On the Atlanta, Georgia date of Korn’s 2006 Family Values Tour (irony), a man asked some excessively drunk moshers to be careful around his pregnant girlfriend (as a well as a mentally-impaired child who was with them), only to be slammed headfirst onto concrete and left unconscious and bloody. While declared dead (being effectively brain-dead and on life support to preserve organs for donation), police launched a full-on homicide investigation as they deemed the incident a proper murder.
4. Sexual Assault
The return of Woodstock led countless baby boomers to believe their day had come once more; flashbacks deep in their spinal chords to the days of peace, love, and understanding …and being trampled to death? Out was the love-promoting sounds of Jefferson Airplane and the Mamas and the Papas, in was the fear and hatred of Nine Inch Nails, Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Bush. Especially during Limp Bizkit’s set, utter and primal chaos ensued; during the song “Break Stuff,” people did just that, and it was reported that a bodysurfing woman had been gang raped. Aside from myriad counts of sexual assault, rapists running free, bonfires and unrestrained carnage and humans being trampled to death ensued, as if the stage for the apocalypse had a distinct grunge and nu-metal tinge.
3. Crushed to Death
June 30th, 2000, Roskilde rock and dance festival in Denark. Several fans slipped on the muddy earth only to be steamrolled by an overzealous mob. About 8 or 9 died, while 26 more where injured by the human avalanche. Upon hearing of this, Pearl Jam stopped their set abruptly and the Cure, scheduled to follow, canceled as well.
2. Crushed Again
In December of 1979, the Who played the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio to fans who were way to eager to get in the door. While general admission seating was on a first come, first serve basis, several fans rushed the doors (which were closed to prevent concert stowaways) as they mistook a soundcheck for the beginning of the show. As layers of humans compressed before the hermetically-sealed entrances, so did the lungs of those who were trampled beneath the impending wall-ward stampede. Eleven fans were literally dying to see the showing (many others injured).
Just a few days ago (May 18th), Great White released an album called Elation, which goes to show that the band can still find pleasure in the face of great tragedy. Great White are an prototypical eighties trash rock band, with the hair and stage theatrics to match. Unfortunately on one night back in 2003, their insistence upon flashy visuals ended in panic and horror at Station nightclub. A fire was caused by some unruly – not to mention indoor – pyrotechnics which ignited the highly flammable sound insulation which enveloped the place. With blocked exits, thick smoke, and a veritable hellfire, 100 people died, while 230 more were injured. In spite of one of Great White’s comeback venues becoming a literal deathtrap, the band presses on, releasing albums and touring as if it never happened. They still, as it turns out, have a capacity for elation, some might drown to self-loathing guilt and alcohol. Well, they might still do the latter, as that goes with the territory: rock and roll! (That is, after you “stop” and “drop” first.)