Enemy Reign guitarist Nick Guenther will spend the next six weeks in a leg brace after an on-stage accident at Vaporfest last weekend, and it's partially my fault. The animated Guenther was rocking out at the Summit Music Hall when suddenly, three quarters of the way through Enemy Reign's first song, it happened. "I gave it a good ol' metal stomp," says Guenther, whose knee then buckled, toppling him four feet off the stage and onto the sound board. "The sound guy tried to catch me, but no one is going to catch a guy my size."
So the six foot 200 pound Guenther laid on the backstage floor, one leg bent 90 degrees in the wrong direction. "I was able to put my leg back in place but my knee didn't follow," recalls Guenther, who was rushed out of Summit Music Hall that night in an ambulance and taken to Denver Health Medical Center where doctors put his dislocated knee back into place.
This doesn't mark the first time Guenther has had trouble with his knee. He dislocated it playing high school football, and now at age thirty, he still has trouble with his knee. Needless to say, Enemy Reign did not play the rest of their set. "We talked about playing again," he notes. "If I could have just sat in a chair I would have."
In case you're wondering, Guenther wasn't in an alterated state of mind when the accident happened. "I keep hearing that people think we were drunk or high and that's why Nick fell off the stage" says Andon Guenther, Nick's brother and the band's drummer. "I never drink before a show" Nick points out.
Sadly, Nick's accident could have been avoided if the band had indeed cancelled its set, an option Andon was weighing when he called me for advice three hours before the show. He was concerned with low turnout at Vaporfest and wondered if it would be worth the band's time, especially since he was facing deadlines at his other job as the founder and creative director of Andon Guenther Design LLC, a boutique design firm. I assured him there would be a decent crowd even at Enemy Reign's early set time around 6 p.m.
Indeed, a crowd of 300 or more was there to see the band's fateful single song. So in essence, Nick might not have been hurt if I advised Andon to cancel. Still, I have no regrets. I would never advise a band to cancel, especially since Vaporfest was an opportunity to showcase the band's new vocalist, Stevie Boiser. Still, to the extent that Nick's injury is my fault, I apologized to Andon.
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"Nothing could be further from the truth. It's better to have that happen at a show than out in the back country snowboarding or hiking," says Andon. "But yeah, it's your fault, dick!"
From B-Lo is a new column from Brad Lopez -- a longtime member of Denver's hardcore and metal scene, and the host of KBPI's Metalix show -- that will be running periodically in Backbeat.
Page down for a photo of Guenther's dislocated knee. Heads-up: Steer clear if you're squeamish.
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