There seems to have been an uptick lately in the number of people jumping up on stage and getting into scuffles with rock stars lately. Concert rowdiness is nothing new. People have been throwing things at stage performers for hundreds of years and shows no signs of slowing down.And, I'm sure that jumping on stage is not necessarily new, and maybe it is because we are in the Internet age where we simply are exposed to more information, but the scuffles seem to be happening more frequently.
Last night in New York City, popular indie "ghoul" rockers "The Horrors" were appropriately playing a Halloween gig in a small club when someone jumped onstage in the middle of their set to scuffle with lead singer Faris Badwan. The singer took the disturbance in stride reportedly continuing on with the show and quoted after wards as boasting "You should have seen HIS face after wards." Apparently the audience member was trying to grab the microphone and took umbrage with Badwan's insistence that he stop it and decided to go on on the attack. Certainly an interesting "treat" for a Halloween show.
This comes on the heels of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy decking a fan that rushed him onstage just a couple of weeks ago. Now, in that instance it appears that the fan is simply over exuberant and wasn't actually out to get Tweedy like last night's incident. But, from this video, you can tell Tweedy wasn't 100% sure of that when the guy came up from behind. His apology after wards for decking the fan seemed heartfelt, but you given how exposed these guys are up on stage you can see why he'd be jumpy when someone comes up from behind like that.
Maybe I'm getting old, but I sympathize with the bands on this stuff. We joke about how coddled rock stars are, but they really are wide open up there on stage for anyone looking to do some damage. That was made all to clear with the tragic shooting of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott of Pantera and Damage Plan, along with three others who were killed when someone jumped up on stage with a gun. Obviously, no one had a gun last night in NYC and Jeff Tweedy may have over reacted as some have suggested, but I can't blame these guys for being a little paranoid when someone comes up out of the audience like this. Its one thing to jump up and stage dive right off, its another to go after someone or even get a little too close. Besides if you really don't like what someone is doing on stage you can always leave or heave your drink at them - both of those options are much safer for all involved.