Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Violence Shuts Down The Contortionist Show

Megan Purazrang
WCB MusicWriter 

On Tuesday, July 17, 2012 a Contortionist show was scheduled at the Blackened Moon venue in Lansing, MI. The venue played host to a full afternoon of back-to-back local Michigan bands that were supposed to continue playing until the four main touring bands' (The Contortionist, Jeff Loomis, Chimp Spanner and 7 Horns 7 Eyes) scheduled time slots. Unfortunately, shortly after 8PM while local native Flint, MI band King took the stage a full-out violent brawl took place. The fight apparently broke out first within the crowd which consisted mainly of King followers. After doing a little research, this is a dispute that is normal for their crowds of fans. It can be understood that the band also encourages violent outrages from their fans -- not a conclusion that is hard to draw considering the style of music they play and the lyrics screamed. While no one can get the full story straight there are a few stern facts to display. When the fight broke out many people were hurt, a baseball bat was involved to insure inflicted violence on others and within a few moments of running fans and non-fans alike, someone was able to get the fight broken up and the police called.

 Despite being a touring band in the metal scene, The members of the Contortionist were appalled by the disruption along with King's dis-respectable urge to continuing to play after their time slot ended. At that point, the show was shut down on a temporary basis until the police could determine ho they would intervene the situation. It was clear that the promotion directors and staff were hoping to continue the show for local bands to still play regardless of the big-name cancellations. After much anticipation, the show was eventually shut down and all bands and attendants were asked to depart the premises immediately.

 The tickets sold for $12 each and as of right now there has been no sincere talk of a refund from the venue. The major tour bands were still paid for the gig without playing a note and King's Facebook page was covered in graffiti (it since has been removed-- probably something to do with the release of their studio album and self-esteem) by the next morning. With a few supporters of the rage scene taking King's side of the fence, most concert fans were very unimpressed and disturbed. One of the members who goes by the name of Gunn posted an explanation later that day for a comment about the military that also added to the confusion of the evening."To clear this up. I wear dog tags because me & my brother were to ship out & become SEALs Oct.2007. I caught a gun case & had to stay while he went. I wear them for him and for everyone serving over seas or here in our slums. Forever. -Gunn."

 On July 18, 2012 King posted an apology on their Facebook page as an attempt I'm assuming to sooth the mass anger. "We apologize to everyone that didn't get to see the acts after us. However the problems that any well to do security staff could have easily defused were minor ie. no serious injuries etc. and we're confused why the whole show was stopped because of one incident. PEACE"

Really this comes down to one major issue -- violence at shows and how it has a direct effect on fans and concert goers. Of course, it goes without needing to mention that every genre creates new scenes, new trends and brings all kinds of people from different walks of life together. As this all happened I was almost in shock. I was saddened for those who came for the big acts. I felt bad for the bands who would have had the opportunity to play and perhaps show off a bit. Mostly I was worried for those who inflicted the anger and received the other end of it. Why did all of the nonsense have to over-shine the core purpose: the music. I heard a rumor from people who have seen King play before, they said that a kid was actually injured so badly at a previous show that he was taken to the emergency room and later died. I couldn't attribute this information, but I can say that this is not what the concert experience should be about for anyone involved.

Below is a photo of Warren Primm who was one of the victims during the fight that broke out. He was in obvious shock as was everyone. His face was covered in drying blood, however, it appears much better than the initial moment. Primm said, "I was here to see with a few of my buddies and to see The Contortionist and Jeff Loomis. I'm disappointed that the show got shut down." When asked if this has every happened to him at a show before he said in a laugh "Never had it happen this bad before." Clearly by his smile he was trying to find humor in all of this, something not everyone was able to do.

Warren Primm was one of the victims of the nasty fight that took place on July 17 ,2012 at a show headlined by The Contortionist and 3 other fellow touring bands.

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