moshing and pushing each other a bit, and one of them bumped into this dude at the bar - he was loaded, and did not understand what was happening nor did he take it well.
He threw up his fists like he was in a boxing match and then chased the kid who bumped into him around the mosh pit for several seconds trying to hit him. Everyone was laughing, but the dude had a burning rage in his eyes that was actually pretty frightening. We were a bit worried for a second, but the door guy managed to grab a hold of him and took him outside to explain what was happening. It was pretty funny to see someone have to be taken aside after being struck in a mosh pit and get a crash course in metal culture.
Another amusing thing at that show was that at the time, the venue didn’t actually have a stage, so we were playing on the floor. The ladies washroom was just to the left of us, and our guitarist Alec had to keep stepping aside mid-song to let people by him to go use the washroom. It was simultaneously irritating and hilarious, because he just looked so awkward trying to play his parts while moving about precariously to let people past him.
Finally, another one of the locals who just happened to be at the bar, and who was clearly extremely intoxicated, came up to each of us after the show while we were loading out and had us all sign a napkin. It’s always humbling when someone wants your autograph, but it was also very hard to not laugh about it because it was only our first show and he was completely zonked . . . plus it was a napkin!
Tactus is gearing up to drop new album "Bending Light" on October 7th, 2016. Both a full song and an album teaser trailer are available below. More...
For this week's Pit Story we go back more than a decade to a time when shows tended to get a lot more rowdy than they do now ('course, anybody who saw Slayer in the late '80s during shows that started riots is probably laughing pretty hard at the thought of 2002 being anything close to extreme for live shows).
Our Pit Story today comes courtesy of Dave Gates from Season of Arrows, recalling an insane performance from The Dillinger Escape Plan at Furnace Fest 2002. Dave retells the story like this:
Brandon, Brad, and I were fortunate to play this festival in Birmingham, AL. We were in a band called Fall With Me at the time. I remember it was very hot outside and there were so many people there. It was my first hardcore 3-day festival experience. I was into a lot of the bands that played, such as The Dillinger Escape Plan, Zao, Norma Jean, Bleeding Through, Shai Hulud, Eso-Charis, etc. to name a few. Most of the bands put on a great show that weekend. However, there was one that pulled off live stage antics and a jaw dropping performance like I have never seen before!
That band was, The Dillinger Escape Plan. I was very familiar with them and I knew they played very mathematical technical noisy hardcore. I had heard that their live show was truly incredible. I remember, they just got a new singer, perhaps that why this particular show was so insane, like he had something to prove. They started off playing and moving around quite a bit, which was typical of bands of that ilk. However, I noticed early on the singer hit his head on the headstock of one of their guitars. It was bleeding pretty bad. He takes his shirt off and wraps it around his head like fucking Rambo. Then he proceeds to climb up this light beam pole which was about 25-30 feet high. He was screaming at the top of his lungs bleeding through his shirt he wrapped around his head. Ha.
Then one of the guitarist jumps up and nose dives straight into the crowd with the headstock of his guitar pointing towards the insane pit. The singer comes down form the pole and then picks up the mic stand and holds it over his head like Conan while screaming like a mad man, flawlessly I might add. This is one of those mic stands that has the heavy circle weight on the end and he grabs the mic from it and throws the stand into the massive spinning circle pit. A few songs later, he takes one of the guitarists 4x12 cabs and tosses it into the pit. People were pulling it apart like it was the flesh of a human during a violent zombie attack. I saw tons of kids with pieces of the speaker cones, tolex, and wires flinging them around to the beat of the song all while moshing. If that wasn’t enough, they started to play my favorite song from them called "43% Burnt." I forgot to mention they had a fire breather dude this whole time this was going on up on stage with them.
They all eventually leave the stage and light the drum kit on fire and then one of the guitarist plugs in and starts to play the awesome main riff of the song again, which is so heavy still to this day. He keeps playing it over and over, meanwhile the drums are burning behind him. The next thing I know, the drummer runs from beside the stage and jumps back on the kit and starts to play along with this riff hitting the drums as hard as he possibly can. They all come back in and finish a lengthy added ending to this brutal song. It was a site to see man, I will never forget that show.
We managed to dig up some footage from that wild performance back in '02 - check it out below! Nashville’s Season Of Arrows will release new album “Give it to the Mountain" via Static Tension Recordings on October 28th, 2016. A teaser trailer is available after the Furnace Fest footage. More...
It's Tuesday Pit Story time yet again! This week we shift away from the moshing fans and onto the stage itself.
With so many moving parts and many elements outside the musicians' control, there's always room for something to go wrong during a live show, and dealing with those sudden issues is something every performer needs to learn sooner or later.
For this week's Pit Story, Medevil shares two tales of when things didn't quite go as planned on the stage:
We had a pretty weird set when we played a show at the Railway Club two years back. During the second song of our set, "Mayan Rituals" (now known as "A Sacrifice"), our bass player Eric Wesa's bass string broke and he had to run through the audience and find a bass string. The crowd thought it was awesome, and when Eric came back on stage he arrived just in time to hit the last note of the song. I'm sure he felt like a metal god in that moment.
Also, during this exact show, singer Liam Collingwood collapsed for a few seconds due to dehydration. After the show when we spoke to the people in the crowd, it was pretty funny to hear that they thought it was part of the show. They said he looked like he was just getting really involved in the music and that it was an awesome stage antic.
Gather 'round metal heads, it's Pit Story time!
This week we've got two for the price of one, as Francisco Ramirez of Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based group Volunteer shares two epic tales of live mayhem in Chicago.
The first deals with cops breaking up a show... while beating down some Nazi punks! The second shifts focus to a different venue where free flowing beer got the fans a little two rowdy. Ramirez spins these tales like this:
When I worked at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago there was some show that drew a crowd of SHARP (Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudice) and old fashion Nazi skinheads. I don't remember the band but I remember the Nazi's bum rushing the front door with lead pipes and attacking people in the show. My staff and I stopped most of the violence but there was still a lot of damage done. Lots of blood and people on the ground. The bartender called the police as soon as everything happened. 5 paddy wagons and 10 police cars showed up and dragged out all the Nazis. The police beat the fuck out of all the Nazi skinheads and arrested them for assault. The image of Chicago Police pressing and crushing the skinheads outside the venue is still vivid in my head. By the way, after the cops demolished the skins, one came up to me and showed me his Ramones and Crass tattoo, I offered a beer and he drank it. I know cops suck most of the times, but there are are moments.
I was playing the Blue Flamingo in Austin, TX in the late 90's. I was in a fast drunk punk band called Traitors from Chicago, we had songs no longer than a minute and half. Anyways, the Blue Flamingo was a drag bar earlier in the night and they had punk shows late night. We had to headline for some reason, but they kept giving us free beer all night so we said fuck it. So it turns out that we were not only the people getting free beer. One of the bartenders threw up in one of the beer coolers and they were just washing off the beer and giving it away. This meant that everyone was drinking for free and was getting rowdy. The place was tiny and the bands played in the front of the bar in front of a window, the crowd was having fun. By the time we started at 1AM, shit was bonkers. We played 15 songs in 20 minutes. The crowd wanted one more and we had learned Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" so we decided to play it. With in the first 10 seconds people were jumping off the bar, which is right next to the stage, into the crowd. Bar stools were flying and people were having fun, then someone dove out of the front window. Yep they ran through the band and dove through the window. Everyone stopped for a second and once he got up, we finished the song.
Ready for another Tuesday Pit Story metal fans?
Today we have Italian power/prog icons DGM on board for a new tale involving the musicians having a little bit too much fun before the show, but trying their drunk damnedest to put on a killer gig anyway.
The story comes from a live appearance five years back while the band was on tour with Symphony X. DGM tells the tale like this:
It was the last gig of Symphony X's 2011 tour for "Iconoclast." We supported Symphony X throughout their whole European tour in 2011 across all Europe and of course lots of funny moments come back to my mind. We were in London at the O2 in the dressing rooms area and all the crew and band from Symphony X arrived to gives us some presents... from what I can remember it was a bottle of Jack Daniel's (or two...?).
Since you cannot bring them on a plane and we were supposed to be in Italy the day after, we had this brilliant idea of finishing them right in that moment. I know this sounds like the typical Motley Crue-style, but I can assure you that it's not that easy if you play this fast progressive intricate stuff for an hour!!!!
Somehow we managed to finished the show and we continued with beers and whatever during the whole SyX set... during their last song we invaded the stage and each one of us “stalked” their “alter-ego”... I went to Romeo's side, Fabio went to Jason's Drums and so on... you know we were and we still are major fan of the band and I remember that they let us play their instruments for a short time during the song, and I can recall clearly that I personally fucked up every note of that passage of music, and all the other guys in the band did pretty much the same... ahahahah. This was so embarrassing in front of the audience and in front of the SyX guy, but in the end a funny memory!
Frontiers Music Srl will release the brand new album from Italian prog metal masters DGM, entitled "The Passage," on August 26th. Check out the songs "Ghost Of Insanity" and "Fallen" below. More...
Ready for another set of Pit Stories from the metal world? This week's tale twosome arrives courtesy of experimental U.S. outfit Gus McArthur, who shares stories (and some awesome video) of epic pits at two very different shows from Babymetal and Megadeth.
One of the coolest pits we have ever been in was Babymetal's first U.S. show in L.A. The head of their fan club comes all the way from Japan to coordinate the wall of death, which is dividing the crowd in half down the middle and waiting to charge. We stood divided for maybe 3 minutes before the song came in at the right part to charge, I honestly don't know how anyone didn't get hurt. It was fun and good vibes all around, not quite like getting punched in the face in a Cannibal Corpse pit, but close.
Tuesday's here and it's time for another round of heavy metal Pit Stories! This week sees a host of tales from across years worth of attending shows all brought together in one place.
Joeseph Woodbury of Armed With Books shares a veritable bazaar of the most bizarre events from heavy metal and hardcore shows. From overly drunk assholes at grind shows to truly odd one-man performances, he recalls the events in question like this:
With over 15 years of playing and attending shows, I have seen many things that are worthy of a mention, and to be honest I’m finding it hard to pin point just one story. The most horrific was seeing a man stage dive, the crowd parted and I watched him land head first onto a concrete floor. He laid there twitching, some people tried to help but because of the injury sustained nobody wanted to move him in case he had also damaged his spine. The band stopped playing and were just looking around like WTF do we do. Thankfully an ambulance crew turned up very rapidly and the band and moshing resumed before the man was even out of the room.
Probably the strangest stories from shows I have played seem to come in the form of the opening act. I once had a man open for me wearing nothing but pants and a horse head mask playing feedback for 10 minutes. I also had a man with what I can only call a keyboard and a Sega Mega drive hooked up to a big speaker, playing his own version of the kids song "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" with dance moves included.
But the most violent would be when I watched a grindcore band play to a small crowd in a tiny pub. Some guy was pissed as a fart and stumbling all over the place. He was on stage with the band continuously knocking into the guitarist and trying to sing into the mike, the band was getting very annoyed with him as too were the crowd. The band was about 12 minutes into the set and for a grind band probably 15 songs deep, the drunken guy then stumbles and falls face first into the drum kit, knocking over the ride and floor tom, almost pushing the drummer off his stool.
Obviously, the band stop playing to see what this idiot had done and without even thinking the drummer hits the drunk guy over the head with his stick as hard as he could before the guy had a chance to stand up. The sound of wood on skull, froze the whole room, the thud was frightfully grotesque. The drunken man tries to stand like nothing had happen and the hit had maybe sobered him up, but the moment he put his hands to his face and realized his eye socket was sunken inwards to an unrecognizable shape, his face went white and he collapses onto the floor, falling forward once again in to the kit. The drummer realizing the seriousness of this assault begins to quickly pack away his breakables.
The band silently follow suit and all 4 members are out of the venue before anyone has a chance to say a word. I don’t know what happened to the drunken guy but I do believe he deserved what he got. Yes it was a seriously hard hit he took, but not only did he ruin the bands night who had probably traveled miles to get to the venue, the promoter who took weeks in planning the show. He ruined the night for all members of the crowd who had paid money to watch.
Ready for a new Pit Story heavy metal fans? This week we've got JP LaChapelle from Keychain to share a few he's accumulated over the years.
This week's entry is actually an audio story told as you'd hear it outside a show bullshitting with the band.
Below you can hear JP share a bevy of road report tales (all somehow combined with a common theme of strip clubs) about the learning curve of not partying too hard while touring and dealing with tour van break downs.
I know everybody's still waiting on the second half of that epic pit story from Panzerfaust, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait just a bit longer on that front. We finally got in touch and the band is keen to share their recollections of the event, so hopefully next week!
In the mean time, we have a good old bloody tale from Forty Winters vocalist Xavier Vicuna. Xavier tells the gruesome story of unintended pit mayhem like this:
The date was Saturday, August 15th, 2015. We were on tour with Shai Hulud and xBishopx, it was our last date in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Now, we were already warned that Myrtle Beach kids can be kind of crazy and all over the place, I didn't really think anything of it, haha. Fast forward to the hometown heavyweights Down In It destroying their set.
Out of nowhere someone launches a bar stool with all their might, legitimately across the room; and nails their unsuspecting friend square in the face. I have honestly never seen so much blood in my entire life.
The dude ended up going straight to the ER for stitches and still made it back in time to catch the Hulud set. He was a real good sport and took it like a champ. I snapped a picture next to one (yes one) of the pools of blood he left behind. Great night and show.
What's the most damage you've accidentally done to a buddy in the pit? Let us know in the comments section!
The South Florida heavy metal outfit Forty Winters is currently gearing up for a July 22nd release date for sophomore album "Rotting Empire," coming via Dead Truth Recordings. Check out a lyric video for opening track "Summoning Spirits" right here. More...
You know what Tuesday means: time for some more Pit Stories from metal shows!
In recent weeks we've covered acquiring some interesting scars, making a fool of yourself in front of guys who would later be your band mates, getting crushed by a wall of death, and an ill-fated train ride to see The Misfits.
Today we've got a tale of the odd ways people behave at shows, from hating on the band to straight up getting it on in the pit rather than just heading home for the hanky panky.
Shawn Pelata of U.S. power / thrash metal band Final Sign tells the story like this:
Back in the very early 1990s, I was in a band called Oracle. We did what a lot of bands did at the time. We played a lot of shows, wrote a lot of songs, did some recording and basically tried to be rock stars. We played kind of a blend of power metal and thrash. We slugged it out in the clubs in the area like any other metal band, and we saw our fair share of strange things. At one of our shows in particular, I saw two.
One evening in Winston-Salem, NC, as we played our sets (we would play two sets of all original material back then), periodically I would see a man pacing back and forth, from one side of the stage to the other and back again. He was carrying a beer...and he was flipping us off. Now, it wasn't uncommon to see a bunch of middle fingers in a rowdy crowd back then. It was almost a salute. However, this guy, seemed to really hate what we were doing. He slowly, intentionally, made his way back and forth behind the crowd, his middle finger raised high and aimed directly at the stage, and was just glaring at us. I saw him 3 or 4 times throughout the night, but never saw him once we were off stage.
That same evening, as we played our song "Valley Of Sadness," one of my guitar players and I noticed a man and woman in the crowd just straight up "dirty dancing." Again, we played like a power metal/thrash hybrid and here are two people, obviously feeling zero pain, just grinding away, holding drinks, to a song about finding your way out of the valley of sadness before your life fades away. Although they were fully clothed, I truly believe she went home pregnant.
Final Sign's latest album "Hold High The Flame" is out now via Divebomb Records / Tridoid Records. More...
Gather 'round metal heads, it's story time!
That's right, we're back for your Tuesday Pit Story, this time from Dan Gargiulo of U.S. outfit Revocation.
For this week's tale, Dan shares a story about getting knocked out quite unexpectedly in Boston... in full view of a future band member. Gargiulo tells the story like this:
I was about 19 and a band I was in played a show in Boston. I was watching one of the openers fairly close to the front row. Next thing I know I'm having a dream about some clouds and stuff, but a few moments later I regained consciousness and my buddies were asking if I was alright.
Apparently a pit busted out and before I even realized it, some dude cracked me in the jaw hard enough to knock out a skinny teenager. I drank some water and I was awake but definitely confused and I didn't really know where I was. We were on next so I just got up on stage and did my thing. I'm told we played alright, but I don't remember many details from that night. I wonder if I had a concussion?
Anyway I'd love to file that under "embarrassing scenarios that nobody but me remembers", but I can't, because one of the attendees of that show was none other than David Davidson, who I would end up meeting a few years later. When I joined Revocation, we had some laughs over that story.
Revocation's new album "Great Is Our Sin" is coming July 22nd via Metal Blade Records. A lyric video off the release is available below. The band also currently on tour in North America - get a full list of upcoming dates right here. More...
If you were hoping for the follow-up to last week's Vow Of Thorns pit story about a crazy show in Orlando, sadly I've got to let you down: Panzerfaust hasn't sent me the other half of the tale yet!
We've got something just as good though, as Australian group Be'lakor has got in touch to share a tale from the pit in which an overzealous fan getting injured in the pit led to a very happy ending indeed:
Many years ago, we were playing a lot of local shows in Melbourne and routinely had quite a few regulars show up. One of these guys would really get into it—head banging, shouting and, as is tradition in Australia, heckling the band. On one occasion, he was moshing with such reckless abandon that he struck his forehead on the fold back monitor. He split the skin open pretty deeply, there was a lot of blood and it left a Harry Potter scar on him. This didn’t slow him down one bit though. Fast forward to 2016 and this guy – Elliott – has now joined Be’lakor as our new drummer. He’s a wizard behind the kit!
Be’lakor os a progressive/melodic death metal band from Melbourne that will release fourth album, "Vessels," worldwide through Napalm Records on June 24th. The full album has also come online for advance streaming and can be heard right here. More...
Time for the next in our ongoing series of heavy metal Pit Stories! This week Canadian black metal group Vow Of Thorns shares a tale of an infamous night with a very drunk crowd where nothing went quite as planned. Vow Of Thorns tells the story like this:
Last June we were playing a show in Sarnia, Ontario, with Wounds and Panzerfaust, and the whole night was just ridiculous. It was a big party in town that weekend and we had one drunk and drug fueled crowd.
During our set some coked out old guy gets going wild at the front of the stage. At one point I look at him and he’s got his hands on his belt undoing his pants. I’m thinking this guy is about to whip his dick out at us, so I turn my back to the crowd and jab our bassist with my guitar to get his attention. He looks up just in time to see this agile old fella with his pants around his ankles bent over damn near touching his toes. Now he’s disgusted and I’m laughing my ass off.
After he got his pants back he decides he’d like to join us on stage. There was no way I was about to let this guy on the stage. He’s right in front of me trying to climb up. He would’ve ended up right on my pedal-board and fucked something up. So I thought, do I kick him in the head? Or do I kick him in the chest? I figured a boot to the face might be a bit much, so I gently nudged him off the stage… well I don’t think I kicked him that hard, but he took quite a tumble.
We had overheard that guy bragging about being a KKK member and spouting some white power bullshit, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. The night just got worse from there. Mainly just a few idiots causing problems. One fight that started inside and ended in a street fight. I only caught part of that. But the night was capped off with one strange little sadist offering himself to Panzerfaust. That part of the story, however, is probably better told by Panzerfaust's vocalist...
The Ontario-dwelling black metal doom fusionists making up Vow Of Thorns will release "Farewell To The Sun" on July 15th, which will be preceded by Canadian tour dates. Check out a track off the album below. More...
Time for another Pit Story my metal loving friends! Sorry about missing last week - I was a wee bit busy in the hospital having my son be born and forgot all about the column.
Now that we're back on track, we've got a tale from Denmark's Helhorse, who warns about the possibility of a wall of death going bad if the crowd doesn't have the right energy going. Helhorse tells the story like this:
At some point (no one remembers excatly when) after the release of our second album ”Oh Death” our lead singer Mikkel – when playing live shows - got into the habit of doing a a wall of death, and before the audience would run into each other, he would get off stage and put him self in the middle telling people to do their worst and really rough him up. And it always seemed to work, the crowd would go nuts after that.
At one show in a small Danish city he did it once again. Up to that point it had been kind of a weird show. The vibe was sort of off. The crowd for some reason seemed a bit pissed off (maybe they all simultaneously had a shitty week.) But at the same time they didn't move a lot, so we weren't getting the reaction we wanted to.
A lot of tension was building. So Mikkel did his thing and put him self in the middle of the wall of death. And when it came to it, they just tackled him like it was the rugby match of the century, they were furious, it looked absolutely crazy.
Right after they hit him, he went down, and for 5 or 10 seconds he stayed down. We all started to get worried, but he slowly came on his feet, his face slightly bloody looking very confused. Mikkel has never – for some reason – put him self in that situation again.
Helhorse just released a self-titled album last month after signing with Spinefarm Records earlier this year. Check out a music video taken off the album for the "Hell Of A Ride" track below. You can also follow the latest on Helhorse at Facebook here. More...
In recent weeks we've explored quite the range of show stories, including an epic drunk journey to see the Misfits, a truly violent farewell show, and a sad case of a mosh pit turning on the hardcore kid.
Today's Pit Story comes courtesy of psychedelic outfit Suns Of Thyme. Drummer Jascha Kreft shares these memories of teenage enthusiasm and more restrained adults trying to have a good time:
The most exciting mosh pit I ever experienced during a show of mine that was with my very first band back in my hometown in the most provincial backwater in northern Germany 10 years ago. I remember about 200 or so 14 year old teens "moshing" their hearts out (for most of them the first time I guess), falling on the ground constantly, older attendees laughing about them but enjoying themselves.
So far it seems to me that the audiences in Berlin are a little more calm, or more into themselves or just spoiled but there are exceptions. I had my last proper mosh at a concert of Fuzz. People were hanging from the ceiling right from the first song.
Suns Of Thyme recently inked a deal with Napalm Records and is gearing up to release new album "Cascades" on May 27th, 2016. More...
We've got one hell of a pit story this week metal heads, going from S.O.D.'s Billy Milano crushing a fan's hand to a truly epic trek to see The Misfits that's worthy of a Harold & Kumar style movie.
Hilariously, the vast majority of this pit story takes place nowhere near the pit, as a drunken idiot friend tanks all chances of getting to the show. Vocalist Mike Stack from False Gods tells the tale like this:
I have slowed down a bit in my present age as far as going to shows but back in my more carefree and reckless years it was probably my favorite pastime. I think a big part of the adventure was taking the train into New York city from the island because it gave you ample time to get your drink on.
I remember one Halloween getting so lit on cheap rum that the last thing I remember is walking on the city streets in the middle of a Halloween parade and my friend looked at me and said “I have to go kill a midget” and started sprinting through the people full speed. I didn’t see him again for a few days after that. One time the exact same friend, during S.O.D. was standing next to me in the front of the stage screaming in my face. I had assumed he was so excited by finally getting to see them because they had been on a hiatus but to my disbelief he was screaming because Billy Milano was standing on his hand and he was screaming in pain.
My all time favorite story though is when me, my brother and two of my friends went to go see the Misfits back in 1996. During the Michael Graves years. We had a handle of Bacardi rum with us and the ride to the city was only an hour. The first 20 or so minutes went without a hitch, small talk and some laughs, then for whatever reason my friend (we'll call him "Tim") was like “we have to finish this bottle before we get to Penn station” I am usually under the assumption that putting any type of deadline on yourself is a dangerous game to play. After this statement he proceeded to guzzle almost half the bottle of booze until I had to actually interject and take it away from his mouth.More...
It's Tuesday again already? How about another epic Pit Story then?
This week we get a tale from Hollow Bones, reminiscing about a chaotic night where a crowd of music fanatics came together to send off a beloved band with a frenzied gift of violence! Hollow Bones vocalist Patrick Anthony tells the story like this:
The year was 2014. We were at the Loft for Breathtaker’s farewell show. The glory days of Poughkeepsie shows had long since passed. Tuesday night local shows, with a turnout of 200 kids was a distant memory clung to desperately by veterans of the local scene. However, when some of those veterans happened to be in a band that had been around since the aforementioned glory days is throwing a farewell show, people come out. They come out in droves, and they come out to fucking party.
This was one of those occasions that will go down as a legendary night in local show history. The crowd was warmed up throughout the night by all the other local bands, but the moment Breathtaker came out on stage, the entire room turned utterly violent. One of our friends started moving the pit from one end of the room, all the way to the bar in the next room over, then came back swinging, jumped onto the stage, kicked a number of people in the face, all before diving face first into a sea of swinging fists. At one point there wasn’t even a pit in the general sense of the word. It was just people fighting each other. Punching each other in the back of the head, in the face, kicking each other, falling down, getting stomped on, etc. and at the end of it all, no one was mad. No one took any of that anger away with them. We offered it up to our friends as a gift for their last performance.
It was like all of those nostalgic feelings that people held onto were being manifested that night on the floor of the Loft, while a soundtrack of breakdowns played over everything. It was pure and utter chaos. There have been plenty of shows that all of us had been to for bigger bands that had awesome pits, where people climbed on each other, and swung hard. But this was special. This was our night to relive our memories, and send our friends off the best way that we could.
Ready for a new bout of pit mayhem today, metal heads? This week pit story comes courtesy of Ontario-based outfit Black Absinthe.
We've all seen the hardcore kids throwing the windmills and fighting invisible ninja, which the more casual show-goers generally don't care for. They might be obnoxious, but you can't fault their enthusiasm at a live show.
Black Absinthe shares this tale of one such individual who unfortunately reaps what he sows... but soldiers on anyway:
The first few formative years of the band, we played a lot at a place called 751. Located on 751 Queen St. in Toronto this was our preferred and beloved dive bar for many years. Cheap beer 'n shot combos combined with dirty metal shows in the basement made it an ideal spot to start playing.
Our bass player Kyle Scarlett was working there as a bartender and privy to a front row seat of the bloodbath that occurred before we had a chance to grace the stage. It was the second band of a four four bill, good and crowded in the basement. Given that the capacity down there was something like 50 people max we had a good crowd of about 70 throughout the night.
The earlier bands were more on the hardcore end. And with hardcore you're gonna have some motherfucker throwing down. I'm all for getting worked up to the music and givin' 'er (windmilling at shows with dreads has led to some altercations) but the dude was just pushing everyone out the way that wasn't about to do Super Saiyan back at him. You could feel the crowd feeling the same thing like, "fuck can someone just give the dude a decent elbow and we can all get back to watching the show without guarding from a random clock in the face?”
So the vibe against the kid is turning, sitting behind the bar I can just feel it. Then eventually BAM! He finally gets a hit that launches him over to the wall (which I should mention was fairly stuccoed. If I had to give it a description I’d say...coarse?). Seeing the kid after I immediately take back whatever past feeling I felt about hoping he 'gets it' because this kid got it hard.
As I get a look at his face I see this front pepperoni slice sliver of his nose is hanging straight off the bottom of where it should be. Straight up figure 8 of fucked up face. Dangling, asking to be ripped off like a ticket from a skeeball machine. The open bit is gushing plenty of blood to clear out the room until the next band sound checked but I will credit the kid with being hard. He wanted to stay for the whole show. Pained me to tell him go to the hospital, stitch the front of your fucking nose back on, and that we'd be back another time.
Black Absinthe's upcoming album "Early Signs Of Denial" was produced by Dave Baksh (Cross Dog, The Mahones) and mixed and mastered by Frank Gryner (Rob Zombie- Hillbilly Deluxe). Set for release on May 13th, 2016, the album is the band's first professional recording and follows three self recorded EPs. More...
Time for a new Pit Story! After hearing about good karma with a travelling bottle of Jack Daniels and a tale of a missing yet indestructible guitar, this week we hear about a bevy of entertaining live shows from Atlanta outfit Dead Register.
We usually get some odd tales told in offbeat ways, but sometimes, these tales from musicians just absolutely sing with poetic wonder. This is one of those times.
Vocalist M. Chvasta of Dead Register today offers up an awe-inspiring retelling of a string of Jesus Lizard shows, in which girl bits both were and were not fingered, and penis both was and was not seen. He tells the story like this:
One time in the 90’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard show. Some band that sounded like Jesus Lizard opened. Two for one.
One time in the 90’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard show. Some whorish girl wearing super-short shorts wanted tons of attention from men. She would NOT stop crowd surfing, which was totally annoying (like most crowd surfers). She did not have underwear on. Dudes were fingering her girly-bits as she crowd surfed, to her delight. I think I saw Dave Yow’s dick, too.
One time in the 2000’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard reunion show in Nashville. Their tour shirt design was a bag of money, perfectly fitting. My then friend, but now wife and bandmate went with me. We moshed like champions, like it was in the 90’s. She did not crowd surf, nor did she get fingered. I ran into Larry from Pegboy who is a fine gentleman and a wonderful heartfelt singer. Pegboy did not open this show. Pegboy does not sound like Jesus Lizard.
One time in the 2000’s, I went to another Jesus Lizard reunion show in Atlanta. I wore an orange flannel shirt. Like it was the 90’s. Except I did not see Dave Yow’s dick.
Jesus Lizard and Pegboy are not metal.
Fuck crowd surfers.
We appreciate the clarification at the end there Chvasta! Dead Register will release new album "Fiber" on May 7th and two tracks off the release can be heard below. For more info on the band, head over to the Dead Register Facebook profile. More...
Every week we catch up with bands from across the globe to get their favorite stories from live shows. While most of these take place squarely within the mosh pit, sometimes the most interesting shenanigans take place right before or after the show, as is the case this week with a tale about a missing guitar. Finnish outfit Shiraz Lane shares this story:
For some reason the capricious forces of the universe have had their fun at times with me (Miki Kalske). One reputable example occurred on one average show day. We were preparing our gear at our rehearsal place and heading for load in as always. After we got our gear all packed up, we drove to the club.
Everything was going smooth and until it was time for sound check; I couldn’t find my guitar anywhere although I had a clear memory trace that I brought it out of our rehearsal place and left it leaning against the vehicle to be loaded among the last items. After a frustrating and inconclusive search, a horrendous thought rushed through my head that perhaps we had forgotten the guitar back at the rehearsal place. I had a bad gut feeling that maybe it was somewhere outside laying open and vulnerable for some dishonest citizen to steal.
We called our landlord who had both good and bad news; luckily the guitar was there, but apparently a car had driven over it since it had tire marks stained on it. To make matters worse, at that time I didn’t carry the guitar in a hard case, but in a flimsy carry-on bag instead to save space and my back when occasionally traveling on foot after a gig. After an hours excruciating drive back to square one, we located the beaten-up instrument. My heart skipped a beat as I opened the bag to see if all the bits and pieces were still intact.
At first glance the guitar seemed to be alright (miraculously) and even after closer analysis I was relieved to notice that the only flaw was that it was out of tune. After a quick tuning session and a double check I was ready, once again, to hit the stage having my precious six-string hanging around my neck. To this day I still play with that same guitar, recorded our debut album with it and have played all our gigs with it ever since.
By no means do I want to end this short story with a hint of endorsement, but I am inclined to thank ESP Guitars (although I am not an official artist in your roster). At least this guitar is certified to withstand a car, literally.
Frontiers Music Srl released the new Shiraz Lane album "For Crying Out Loud" on April 15th, 2016. Check out a music video off the album below, and more info can be found at the band's Facebook profile here. More...