Concerts

Denver Metal Musicians on Stage Security and Violence at Shows

Stage security has been a contentious issue in the decade since the death of Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. Lamb Of God vocalist Randy Blythe was famously cleared of manslaughter in Czech Republic after a fan died from complications of a stage diving injury in 2010. More recently, NOFX vocalist Fat Mike made amends for kicking a fan in the face when he was startled by the fan's friendly embrace on stage. Every Time I Die offered no such sympathy to a fan who tried to take a selfie on stage, mid-song. Guitarist Jordan Buckley kicked the phone out of his hand and stood by his action on Twitter. Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn denounced moshing as a form of bullying earlier this week. Westword caught up with six Denver bands for their thoughts about fan on-stage antics, mosh pits and post-Dimebag stage security.

See also: Six Reasons To Always Stage-Dive

Considering the ten year anniversary of Dimebag Darrell's death, do you think stage security is getting more or less safe for bands?

Muscle Beach (Playing Sunday 01/04/15 Seventh Circle Music Collective): It's too hard to predict something like Dimebag's situation. Trying to be aware of the surroundings and madness that can take place at shows will make the fans and bands safer.

As The Sky Darkens (Wednesday 12/31/14 Black Sheep): That depends on the type of show and venue. There's a significantly noticeable amount of precaution that's being taken, though.

In The Company Of Serpents (Friday 01/16/15 Marquis): That is such an insane, isolated incident that speaks more to how we handle mental illness as a society than to how we should handle concert security. Yes, it's good to have security at shows, but no, they don't need to be armed to the teeth and in the business of beating the shit out of stage divers. If a kid hops on stage and promptly stage dives off, there is no reason for security to then violently wrestle him to the ground and kick him out.

Chingaso (Saturday 01/10/15 3 Kings): Some venues seem more lax, some are way more strict. The Summit, for example, seems to have gotten much stricter.

Dead Temple: It's wild it's been ten years after losing DBD. I still can't really believe it and it still crushes my soul thinking about it. I remember after that incident thinking 'Jesus, now it's going to be so crazy trying to get into shows' but in reality nothing changed. Like at all in Denver at least. There's really only security working the front door at the bigger venues, and not all of them do pat downs. I really only think the last places I've been patted down before entry were stadium arenas like First Bank/ Pepsi center and at the Fillmore. Maybe the Ogden and Bluebird do pat downs but I really only go to rock 'n roll shows, so maybe security is selective based on the show. In rare scenarios there isn't even security. Being in a small local band, those kinds of thoughts will enter your mind. The situation with Dime was such a malicious evil and deranged event, the person who did that was completely insane. I feel like it was a totally isolated event and that's what makes it so tragic, nothing would have stopped that psycho. He probably would have shot his way into the venue.

But in regards to security at shows, I think it's safe. More often than not there is security of some sort and every now and again I'll be at a show and think about how easily someone could do the same thing as in Alrosa (Villa, the Ohio venue where Abbott was shot), but it's very improbable.

Rest In Power Dime. I'll never forgot what he did for me growing up listening to Pantera. --Gianni DiGiacomo, guitar

Allegaeon (Sun 12/28 Bluebird Theater): I'm sure it's about the same. Had this dude stand on the stage when we played Vancouver and it was a little unnerving. No one stopped him from coming back stage, and no one stopped him from coming on stage with us. So I'd say its the same as it was. --Greg Burgess, Guitar

What would you do if someone jumped on stage with you to take a selfie?

Muscle Beach: As long as it didn't interfere with the shredding and slaying taking place, selfie away! But if possible after the set would be ideal.

In The Company Of Serpents: Jumping onstage just to take a selfie is beyond lame. You're saying, "I'm more important than everyone else watching this show right now." I have no problem if someone jumps up on stage and quickly dives off because they're stoked on the energy, but if you linger onstage for too long, you're most likely distracting both the band and the audience in a weird, "Hey, look at me" sort of way.

As The Sky Darkens: We'd probably take the picture with them as long as it didn't interrupt our playing.

Chingaso: Funny you should ask. This happened last weekend. A bride-to-be got up on stage and [guitarist Chris] Chango humped her from behind.

Dead Temple: I'm not very good at "selfieing". So I'd just make my typical "mid-fart metal face". --Gianni DiGiacomo, guitar
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Brad Lopez
Contact: Brad Lopez

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