Top 5 Times Concert Crowds Started to Riot
Sometimes the attendees of a concert or an event can cause problems. Be it because something happens at a concert or a musician doesn’t perform as promised, next thing you know the whole crowd goes into riot mode and all kinds of chaos breaks loose. Look back in time with us as we explore these top 5 times concert crowds started to riot!
Rage Against The Machine -Minneapolis 2008
The Republican National Convention was set to take place in Minneapolis and Rage Against The Machine was booked to play at the Target Center. The 15,000 or so people that were there marched peacefully and didn’t start any rioting that some expected to take place. Luckily the marching and the protests did not turn into chaos but 100 people were arrested for unlawful assembly, fans of the band or not.
Paul Robeson – Peekskill 1949
Paul Robeson was a multitalented man. He sang, acted, played in the NFL for a time, and had a law education. He was the big attraction at a Civil Rights Benefit concert in New York when he was targeted by the KKK and others who were racially motivated. They first got the show postponed by attacking people with baseball bats and rocks before lynching and setting fire to an effigy of Robeson. The rescheduled show had its own issues with mobs of people attacking concert goers and dragging them from their cars while the police did nothing as people were attacked.
Alice Cooper – Toronto 1980
Heavy rock icon Alice Cooper was all set to play a show in Toronto, Canada in 1980. He didn’t perform and this was made official with 14,000 people already in the stadium. When the news that Alice had canceled the show broke, those 14,000 people were not pleased and started throwing chairs and tore the stadium apart before making a mess outside the stadium. Police were called and 31 people were arrested and 12 were hospitalized. It has been rumored for a long time that Cooper was too drunk to perform that night but he revealed not too long ago he was just REALLY sick. The substance abuse he was dealing with at the time might have had a hand in that.
Guns N’ Roses and Metallica – Montreal 1992
Guns N’ Roses went on tour in 1992 with Metallica but on this night things didn’t go so well. James Hetfield of Metallica had suffered some serious burns to his arm when a pyrotechnic exploded close to him. Guns N’ Roses were then asked to take the stage and perform as Hetfield was taken to the hospital. Axel Rose said that his throat was sore and bothering him and he decided not to perform as well. The fans at the concert were not happy and rioted. Many of them took to the streets of Montreal and created havoc. Police cars were overturned, along with rioting and looting around the stadium.
Inspired by Woodstock, the music festival was planned to be the Woodstock of the West Coast. It was more of a mess than a show. Stories of what happened at this event are still told to this day. Security for the event was mostly put on by the Hell’s Angels biker gang where loads of members waited in buses in case they were needed for backup. Mick Jagger was punched in the head as soon as he got off the helicopter at the venue, Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane was knocked out after diving off the stage to try and break up a fight, Stephan Stills of Stills, Nash, and Young was stabbed in the leg with a motorcycle spoke, and the female lead singer of the group Ace of Cups, who was 6 months pregnant at the time, had a beer can smashed into her head and fractured her skull. One fan member tried to jump the stage with a stolen gun and the Hell’s Angel ended up stabbing him 5 times before he died. It was a rough night and many drugs were taken by those in the audience. Much of the festival and the things that happened in it were capture on film and released in the theatrical movie “Gimmie Shelter”.