Archive: Pit Stories Columns
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!
Every week we get the best Pit Stories that musicians and metal lovers have to offer. While normally these stories focus on the frequently violent aspects of fans throwing down during a set, shenanigans definitely aren't limited to the mosh pit during the show itself, as many bands can attest with stories of backstage antics. This week German act Perzonal War shares the following story of sleeping arrangements gone awry:
A really, really funny thing that comes to my mind is a Perzonal War show (at this time still Personal War with “s”) that is more than 10 years ago. I guess it was around 2001 or 2002. We played in a pretty cool location that offered a sleeping room for the bands as well. My bandmates brought in their camping mats – I brought in my mother's air mattress and was called a “pussy” immediately. I am NOT Rock 'n Roll they said. “Shut up” was my comment. “I will not wake up with back problems while you will cry like babies tomorrow."
We had some drinks, it got late and when we returned to the sleeping room I saw a couple having sex on my – or better – my mother's air mattress. I couldn't believe my eyes: “What the hell are you doing here?” “Sorry, just two more minutes” was their comment and they went on riding while I stood there like an idiot!
Speechless I went out of the room; the others laughed their asses off and when I returned my mattress – no joke – was riven and stained!! The other guys could not stop laughing and at the end I was the one who could sleep on the ground with NOTHING under me. When my mother asked me for her air mattress I told her I have unforetunately lost it hahahahahaha.
Perzonal War recently released the new "Captive Breeding" album, and you can check out songs from the release over at Facebook here. Check back in again next Tuesday as we continue to share more tales from live shows from bands and metal fans.
Every Tuesday we check in with musicians and fans to have them share their most memorable mosh pit stories from metal shows. This week's Pit Story of Chinese fans bucking the system to have a good time comes courtesy of vocalist Moritz "Mutz" Hempel from Drone:
Well, we were touring in China and played a show @ the expo plaza in Shanghai. Big fuckin crowd, but sitting on chairs. OK, we knew that this was common in the past, but did not expect that. Anyway…we were shredding and moshing as usual giving a flying fuck about the people sitting, lying or standing. You know, the Chinese audience is always very grateful and responds very well as they do not often get the chance to see western (no country ;)) bands performing. Long story short: they sat.
A couple of guys stood up and started to dance in front of stage but security reproved 'em to be calm and sit the fuck down. They obeyed and sat on their asses. We watched this play a couple o times until a hand full of European metal heads ran towards the stage, screaming and moshin like shit! The security wasn’t sure how to handle these bad ass motherfuckers and did not interfere. Everybody on the plaza used that moment, jumped of their chairs, ran to the stage and started a mosh pit. Out of fuckin nowhere!
We went crazy and started to throw beer into the pit and charred some good old German drinkin' cult with the audience. The stage manager freaked out, yelling NO NO NO no good no good. We replyed YES YES YES very good very good. The rest of the show was legendary and will not be forgotten. For sure, we’ve seen bigger, harder, or more brutal pits, but this one came from the heart and had some kind of symbolic yell for freedom. Freedom to think, dance and shout whatever and whenever you want to. Freedom of opinion, a basic right in OUR constitution. Everybody, who has paid a visit to china, will totally know what I mean! That night, the people did not just stand up for us, but for themselves!More...
Every week, we catch up with band members and metal fans to get their best stories from live shows. Many bands and fans alike share a fascination for the myriad ways that crowd members can express their love of the music through brutality in the pit. Other bands would rather see the look of a deep emotional connection with the music on the faces of the crowd rather than blood running down their faces. MetalUnderground.com writer Frank Serafine interviewed three Impending Doom bandmates at a Nashville tour stop, who share three stories as well as what they really like to see at a show. More...
Each week Metal Underground.com offers our readers a new Pit Story. Usually, these tales originate from band members. This time, however, I’m going to recount one of the bloodiest, most violent pits in my twenty years of attending metal concerts. Skinheads gathered in hundreds at concerts in Detroit during 1995-1996. When a band finished a song, a sea of arms extended outward forming the Nazi salute, “Sieg Heil.” The huge number of shaved, white skulls marked a stark contrast to the mostly African American environments outside of venues such as Harpos and Saint Andrews Hall.
The racism was not the scariest aspect of these shows for those in attendance. Skinheads flailed knees and elbows in the pit, often leading to fellow moshers leaving the circle with bloody noses or worst—being knocked down and stomped by lead-weighted boots. The violence at those shows has never been duplicated at any venue I have attended across the country. I will never forget the first time I experienced this chaos: More...
Every week we catch up with band members and metal fans to get their best stories from live shows. While the pit is usually where most of the action is, heading outside for a break can come with many dangers all on its own, as Kevin George from Martriden and At Home In Hell recently learned. Kevin shared the following tale of unexpectedly entering a fight while seeing a show with his girlfriend:
Katelynn and I were out at the Odyssey show, decided to go outside because Hooves (the opening band) were actually too loud, even for me. Next door, In This Moment were playing, so there were a lot of confused-with-life individuals hanging around outside.
We were standing there for the time being, trying to decide whether to go get earplugs or not, when we realized that 8 ft away from us was not just some overly excited girls...but one was just thoroughly giving the other a verbal lashing like no other. Some shit about "how dare you tell everyone I work on Sprague" came up...for the uninformed, she got called a hooker.
After about a minute of this belligerent retardfest, the angry one hits the other girl in the face pretty good-like. She then grumbles some other incomprehensible bullshit and cocks her fist back again. The other girl...the receiver, if you will...runs between Katelynn and I, tucks he head between us and cries the most feebly pussified "help me" that a little emo girl who couldn't get in to see In This Moment ever could. It was pretty pitiful, actually.More...
Every week we catch up with metal bands from around the globe to share their best mosh pit stories. While the pit is frequently home to drunken antics and bone breaking action, if you ask enough metal bands for bizarre pit stories, most of them will eventually have a memory or two of overly-amorous show goers.
After last week's lengthy story of a Meshuggah show enhanced by brain-altering fungus, today we've got a much shorter and sweeter tale of a metal fan who just couldn't quite wait to get home to express his affections with his lady. Shaun Glass, guitarist for Dirge Within, had this story to share:
One time - I believe in Houston - we were on stage, midway through our set I look up to see the whole pit stop and stare. What were they looking at? A guy was giving some girl oral sex against the wall of the speakers of the PA! They obviously did not care that 500 metal heads were also watching ha!
In other Dirge Within news, the band recently dropped off the Shockwave Festival, and also shot a music video for "Memories," which will be released soon.
Check back in again next Tuesday for more pit stories shared by metal fans and bands. If you've got a story of pit love, feel free to share below!