TITLE: Illuminating Chaos
DATE: 3/03/2005 02:47:00 PM
Chris has something to add to my post about NIN below, with regard to the Centrum show I referenced:
In January of 1995, I attended the NIN concert at the Worcester Centrum that Beth mentions in her piece. Jon had asked me to go that fall, when tickets went on sale. In the interim, I had begun to date Tracy, who went with us, and Jon and I had begun our falling out. By the time of the concert, everything was falling apart around me. I was losing my best friend. I was losing the first real girlfriend I’d had. The concert, and the chaos were the perfect antidote, if only for a couple of hours.
I quote Beth here:
Ah, the good ol' days.
* Best just to chalk this up to an error on my part...I remember being told about a show where Trent walked off the stage because he felt the crowd wasn't amped up enough and returning to play in front of a riot, but since Chris went to the show and I didn't, trust his memory, not mine.
Stories abound of the weapons, injuries and assorted sick behaviors that occurred at some of the more legendary shows, including one at the Worcester Centrum in 1995 that friends of mine went to--where Trent became infuriated with the crowd and walked off the stage, only to return before a nearly uncontrolled riot that remained through the rest of the gig.
I don’t remember Trent walking off*, but I do remember the uncontrolled riot. We had seats in the front row of the bleacher section, and when the crowds started to rush the floor to join the pit there were people leaping over our heads and down the fifteen feet or so to the floor. In front of us, the railings on the stairs that led to the floor collapsed, several of our frailer friends at the bottom of the pile. It was nuts...
...there were no chairs on the floor, thanks in part to a show at the Garden in the fall, where there had been chairs, which, I guess, had been ripped up and thrown around. There were lots more people who got onto the floor than had tickets for the floor, and that just made for a mess.
The whole "rush to the floor" had a very orchestrated feel to it--it felt very military to me, very precise. The moment the lights went down for [Pop Will Eat Itself] (the first opening act), there was a small rush, and some folks got onto the floor and some didn't. When the lights went down for the Jim Rose Circus, the second opening act, I don't think there was as much of one. But, when the lights went down for NIN, it got crazy.
They started off with Pinion and I think they segued right into Terrible Lie...at that point, the crowds behind us began a sort of wedge that drove towards the bottleneck of the stairs leading to the floor. You had so many people trying to cram into so little space (Will W. and Lauren C. among them) and then the railings collapsed. That was going on all around the floor.
And then people started jumping over our heads. The railing directly in front of us collapsed and they moved us back a couple of rows, for a couple of songs, until they fixed it.
I'm not sure if there was any real impetus for this, except that the crowd was raging against the restrictions placed upon it. The whole aesthetic of the tour, the breaking of the instruments towards the end, the rage of it, had found its way out into the audience. I guess that's the best way I can describe it.