Archive: Pit Stories Columns
Every week Metalunderground.com checks in with musicians and fans to get their most memorable Pit Stories. Today, drummer Will Green from Ohio act Set to Reflect shares the following story about an unfortunate fan failing to pull of a back flip during a Burden of a Day set at the Cornerstone festival:
July 2nd, 2009. It was the most humid 105 degree Illinois day I'd ever lived through, and being smashed together between the 20,000 people at Cornerstone festival was not helping the already over-heated situation. I noticed one extremely lanky, yet absurd kid as I stood on the edge of the pit and watched everyone throw down to Burden of a Day. He was pulling out all the moves. Picking up the change, Windmills, spin kicks... you name it, he was performing it. The band's fantastic live presence only escalated the energy in the pit, and by midway through the show, he was acting more insane than anyone I've seen to this day. That was when it happened...
The next thing I know, the kid is jumping near the edge of the stage and doing a back-flip off... at least, half of a back-flip. As he landed awkwardly, you could see the bone pop out of his leg. His shin acted as if it were a third knee, and the look of shock on his face said it all. It was apparent that no one there had ever seen anything so gruesome in real life, as it took a full minute for anyone to come to his aid due to the immediate surprise of what had just occurred.
Once we were done lifting him and helping him to the outskirts of the tent, the paramedics arrived and carted him off. The image, however, is forever burned into my memory.
Set to Reflect's latest EP "A New Path To Walk On" is out now through Standby Records. For more info on the band, head over to the Set to Reflect Facebook profile here.
Check back in next Tuesday for more mosh pit stories, and let us know your favorite story from a live show in the comments below.
Each week we check in with metal musicians to get their favorite mosh pit stories. Today Eric Dow, vocalist of Helsott, shares the following story of a Pantera pit from a Long Beach show:
The Pantera pit in 2000. It was just flat out the biggest, craziest fucking most single fucking chaos even I’ve ever been involved in. I think the Long Beach Sports Arena, makes the whole floor a pit…and they stopped the song, if you didn’t pit. They would stop the song, it didn’t matter if they were three minutes into it…or two minutes, or whatever. Pantera would stop the fucking song if they weren’t happy. So the pit grew about half way…I mean, it was still the biggest pit I’d ever been in…The whole fucking floor. They took the chairs out, it was just concrete. They stopped the song…I thought that was pretty funny. Phil Anselmo was like ‘you didn’t believe me, did you? If you guys are not moving around, we will fucking stop the song again.’
I think the only people that didn’t move were the guys who had their spot on the rail and I wouldn’t have moved either. But yeah, that whole fucking bottom floor…was probably easily 8,000 people. People going this way, people going that way….and then the whole song – the song was ‘Becoming’ – and the whole song, I think I got around the pit twice. It was that big….and I got hit by so many different people. Fuck what was I… I think I was 18... no, no I was 17…that’s right, I was 17 years old at the time. Shit just isn’t like that anymore, man. Concerts are nowhere near like they used to be.More...
Every Tuesday, Metalunderground.com checks in with bands from around the world to hear their most memorable Pit Stories from live shows. Today we have a story from Vancouver's Fen (not to be confused with the U.K. act) about a band prank backfiring:
Last fall, on a day off from our BC/Alberta tour we climbed a small mountain in Fruitvale. We reached a lookout and Jeff and Taty sat down to enjoy the view of the valley while the rest of us kept bushwhacking to see if there was a higher peak. Along the way Nando scratched his forehead on a branch so we hatched a plan to freak out the others. We came back down to the viewpoint with Sam and I propping Nando up on either side, and there was blood smeared on his forehead. We said he'd fallen and hit his head and he pretended to be dazed. Jeff jumped up and doted over Nando with a terrible look of concern, helping us as we laid him down on the moss. Then we started laughing. Jeff was pissed. Taty said we were shitty actors. It was the classic horror movie intro.
The next day we were in Calgary at Vern's Bar. It was a Tuesday night and we were stoked there was anyone there at all. After we played, it was The Reckless Heroes, a hilariously energetic punk metal band. They flew all around the stage while people just sat and watched. Still pumped from our set, Sam and I started a pit. It maxed out at 5-6 people so there was a ton of room and we were getting some pretty good runs at each other. The bassist kept jumping off the stage and bashing around with us. At the end of the night, loading up gear I noticed Sam was missing. Jeff said, "Didn't you hear, he messed up his foot while moshing."
Right away I was suspicious, thinking Jeff was setting me up as revenge for the shit we'd pulled on the mountain, but I went along with it, helping carry Sam's gear while he sat in the bar with his foot up on a chair and sipping beer. When it was time to leave he walked only on the heel of that foot. It looked pretty painful, but I was paranoid that the second I showed any sympathy, he would start walking normally and Jeff would jump out of the woodwork and call me a sucker for carrying the extra gear. Two days later the foot was turning black and after an x-ray it was officially declared broken. I felt like a jerk for being so suspicious. Sam played the rest of the gigs in a chair in front of his 4x12.
Fen is out with latest album "Of Losing Interest," and you can also check out the music video for "A Long Line" below. For more info on the band, head over to the Fen Facebook profile here, and be sure to check back next week for more Pit Stories. More...
It's Tuesday again, which means it's time for members of the metalverse to share their favorite most pit stories.
While many of our Pit Stories center around violence and insanity as fans throw down in front of the stage, today Dark Century guitarist Martin Gendreau instead shares a story of an epic outdoor show. Martin comments:
October 6th, 2012 Beauharnois - Dark Century’s outdoor concert on a stage mounted on a flatbed trailer. Next to the stage, motocross jumping on a big air ramp. Behind the crowd, some car smoke show with artisanal bombs and fireworks. A Bar-b-cue was on the site for an all you can eat meat buffet.
Because of the temperature being near 10 degrees, some woods were burning into a old metal trash screwed to a frame of a mower. It was incredible the see that in a mosh pit! Also mechanical shovel on the site had fire inside to heat the crowd. A stage filled with beer donations… That was one epic heavy metal show.
Every week Metalunderground.com checks in with rock and metal acts from across the world to find their best mosh pit stories.
Vocalist Bryce Lucien of Texas act Seeker today shares a story of an out-of-control Daughters show (Daughters being no stranger to live antics). Bryce tells the following tale:
There are very few pits that have stuck with me. Years on the road have left me desensitized to most of the ridiculous happenings at shows, but there is one experience that was so extreme in its GG Allen-esque awesomeness and so relentless in its lack of fucks given that it will forever be seared into my memory...
This was 8 or 9 years ago now... Daughters and An Albatross were in town and me, being the total grind fanatic that I am, was obviously beside myself with excitement. I got to the show early, made sure I was front and center, and prepared myself for what I was sure would be the most wonderfully abrasive and debauched show that I had ever attended. After suffering through two despicably awful locals, Daughters finally took the stage and began sound checking. Their singer was nowhere to be seen. The band yelled for him over the PA and minutes later he finally walks onstage, scowling, glossy eyed, beer in hand... he was so fucking cool. The band launched into their first song and the crowd exploded. I was shoved into the stage, punched, jumped on, and I didn't care. I loved it.
However, through all the mayhem I noticed that their singer wasn't singing any of the words and there was a gagging sound coming through the speakers so I looked over and realize that he is standing on the lip of the stage, deep throating the mic, and flipping off the crowd. He then pulls the mic out of his mouth and projectile vomits all over the stage. As he does this I feel a pair of shoes connect with the back of my head. I turn around and see the crowd surfing girl momentarily get sucked back into the sea of arms before being thrown at me again. I duck and the singer of Daughters grabs her left shoe, rips it off, pours his beer into it, chugs it, throws the shoe back into the crowd, falls off the stage, and finally screams his first line...
This all happened in less than 2 minutes. The rest of their 10 minute set was just as insane. This is probably a really horrible reflection on me, but that night totally solidified my love for this lifestyle and my desire to tour...oh well. Fuck it.
You can check out Seeker's music video for "Serpent Skin" in the player below, along with a list of upcoming tour dates later this month. A teaser for the new single "Alone" is also available at this location.
Every week we chat up bands from around the globe to find their favorite stories from metal shows. This week, bassist Morgan Rider of Canadian act Vesperia had this tale to share about the crowd taking over the stage during a Dimebag tribute:
We were doing a show in Ottawa a couple of years ago and it happened to be a Pantera / Dimebag tribute show. We knew about this show a while in advance, so we came up with a folk metal version of "Fucking Hostile."
During our set, the time came for us to play the song, so we invited some people to come up and sing it with us. Two seconds later, half of the crowd is on the stage, forcing all of us except our drummer at the time off of the stage and onto the floor. We played the song on the floor and the crowd moshed and rocked out on stage. It was really weird.
It's Tuesday again, which means we've got a new metal show story taken from the underground musicians themselves who keep the scene running. This week guitarist/vocalist Spencer Le Von from Canadian thrash act Fatality shares the following tale of the band's first show going horribly wrong:
My pit story was actually from Fatality’s first-ever live show when I was at the supple age of 15. We were performing at a dive called Club Rockit in Downtown Toronto back in 2004. I will never forget this story because it incorporates all of the elements that make up a nightmare gig, and how I handled it as a confused 15-year-old zilch. First of all, it was in the middle of January, and there was a massive storm that hit Toronto and we barely made it to the gig as we slid up and down the highway. Also, right before we hit the stage, I opened my guitar case and to my complete chagrin: my fuckin’ ax was smashed in 2 pieces.
So, up we went. There was me with no guitar and no sense of what to do with my hands as I clumsily sang through our songs like a mush-mouthed buffoon. Boy, we (I) stank up the joint good. As we got closer to the end of the set, I realized I had a decision to make: play out the last of our songs half heartedly, and then pack up and go home for a good cry, or do something so fuckin’ stupid that even though we were playing mediocre at best, the crowd would still go home and remember us. I chose the latter. In one foul swoop, I pulled of my pants and shirt reveling a tainted, ripe, skid-marked pair of tighty-whities and a matching pasty white stomach. I then proceeded to jump into the mosh pit and clobbered the shit out of people as my band riffed on the stage above.
It was this night that I learned a major lesson. There is no such thing as the perfect gig, and each night has a different obstacle to overcome. What makes a good performer is not just in how well he can play; it’s all in his capacity to deal with the bullshit!
Each Tuesday we have metal musicians check in with their most memorable mosh pit stories from live shows.
This week vocalist Tom Emmans of Odium shares the following story of a truly dedicated (or perhaps just overly drunk) fan fighting through the pain to see the end of a show:
One time at a show in our home town a fan broke a beer bottle in the pit and it sliced his whole arm down to the bone. Everyone was freaking out cause they thought someone had knifed him. Turns out he was just partying and having a good time, not even realizing he was bleeding all over the place. When the ambulance arrived he was trying to convince them to let him stay until we were done. They were like "Uh no. You could bleed out. Your entire arm is cut to the bone." So they raced him to the hospital and stitched him up. He showed up for our last song drunk as fuck, smiling from ear to ear. See you at the next one brother!
You can check out Odium's music by downloading the track "No Way Out" on the free "Happy Metal Annihilation Volume 2" compilation over here, or watch a music video for the track below.
Every week we have metal fans and musicians check in with their favorite mosh pit stories. Today guitarist/vocalist Chris Friesen of Ontario's Adrenechrome shares the following tale of a fight in the pit coming to an unexpectedly quick end:
While attending a CKY show in Toronto a good friend of mine ended up in a violent altercation with a fellow concert goer (something to do with a bumped girlfriend). Being quite drunk, the pair squared off in the middle of the pit to exchange fisticuffs. The first blow of the bout was scored by the angry boyfriend, a solid punch to my friends mid section.
The answer to the punch was a devastating finishing move a la Mortal Kombat, he proceeded to projectile vomit in an arc covering his assailant and the dozen or so other concert goers in the pit with digested beer and street meat, needless to say his opponent was unwilling to continue the fight resulting in a very rock 'n roll T.K.O.
Be sure to check back in next Tuesday are we share more metal mosh pit stories.
Every week we check in with fans and bands from around the world to get their favorite pit and road stories from metal shows.
This week Canadian blackened death metal act Xul shares the following story of a small town suddenly hosting a party as bad weather prevented travel:
We had a mini tour lined up that consisted of Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton shows in the span of 4 days. Living in Vernon (half way between Vancouver and Calgary) we went to Van for our first show. It was an awesome turnout and and a good set. A good start to the tour. We had a day off before we had to head to Calgary so we decided to go back to Vernon and sleep a night in our own beds. There was talk of HWY 1 being closed but we didn't think it was going to be a big deal. We were wrong.
We woke up the next morning early enough to check the weather reports before we headed out. All that was said was that HWY 1 was closed due to mudslides and that there was no timeline for its opening. HWY 1 is a direct route to Calgary. It’s about an 8 hr drive from Vernon. I'd say it would have taken us 9 because we're riding in a short bus that hits a top speed of 90km. It was early in the morning and we had to make a quick decision as we had to be in Calgary that night for a show. We could either go south and take a ferry but there was rumours it was closed due to the extreme weather (we later found out it would have been a horrible idea) or head north and go through Jasper then down from Edmonton to Calgary. We chose to go North.More...
Every week we share pit stories from rock and metal acts across the globe. This week bassist/vocalist Sean Arata of Fort Wayne based hard rock band Downstait shares the following tale of a bouncer finding love after a fan gets out of control:
We were playing a show with Ra in Flint, Michigan, and some guy was drugged out of the mind in the crowd, and picking physical fights with everyone, including the girl he came with.
One of the bouncers tried to get him out of the place, he resisted, and the bouncer blasted him in the face, which knocked him out, but also shattered his hand. They both go to the hospital, and the girl goes along.
We come back about a year later, and the bouncer fills us in about how the guy he knocked out thanked him for bringing him to the hospital, not remembering he was the one who put him there in the first place. Also, he filled us in that he and the girl he defended were getting married soon.
Downstait recently canceled a string of December tour dates due to illness within the band, but you can hear music from the act and find out about upcoming live appearances at the Downstait Facebook profile here. Check back in next week for more mosh pit stories from fans and band members.
On day two of the world’s most metal cruise, Municipal Waste was playing the smaller Spectrum Lounge for the group’s first performance of the cruise. The band played fast and loose with its brand of "party metal" crossover thrash. Just a few songs into the set, some metal heads in the crowd got the idea to grab the chairs that are on wheels and roll around in the mosh pit area of the main floor. It looked a lot like bumper cars, but then other people began pushing them or grabbing hold of arms of people in the chairs and slinging them through the pit, causing some high speed collisions and overturned chairs.
Soon after this began, Municipal Waste frontman Tony Foresta commented on how they are “the shortest band in metal” and asked the crowd for a circle pit. With the lights in his face and his short stature, it appeared he couldn’t see what was going on behind the people up front at the barrier. As the band launched into their next song, the pit erupted into more chaos as moshers attempted a circle pit around the chair pit to little avail.
It was a surreal experience, but it looked FUN! The crowd would attempt to do the same during other thrash sets like Bonded By Blood and Havok, but no other pit compared to Municipal Waste’s rolling chair pit on Barge to Hell.
Being unable to zoom out and capture the whole scene, this video really doesn’t do the chair pit justice, but it’s all I’ve got to give an idea of what was going on:
A full Barge To Hell report is forthcoming, as well as tons of photos from the metal cruise.
Be sure to check back next Tuesday as we share more mosh pit stories from metal bands.
We scour the heavy metal and hard rock landscape to get Pit Stories from musicians across the globe, and today we have an interesting look at an "un-pit" of sorts when the crowd experiences genre confusion. Oregon based "melodic wondercore" act Whispers of Wonder shares the following story:
Whispers Of Wonder was paying live at a local venue here in Portland called the Hawthorne. We were the second to last band on the bill. Now the kind of music we play isn't necessarily as brutal as the local scene is comfortable with, and sometimes fans aren't quite sure how to act in the crowd. Now before we had hit the stage there was a big empty pit with 3 hardcore dancers in it, but once we got started something unfolded unlike anything we have ever seen at a show of our genre.
People weren't moshing. It wasn't a violent mosh fest. It was a dance pit. The best way to describe it is prom night in the 1950's, though the soundtrack wasn't exactly as upbeat. And they kept it going throughout our whole set. All of a sudden an entire crowd of people looked like some scene out of an episode of The Peanuts. It was definitely a night to remember.
If you're tired of all the election coverage and need something amusing to break up the non-stop political material, we've got a new Pit Story this week, courtesy of J.R. from New York act Slam One Down. He had this story to share of a Hellyeah pit having unexpected consequences for the band:
One night Roach and I went to promote our new demo CD at a Hellyeah concert. Roach left me with the CDs to go and mosh. Funny thing was that it was winter and Roach still had his leather jacket on while he was moshing. He looked like such an idiot with that leather jacket on. Plus you all know how sweaty it gets inside a mosh pit, and he had that leather jacket soaked in sweat.
A few days later we took a roadtrip to another gig that we were playing and there was this awful smell in the car on the way up. Yep it was the jacket! It smelled so bad and I think he threw it out that night.
Slam One Down is out now with new album "Who Really Wants To Live Forever," and you can check out tracks from the release at the band's official website or Facebook profile. Be sure to check back in again next Tuesday as we share more mosh pit stories from metal bands.
Tuesday has rolled around again and that means its time for more Pit Stories taken from directly from the musicians who keep the metal world running. Normally the mosh pit is where all the action is at, but sometimes just getting to the venue can be quite the ordeal all on it's own. Today Germán Pascual (Divinefire, ex-Narnia) shares the following story about an "act of God" nearly stopping the band from performing during a Brazilian tour:
After a great gig in Sao Paulo and a decent good night sleep we headed for Curitiba. The trip was estimated 5 to 6 hours, so we would have plenty of time to rest before next show. The weather broadcast was looking good and all of us were in great spirit.
Then it all started to go wrong BANG, a flat tire! Imagine 10 hungry metal heads in 40C = to about 110F degrees in the middle of nowhere. Thank God the chauffeur took hold of the situation together with the roadies. The rest of us started a long walk to the nearest restaurant. Drained in sweat we finally had lunch and later on met up with the others. Still on time we continued our trip south.
After half an hour the traffic started to get crowded. Very slowly but still in motion we noticed that the sky went darker. It started to rain. For all of you who haven't been in a tropical country I must mention that when it rains, IT RAINS! The traffic stops and we don't move for hours. Now we are getting the picture of a wrecked schedule, but still in a hopeful mood. We start to move, slowly, and now we can see what made the traffic jam. The road is totally flushed away, gone, zero, nothing! With heavy heads we almost gave up. But still we were moving forward and we saw cars that crossed to the other side. High up in the mountains with just a tiny string left of the road, we too took the daring and insane decision to move on. Safe on the other side and half way there we were late. Okay, Sound check: no time, a refreshing shower and change of clothes: no way.More...
Every week we scour the metalverse to get the best and most memorable mosh pit stories from musicians, and this week we have a tale of all-out war that didn't end well for one show-goer's car.
The antics of Slayer shows are no stranger to the Pit Stories column, and today guitarist Paul Coleman of Connecticut act Graven Image adds the story below to the ever-expanding "Slayer has insane pits" category.
Let us know if you remember this show, and feel free to share your favorite Slayer live memory in the comments section below.
If you want to catch Graven Image live, the band will be opening for Anthrax, Testament, and Death Angel at The Webster in Hartford, Connecticut on October 4th, 2012.
WEST HARTFORD BALLROOM: SLAYER/OVERKILL/MOTORHEAD...Slayer is on and the place goes absolutely into a frenzy man, I mean the pit is going out the door into the parking lot. Never seen anything like it, there were some words exchanged outside and like a 30 on 30 war started right there man.
I remember a Volkswagen got flipped right over on its roof...people drinkin, fightin, fuckin right out in the open...crazy, crazy night! Slayer never stopped playin, the shirt sale booths got trampled, all the merch taken! Just insane!
The pit may be holy ground for metalheads, but that doesn't stop it from being site to some of the most ridiculous and sometimes violent antics from fellow heavy music lovers. Each week we share mosh pit stories from metal bands, and today we have the following story from Florida act Abiotic:
We've had our share of crazy pit stories, but one I will never forget happened when we played our first Desolation Fest in Englewood, Florida. I remember that we had some trouble before heading out to the show, so we arrived a bit late. All the kids looked like they had been waiting for a while, and they simply couldn't wait any longer for the show to continue.
We began to set up as quickly as possible. When we were ready to go, I remember my drummer giving us a queue, and just a few seconds into our first song, a kid gets kneed in the face. Everyone immediately got sucked into a huge brawl. The kid who got hit managed to get up and break free from the crowd. He took one of my drummers china cymbals, and he began to threaten everyone. This kid went utterly mental and said he was going to kill everyone's family. I don't want to sound harsh, but it was quite amusing.
Miami's Abiotic will release the new "Symbiosis" album on October 22nd via Metal Blade Records. You can listen to a new song off the album, titled "To Burgeon and Languish," at this location. Check back in again next Tuesday for more Pit Stories from metal bands. More...
Every Tuesday we chat up band members and metal fanatics to get their favorite mosh pit stories from live shows. This week guitarist Camden Cruz from Seven Kingdoms reminisces about his first true crazy pit experience at a metal show where he saw the legendary Jason Suecof:
I remember going to my first legit death metal show. It was Nechrophagist, Arsis, Nuraxis, and Cattle Decap at Will's Pub in Orlando. I was maybe 18 then just getting into the other genres of metal. I was at the front of the stage just eating up all the crazy blast beats and sweeps and it was the first time I ever saw Jason Suecof from Audiohammer. Being a huge Trivium nut back then, It was cool to finally see the guy that recorded them. The first time I saw him he was flying past the opening launching himself and his wheelchair into the sides of the pit. I just remember thinking 'Man, this guy is legit!' haha.
Seven Kingdoms is set to release new album "The Fire is Mine," which was produced by Jim Morris (Iced Earth, Obituary, JOP, Jag Panzer etc), on October 9th, 2012 through Nightmare Records. For more info on Seven Kingdoms, check out the band's Facebook profile here.
Blasting metal at home or in the car is one thing, but extreme music is frequently meant to be experienced live with a sea of headbangers surrounding you, which is why we share favorite pit stories from musicians and fans each week. Today guitarist Kragen Lum of Prototype shares this tale of seeing a crazy Slayer show:
Probably the craziest pit that I have ever seen was at the Hollywood Palladium during Slayer’s set on the Reign In Blood tour. Dark Angel opened the show that night, as a last minute replacement for Flotsam and Jetsam, and got the crowd pretty pumped up. By the time Slayer came on the stage all hell broke loose. The adrenaline was flowing and at various times during the show there were fist fights in the audience. The real craziness was in the pit though. There were literally 2 huge pits, side by side on the floor, and at various points the pits joined together into what looked like a figure 8. It was a sea of bodies slamming into each other in a strange, almost coordinated effort.
As Slayer continued to play, the crowd got more and more violent and the spotlights were moved to point at the fights in the crowd instead of at the band. I had been to lots of shows already at that point but I had never seen anything like that pit. It was so intense in there that the police had called in the riot squad to wait outside the venue and help disperse the crowd after the show. I’ve heard Dave Lombardo refer to this show in interviews as the most insane pit he’s ever seen. There is no question in my mind that he is absolutely correct.
Prototype is gearing up to drop new album "Catalyst" on September 11th via Nightmare Records. You can check out a trailer for the release at this location.
Every week we talk to bands from all over the world and hear some of their favourite stories from the mosh pit.
This week, Therapy? frontman Andy Cairns dishes some dirt on two of the most common things to be seen at a Therapy? show, nudity and crying, two things which really don't go together.
I've seen quite a lot of nudity in my time. Once in Oxford a friend of ours, Diamond Dave, ended up coming over the barrier wearing nothing but a sawn off Coke can taped to his genitals, how he didn't castrate himself Idon't know.
We also get a lot of screaming and crying. We had a hit in Europe with a cover of Husker Du's 'Diane' and for a while lots of gigs would have lots of inflatable dolls flying through the air with the crowd surfers, quite a sight. Yep, nudity and sexual deviance seem to feature heavily among some of the more enthusiastic members of our fans.
We recently spoke to Andy Cairns about the new Therapy? album, "A Brief Crack of Light," touring and why he feels the band have always been outsiders. "A Brief Crack Of Light" will be released on September 11th in North America and is available now in Europe. Be sure to come back next tuesday for more Pit Stories!