Archive: Pit Stories Columns
After a McDonald's cheeseburger break down from Zimmer's Hole and fights breaking out in the pit during every. single. song. of an Oceano set, today's Pit Story comes courtesy of Gyre guitarist Chirag Bhatt.
In the tale below, Bhatt reminisces about a simpler time when he wasn't cool enough to listen to At The Gates and ended up stranded atop a table in a sea of thrown fists during a Terror live set:
So, this brief but amusing tale takes place at the now closed Cricket Club in Irvington, New Jersey, sometime in the mid-2000's (honestly, every year from that decade has blurred together in my mind). It was probably my first time at a real hardcore show with bands like Terror and others playing. Though me and a few friends were really only there to see The Black Dahlia Murder because we were in our late teens and nowhere near cool enough to listen to At The Gates.
So, TBDM goes up and crushes their set and I spend the next 10 minutes downing glasses of water for my damaged throat as I had attempted to growl along the previous 30 minutes while forgetting that I don't know the first fucking thing about growling. In any case, it was a fun, crazy time in an old-fashioned metal mosh pit.
Soon enough, Terror goes up and suddenly the mosh pit turned into MJ's "Beat It" video sans the dancing. A flurry of flailing fists and face bandanas eventually lead to my friends and I standing on top of a couple of tables on the edges of the venue because we came to listen to metal, have a good time and not lose teeth. But before we got too down on ourselves for not being so down with the cool kidz, I looked over to the table to my right and saw none other than a few members of TBDM standing right on those tables with us wondering what in the actual fuck was happening - a sentiment we expressed to each other through bewildered looks and monosyllabic grunts of fear. All in all, the moment was a bizarre mix of fanboyism and concern for our physical well-being. But what more can you ask of a metal show?
The band’s new self-released EP "Moirai" is out now and available for stream/purchase at Bandcamp here (also available for listening below). If you missed it, check out Gyre's "I Release" drum playthrough video at this location. More...
It's that time of the week - today comes a new Pit Story from vocalist Brittney Slayes of Unleash The Archers. In this week's tale, Slayes heads back into the pit after a long hiatus to down cold cheeseburgers and potentially ruffied beer at a Zimmer's Hole show...
So I suppose we can begin with the fact that I do not usually go into mosh pits at all; I used to when I was young but got an elbow to the face one night and it just never felt the same after that… Regardless, I am more of a stand at the back and headbang type, unless the band is one of my faves and I’ve had a few too many, then I’ll usually stand at the front and headbang hahaha.
There is a band here in Vancouver called Zimmer’s Hole that is just the raddest most hilarious metal ever, if you’ve never listened to them then I strongly recommend you get your hands on "When You Were Shouting At The Devil;" Gene Hoglan on drums, Chris ‘The Heathen’ Valagao on vocals, seriously just some killer metal, really great for driving in traffic hahaha. Needless to say I was into them pretty hard back in 2009 and when they finally came to Victoria to play a show I was beyond stoked.
I did my darndest to be my usual hide in the back self, but these guys just get you so riled up! The Heathen dresses up like the devil (full red body paint) in assless chaps and a blacksmith’s apron (very Hephaestus) and has awesome props and a voice straight outta the depths of hell. So the beers go back way too easy and next thing I know my favorite song ‘Fista Corpse’ is on and I just can’t help myself. I’m back in the pit like a 15 year old, singing way too loud and fisting the plastic skeleton corpse thing that had been thrown into the pit.
They also have this great thing called a ‘cheeseburger breakdown’ where The Heathen throws McDonald’s cheeseburgers into the audience and you just shouldn’t eat that stuff but here I was sharing a cold cheeseburger probably purchased five hours ago with some random metalhead standing beside me in the pit. Suddenly there’s a beer in my hand to wash the burger down, probably roofied but who cares. The bar we were in was not big, and the area for the mosh pit was probably a third of the floorspace so pretty much the whole bar is in there with me now and it’s sweaty and disgusting and everyone smells like McDonald’s, but it is probably the greatest mosh pit I have ever been in, and thus it was the last because I mean really, how can you top a pit like that?
Unleash The Achers has a new album titled "Time Stands Still" set to drop via Napalm Records on June 26th (EU) and July 10th (North America). Check out a teaser trailer below. More...
The pit is the heart of the metal scene, and there's a 1,001 amazing stories to be found there. We're on a quest to unearth them all!
This week guitarist Raphael Pinsker from New York's Fin'amor shares the following tale of a fight breaking out during every single song of an Oceano set:
It had been a few years since I had last seen Oceano live, the last time being New England Metal & Hardcore Fest. The band is known to "bring the beef" live and I was excited to finally see them again. The amount of energy Oceano brings to the stage is massive and I was looking forward to seeing what would happen at this show.
As I walked into the venue I immediately notice how "DIY" this place looked: makeshift bar? Check. Makeshift bathrooms? Check. On the second floor the toilet was flooded, the sink was stuffed with trash and empty beer cans were afloat at the rim. This place was a complete shit hole, but deep down inside I knew something had to go down that night.
I met up with my buddy Al and we grabbed beers at the "bar." Oceano begins their set and no more than 30 seconds in, the entire place is rocking back and forth. Everyone in the venue gets pushed back, beers are dropping, people are falling on each other, and the pit is raging. First song in: FIGHT. Al and I look at each other confused as kids are trying to break it up. The band continues playing through all of this as if nothing happened.
Oceano moves onto their second song, again another fight. Like clockwork, Oceano is bringing the beef and the fights keep coming. During the breakdown of their sixth song a massive fight breaks out, Al and I look at each other with huge grins on our faces. He points over to the sound booth as we see the sound engineer grab an iron pipe and hop into the crowd to help break the fight up. Staff and security are pulling kids off of each other and kicking them out of the venue.
The house lights get turned on and staff is ejecting everyone in sight. We turn around to the bar and everything has been packed away into blue bins and was being carried upstairs. After the room was cleared Al and I were recapping on what we had just witnessed. Al tells me "There are shows, and then there are shows you remember. This is a show that you will remember for the rest of your life." It's true.
Every week we chat up musicians from throughout the heavy music scene to get their favorite Pit Stories from the mayhem of metal shows.
Today David Defeis of Virgin Steele shares the following tale of a fan who found a rather odd place to take a nap:
Virgine Steele played a place in Staten Island called The Paramount Theatre a couple of times with Manowar. On this one particular evening, during our set I noticed that a kid had passed out inside the bass bin of one of the PA stacks. I asked security to check on him, they said they would, and I assumed that they did and I went about my night doing all the things that one has to do at a gig.
When I finally had a moment to catch a view of the stage once again, somewhere near the end of Manowar's set, I noticed that this same kid was still passed out in the bass bin. I don’t know what happened to him, his hearing or his reproductive capacity… but it could not have been a terribly good thing for him to have been held in the grip of that sonic onslaught for all those hours from 2 very loud groups!
Virgin Steele is gearing up to release "Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation" on June 22nd in Europe and June 23rd in the USA via SPV/Steamhammer. Check out the lyric video for "Lucifer's Hammer" below. More info on the album can be found at this location. More...
Flailing limbs, wheelchair crowd surfing, overturned cars, lost teeth, and mid-show coitus - heavy metal has a million and one Pit Stories and we're going to unearth them all!
This week The Great Discord shares the following tale of a shambling zombie wall of death at a Skinless show:
So we went to this Skinless concert in France at the Hellfest festival in 2008. We were standing in the middle of the crowd when the vocalist called for a wall of death. “What a swell idea” we all thought! So the crowd divided itself down the middle, it was probably around two or three thousand people there. They played this sample from the stage about someone having sex with an amputee. The singer instructed everyone not to do this the regular way but rather as a bunch of fumbling zombies.
When the song began it was basically like everyone got drunk at the same time. So we started walking slowly towards each other looking like a bunch of senior citizens with inner ear infections. It took a while, but we reached the other crowd and everyone just kind of leaned on each other, it was bizarre!
We all laughed so much that we didn't notice when the “zombies” turned into a regular mosh pit. An arm came flying out of no where and knocked one of Fia's front teeth out. The dentists had a hard time making it symmetrical again and if you look closely at one of our teasers or videos you can actually notice one of Fia's front teeth sticking out a little further than the other. So thank you Skinless for lulling us into a false sense of security! Awesome show though.
Video of a Hellfest zombie wall of death can also be seen here: More...
Time for a new Pit Story for all you rabid show loving metal heads. This week U.K. outfit Bad Guys share the following tale of playing a show they hadn't been invited to play and causing a whole lottta ruckus with the Melvins:
Our first gig was in a crowded chalet at a Butlins holiday resort in Minehead, South West Engerland. It was an early All Tomorrow's Parties festival in 2008 curated by Melvins/Mike Patton and we hadn't been asked to play. So we played anyway.
Sneaking the equipment in, shoving the fold up beds out of the way and inviting the entire drunken festival back to the chalet was the easy part, getting them out without trashing the place was a little trickier. But we'd not planned that far ahead.
We had no songs, just handful of riffs and Stuart sang lyrics from a little notebook he had that looked like a miniature bible. It was cold outside so people started climbing through the windows and it quickly became a packed, sweaty party. Everyone was drunk enough to not notice we didn't have any songs and starting going a little nuts. There was a dude crowd surfing in the kitchenette area and breakfast cereal was being thrown around the lounge/sleeping room, mud was being trampled up the walls, ceiling and television and fist holes started to appear in the thin plasterboard walls.
It all started going really wrong when Jared from the Melvins climbed through the window, standing on the power cable to my amp, ripping it out of the socket and the kitchen table collapsed under the weight of the 7 dudes standing on it. It became a drum - vocal ensemble for a short while after that until security finally swamped the chalet and shut us down, some disgruntled kid head butted a security guard and was being pinned to the bonnet (hood) of a car outside.
The Head of Butlin's slapped a £450 fine on us for rebuilding the chalet and removed our wristbands for the festival. We were back in the festival within the hour and started planning next year’s chalet gig.
We've all got fond memories of that one unforgettable show, and for this week's Pit Story, Daemonskald from the Canadian band SIG:AR:TYR shares this tale of seeing Metallica live back in '89:
In the summer of 1989, I was 19 and drove with a group of friends from London, Ontario to the famous Pine Knob Theatre in Michigan to see Metallica on the Justice For All tour. It was a very hot day, and there were 5 of us in a compact car with no air conditioning. Even with the windows rolled down for most of the 3 hour drive, all of us were in muscle shirts and sticking to each other in a horrifying, sweltering mess.
When we arrived, it was like a big football tailgate party in the parking lot with everyone partying it up before the gates opened. One of our guys got very friendly with a girl in the pickup truck parked beside us, and before we knew it, had run off with her into the bushes. Meanwhile, her big, mean-looking boyfriend came back wondering where she had got to. Some of his friends pointed towards our vehicle, and we actually watched him angrily put on brass knuckles and wait for them to come back. The girl and our friend came back separately, and she must of came up with a good excuse because things cooled down and we could stop worrying that we were going to get into a giant brawl before we even got into the venue.
The Cult opened up the show. At one point Ian Astbury seemed to have lost his famous cowboy hat in the crazy crowd. Metallica was amazing, but the one thing I remember most is that the crowd started a giant bonfire in the lawn seats and it just seemed to grow in size as the night went on. Then, hundreds of people started to mosh around the giant fire like some ancient pagan ritual. It was the most insane thing I’ve ever seen at a concert. Whenever I hear Creeping Death, that memorable day as a teenager in the 80’s always comes to mind.
It's time for another round of Pit Stories. This story comes to us via Matt Garzilli of Sworn Enemy. Brian Fair of Shadows Fall thought he could mosh in during Sworn Enemy and then play a show but he went to the hospital instead. More...
It's time for another bout of Pit Stories, and this week we find out about how Emmure ruined an entire tour for German band Annisokay (but what goes around comes around, as Emmure also just cancelled a tour due to health issues...). Annisokay shared this tale from the pit:
At a time where things really started rolling with the band, we went to an Emmure show in our hometown. While the rest of our band watched the show from a chilling place in the back, our drummer, who was a huge Emmure fan at this time, went to the first row and was more then excited to mosh to their songs. However when the first song started, something really bad happened to his right foot. He doesn’t really know what, but the pain was horrible.
When he made his way back to us out of the pit, the Emmure set was already half way through. He took of his shoe and his foot was double the normal size. A later visit in the hospital confirmed our worries. He fractured his feet and had to wear a plaster for many, many weeks. A whole tour had to be cancelled, but our drummer learned to play our songs with his left foot only, so the damage to the band was kept relatively small.
However, our own shows usually have a lot of pit action going on, including huge wall of deaths or stage dives even by our own front man Dave. It’s really good that we nearly never heard about any bad injuries that happened to our crowds yet.
The new Annisokay album "Enigmatic Smile" dropped today - April 14th - via Long Branch Records/SPV. Check out a music video off the album below. More...
Every time the glory of New Release Tuesday rolls around we also share show stories provided by metal bands from across the globe.
Usually these stories take place right in the pit, but sometimes the shenanigans metal musicians get into aren't constrained to the performance itself. This week Raven shares a tale of accidentally Home Alone-ing the band's drummer at the Wacken festival:
In 1997 we started a European tour with Tank & Hammefall as opening bands. The 1st show was the Wacken festival (which was a good bit smaller in those days). All 3 bands were travelling on one bus...
So, in Hamburg we picked up the backline at some crazy warehouse. Joe went to the bathroom and since no one did a head count.... the guy locked up the place and the bus left without him! We did not notice for about 30 mins, and freaked! Meanwhile Joe is smashing shit up trying to reach someone – the guy finally heard him before he left... and stuck him in a cab (about 400 euro) along with a bottle of whisky!
So our very drunk drummer turned up just in time for a 10 hour fight with the organizers who wanted us to play in this tent while our opening bands played the main stage....but that's another story...
Tuesday's not just for killer new metal releases, its also when we have musicians from across the world share their favorite Pit Stories from live shows.
This week none other than guitarist Marios Iliopoulos from the Greek melodic death metal outfit Nightrage shared this tale from a Slipknot pit:
As far as I remember the craziest mosh pit that I have seen was at a Slipknot concert in Norway where the singer had to divide the crowd on 2 parts and get them ready to face each other. What comes next was the most insane and brutal, almost brawl mosh pit, that I have experienced to this day. People seemed of course to enjoy it, but at the same time, the sheer aggression of it was amazing. One of the things that always remind us of the power of metal music and the great fun that it can be.
Need a new Nightrage fix in your life? The band's upcoming full-length album "The Puritan" will drop via Despotz Records on April 24th, 2015 and an advance track from the release can be heard below. More...
Usually the pit mayhem comes from the crowd, but sometimes the band decides to get involved - even while the performance is still going on!
For this week's Pit Story, Steph K. of London outfit Immortal Machinery shares this tale of a front man who decided to vacate the stage and even the venue to belt out a song in the middle of traffic:
One time my band, Immortal Machinery, were hosting a show in New Cross, east London. We'd booked an act from Wales who had, shall we say, a bit of a wild reputation. During a guitar solo their frontman, decked out in red and yellow warpaint, leaped off the stage and onto the nearest table. Still soloing and never missing a beat, he ran across it (somehow managing not to knock anyone's pint over) and ran out of the venue.
The crowd followed him outside, where we found him kneeling in the middle of the road, playing as cars swerved around him honking their horns. He got up, returned to the stage and finished the song like nothing had happened. This is a man who risked his life for petrol money and free beer. I think it's safe to say that the spirit of rock'n'roll is alive and well in this guitar-playing welder from the valleys.
What's the craziest thing you've seen a front man do during a metal show? Let us know in the comments section!
You can also hear the Immortal Machinery song "Screaming Tonight" - included on the recent Roxeavy metal compilation - in the player below. If you dig the sound, be sure to check out the full "At The End Of Time" album over at Bandcamp here. More...
Tuesday's here so its time for some more pit mayhem! This week sees a story taking place at the CBGB music club - which managed to make it on the U.S. register of national historic places.
Agnostic Front's Vinnie Stigma shared this story of tearing his head open and revealing his skull to the audience:
At CBGB's 1982 Agnostic Front Death Before Dishonor, I was moshing around and going off to Death Before Dishonor when I ran across the stage and leaped off Big Rob's shoulders. I cracked my head open, hitting it on the monitor speaker that was above the stage.
When I fell to the floor, got up and realized that I got scalped. The skin was hanging off and my skull was exposed. People were throwing up and running away from me. I remember Doug Holland from Kraut puking and I'm saying to my self, I can hardly feel it. I went to the hospital and they played with out me.
Agnostic Front's new album "The American Dream Died" is set for release on April 3rd (EU), April 6th (UK/FR), and April 7th (USA) via Nuclear Blast Records. Check out a video clip for a track off the album, titled "Police Violence," below. More...
Every Tuesday we catch up with metal bands from across the globe to get their most memorable tales from the mosh pit.
From insane circle pits to overturned cars and even fans who can't wait to get home to "get their energy out" so to speak, there's a whole lot of craziness to be found at metal shows - who better to share it than the bands themselves?
This week Swedish metal outfit Lancer shared these memories of the bizarre things metal heads do:
The craziest pit experience I ever witnessed was back in 2004 at the Swedish festival Gates Of Metal. I was attending a Morbid Angel concert late at night. It was a great gig with a lot of energy both on stage and down on the ground. Suddenly, I was standing in an empty pit in the middle of the audience. In the mud, beside me, I found a naked couple doing the missionary on a black leather coat. That was a weird experience that I'll never forget.
Another funny story about a crazy crowd member was at a gig I had with an Yngwie Malmsteen cover band. There was this drunken guy in the front row who knew all the lyrics and solos, and he went all crazy on the first songs of the set. Then suddenly he just disappeared. Later on we had several power failures at the venue. After the show I was told that this insane Yngwie fan had taken over the light table, and by accident switched the power off several times in his attempt to do the most spectacular light show since the 80’s.
Swedish heavy metal quintet Lancer will drop sophomore outing "Second Storm" on April 10th via Despotz Records.
You can pre-order your own copy at this location. To hear music from the coming album, watch the "Masters and Crowns" music video at over here or check out the lyric clip for "Behind These Walls" below. More...
The Pit: that magical place where sex, violence, property destruction, and a whole lotta head banging collide. We're on a never-ending quest to get the best pit stories in existence, which is why we check in with rock and metal bands from across the globe and tap into their tour stories.
For this week's Pit Story, drummer Brandon Burghart from Kansas-based outfit The Midnight Ghost Train shared this tale of Norwegians out of their minds on psychedelics:
We were playing a small freezing town in Norway on a weekday. The venue was basically a frathouse turned squatter paradise. The crowd were equal parts too old to hang out and too young to be there. Folks didn't so much rent a room as they rented one of several beds or couches in the place. We got there not knowing what to expect, but they reassured us that it was going to be a good night. There was also a rave cave in the basement with neon paint covering the walls and only lit by black light. The stage was pretty small as was the dance floor. We were headlining, so we waited around most the night while the other bands played.
That's when we noticed the crowd was starting to get a little strange. We figured it was what you got when Norwegians drank too much. Then my guitar player told me that a gang of Spaniards broke into the basement and started raving with their own boombox. They were quickly chased out by the bar owners. The last band finished and we started loading on stage. I think half the crowd had passed out by this time. We started playing and they jolted back to life moshing and destroying the room.
It was a bit frightening since the stage was about a foot tall. Much of the show was pushing people back trying not to get your knee dislocated when the nearest body pummeled into it. At one point I look over and a tiny woman has latched herself to Steve's back and he was trying to shake her loose. After being covered in various liquids and almost having our equipment destroyed, we finished our set. We later found out that the wine bottles that everyone had been passing around had been laced with an outrageous amount of acid. That mixed with the copious amount of drugs already available at the show turned it into one of the strangest nights of my life. We have since played there again but make sure we personally break the seal on any drink we open.
The Midnight Ghost Train's new album "Cold Was The Ground" is scheduled to drop on February 28th (EU) and March 10th (North America) via Napalm Records. Check out a lyric video off the album below. More...
At the beginning of each week we catch up with rock and metal bands from around the globe to get their most memorable Pit Stories from live shows.
For this week's edition, the Finnish hellions from Santa Cruz have shared the following tale of a pre-drunk crowd resulting in one banged up girlfriend and one even more banged up venue:
Few years back we had this show in our home town Helsinki at this club called Bar Bäkkäri. They had just re-painted their floors and done some other renovations as well so the night was kind of this celebration of the bar's new facelift. Anyhow the place was packed that night and we went on stage around 1:30 am meaning the crowd was shitfaced (not like they had had a few beers before the show, the consumption should have been measured in gallons).
The pit started straight away and we saw our drummer's girlfriend between those spaced out vikings like a chopstick in a wrecking ball jungle and I was already planing what am I gone wear next Sunday at the funeral service. Well the 8th miracle of the world happened and she survived whit shattered glass sticking out of her arms and without any bigger surgical operations she made it through that night. What suffered more critical damage was the re-painted floors of the venue, it was all fucked. Well at least the painters doubled their salary thanks to us.
Santa Cruz will hit the road in Europe in March, followed by a U.S. tour with Amaranthe in May. Dates are available at this location. Santa Cruz's self-titled album is also due to drop March 10th, 2015 via Spinefarm Records. More...
There's a million tales from the metal mosh pit, and we're going to find them all! Each Tuesday we check in with metal musicians from across the globe to get their most memorable Pit Story.
Today guitarist Cody Michaud from Massachusetts outfit Carnivora shares this tale of hardcore dancers who just don't like to be touched:
The first story that comes to mind when I think of crazy shit going down at a show happened about 4 years back in Manchester, NH. It was at a place called Rocko’s, which was a notorious venue for hardcore / post-hardcore / breakdown-core / running-in-place-core / etc. at the time. My band was booked to play on this particular night, and seeing as it was one of our first shows we didn’t mind playing a hardcore bill as the lone metal band. The young, stubborn metal enthusiasts that we were didn’t comprehend the concept ninja dancing and two stepping in the pit. We were dead set on starting circle pits.
For those of you who have experienced modern hardcore dancers, you’ll know that they typically prefer to avoid all physical contact with each other. The technique, as I understand it, is to spin-kick and windmill-punch in a way that freaks out everybody nearby, then get pissed when anybody touches you. I don’t know, man. Anyway… we played our set to a room of uninterested hardcore fans. I can’t really blame them, we were asking for it. A bit after we played, one of these kids finally had enough of our ball-busting when he got bumped into by our bassist, Cam.
The dude immediately turned around and hit Cam in the face. At this point, things quickly escalated into a fight with every hardcore kid in the room against my band and crew. I like to imagine it looked like one of those cartoon brawls with the cloud of dust and limbs flying in every direction. Our merch guy broke up the mess before it got worse and we decided to pack up and leave. At the time, our intention was to be “defenders of the faith” by repping metal moshing practices. Like I said, we were young and aggressive metal kids. We didn’t know any better.
You can find more info on the band and upcoming live shows by heading over to the Carnivora Facebook profile here. Be sure to also let us know your favorite mosh pit story about hardcore dancing below!
Our quest never ends to find the best mosh pit stories from ever corner of metaldom, from the most brutal wall of death to the most insane stage antics and everything in between.
This week Subversion vocalist Jay Shields shares the following tale warning metal fans not to judge a book by its cover (and not to be an ass to the performing bands):
I was playing an underground all-dayer in my old band Hollow Immunity, and this really drunk guy in the crowd was heckling all the bands. He didn't look like he was even into metal, just some local piss head who'd wondered in off the street.
As the day progressed, the venue filled up and by the time we took to the stage there were quite a few people in the pit area and Mr. Pisshead was right there with them. By now he was pretty steamed and giving out random abuse to those around him.
When we kicked into our first track the crowd went pretty crazy in the pit… into which he got sucked. Soon enough he was on his arse and looking very dazed and confused. I thought “here we go, he'll disappear now and give everyone a break,” but actually he looked like he was enjoying himself. He stayed in the pit for the rest of the set and even came up to us afterwards to say how much he enjoyed the show.
Turns out he didn't look metal, Adidas trackies and all, but he was a Polish metal head and really dug what we were doing. Goes to show, you should never judge a book by its cover, even if he needed a bit of an attitude adjustment.
What's the most outlandish heckling you've ever seen from someone in the audience? Share your story below!
Subverion's upcoming new album "Animi" is due out March 3rd via Rogue Records America, and you can also see a lyric video for the track "Imperfect" here: More...
Every Tuesday we have musicians from across the rock and metal spectrum share their most memorable mosh pit stories, covering everything from frisky show goers to ill-timed stage dives.
In nearly all circumstances a knife in the pit is a very, very bad idea (just ask Cattle Decapitation!), but in today's story from The Black Lantern, a knife ends up being a sacrifice to the altar of rock:
We grew up playing in bands and going to shows where the unspoken rule was something along the lines of, "if there isn't a pit, then the show ain't shit." The kind of shows where people looked at the resultant knee surgery they had to get as a badge of honor. As a performer, it's the ultimate thrill to see a pit stoke up, and as a concert goer, it feels good knowing that chaos is still a part of rock and roll.
While the Deafheaven and Refused shows we have attended had pits that were beyond our reach, in late 2012 ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead got us involved, whether we liked it or not. They are a huge influence on our band for the very fact that they embody a form of chaotic glory that is often lost in today's music world. When we saw them at the Echoplex, Jason Reece sung songs while participating in the pit himself. Andy stood at the back of the pit and held it in, while Jesse was closer to the stage with his back to it.
We kept each other in sight, occasionally giving the, 'this-is-fuckin-awesome-but-maybe-someone-will-die' glance. Then Andy noticed Jesse was out of sight. Some revelers perfectly executed the "sweep the leg" maneuver simply by falling into Jesse. When he got up, he and another guy were looking right at each other, and then at the knife in the other guy's hand. They both exchanged expressions that equally said "is this yours...what the hell do we do with this?" Coming to no reasonable answer, they decided to place it on the stage, as if it was a sacrifice placed on the Altar of Rock.
While no attention was paid to the knife thereafter, it seemed the sacrifice worked. For the encore Trail of Dead played "Richter Scale Madness," the first song from their first album (and the blueprint for all that they would do). The crowd responded to such greatness by flooding the stage. Reece had drumming duties, but was still returning to the stage from the pit. So a fan sat down and joined in. With at least 50 people on stage, it was impossible to see the transition from fan to Jason, and it was all of a sudden even more crazy on stage than the pit itself. The line between chaos and control was perfectly blurred, and the band guided us through blazingly.
Tuesday's here again, which means its time for another round of pit mayhem straight from the metal underground.
For this week's tale of pit glory, Patrick Morris (Dissident Clone, ex-Demonicon) shares this tale of getting a last minute gig with a big name band:
My former band Demonicon opened for Hate Eternal and Black Dahlia Murder at Station4 in St. Paul, MN in 2008 with two days notice. Three Inches of Blood and Decrepit Birth had just dropped off the tour, so the promoter added us. We hadn't practiced in a few weeks because our drummer wasn't enjoying the band. To our surprise, he agreed to do the show. We were on stage just about to start playing, and my singer handed me a red Solo cup with a generous shot of Jaegermeister in it. I looked at him quizzically - and with his cup in hand, he pointed to the Black Dahlia guys on the side of the stage, who were holding the bottle and giving us the horns. I slammed into the shot and tore into the first song - we were kicking ass!
During the second song, a guy set off the whole crowd with a stage dive. From that moment to the end of the set, there was perpetual stage diving and a sick circle pit. Playing on stage and having people reacting that way to my band totally validated all the bull shit I had gone through in my life to play music. After we got done, there was one dude with a bloody nose and another guy with a broken clavicle. To my surprise, both were in good spirits and talking to me about how much fun they had. Looking back... I’m pretty sure people thought we were Decrepit Birth.
For our musician regulars - be sure let us know the best last minute show you've played and what it means to you to see the fans throwing down in the pit during your set. More...