Should I Stay or Should I Go?

August 23, 2018 | Haley Pearl

Attila (2018).

When you think about attending a concert, what are some of the things that pop into your head? For me, it's knowing that I'll be in a safe spot surrounded by those I consider family. Regardless of how hard we rock and how physical the dancing gets, most do what they can to protect one another. Even so, sometimes "family" members get hurt. 

It's clear that the majority of the concerts I attend are on the heavier side of the music spectrum. It's not unusual for band members to shout, "I want to see you break some bones," or, "Don't leave the pit until you're f---ing bleeding." This is something that's just normal at these types of shows -- the fans are accustomed to it. However, how much is too much? 

Back in 2016, I saw Outline in Color on the Us Against the World Tour. Before the band even went onstage, one vocalist Trevor Tatro came on stage and spoke to the crowd. I remember this so vividly, because I know how messed up it was. Tatro shared with the crowd that if he didn't see a pit or somebody bleeding, he was going to end the show right there. He even said he would jump into the crown and punch somebody if he had to. They were one of the many opening bands to that show, doing all that they could to get a crowd reaction. It was foreshadowing of one of many shows since in which crowd members and even band members have been injured at live shows. 

Yesterday (August 22, 2018), Attila was playing Rage Fest in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Cafe. Chris Fronzack, who is the vocalist for the band, stopped the show mid performance due to the venue's security guards not performing their job effectively. There have been several Snapchat and Instagram stories of the band members expressing their anger towards the security guards. Fronzack shared several video updates that he would "kill" for his fans and that he will do "whatever it takes" to protect them. If you watched any of these stories, you probably recall that he said repeatedly that he beat up the security guards not once, but several times. According to Fronzack, the security guards were pulling people out of the crowd by their hair, choking them, and grabbing them roughly. There's a video where you can see Fronzack retaliate and give his own remarks on this. It is also shared in the video that he was being looked for by the cops in Las Vegas last night after this incident. The authorities should've been contacted right away during this incident, however if you know Attila, you know they're always going to go for the shock value. 

So, how does this look? With a music genre already battling a bad reputation, situations like these don't help. in situations like Attila's in Vegas, it is a PR mess. News is breaking about it and the band is fueling the fire by publishing their own videos of the event. Anyone who attends their shows has seen the tweens in attendance with their parents. Well, say goodbye to that demographic, because most responsible parents are likely to put Attila in time out. 

Because this is kind of Attila's shtick, it probably won't end them, but it won't help hit them in some sort of way that impacts the band. Losing their label, losing venue support, and losing any respect only hurts the genre as a whole.

At some point, does it become unsafe for us? Is it better for to just listen to music on our own chosen devices? Shows do get rough, and accidents do happen, but what are you willing to endure for a good live show? 

As a rabid fan attending these types of shows since I was 14, I can personally speak to the healing power of being in an audience moved by music. However, violent moshing is taking away the magic and depriving many new listeners from the experience altogether. I went to the final Warped Tour this year and got punched in the face... and I was on the sidelines. It can only be so much fun for so long before it just becomes a safety issue for fans. Will I turn down a show though? No. Live performances are the ultimate experience. There just has to be a better way to do it.

What do you think?

"Every action has its equal opposite reaction." - "Election of 1800," Hamilton