Since the late ’70s, the mosh pit has continued to evolve to an area of sometimes unnecessary chaos that makes it difficult for your average concert-goer to enjoy the show. While self-expression at a metal show is one thing, what these kungfu-like moshers are doing could leave someone seriously injured or dead. Karate kicks, swings, WWE moves, we’ve all seen them and sometimes they’re completely unnecessary.
With that said, last night’s (13) Machine Head show in Southampton, England at O2 Guildhall Southampton was cut short after a man named Dan Giles was left unconscious. According to setlist.fm, the incident took place ironically after the song “Game Over” when Giles reportedly fell to the ground and was left unconscious for roughly 45 minutes. An ambulance was called in and the show was unable to continue due to the venue’s curfew.
Vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn shared the following statement:
“SOUTHAMPTON INJURY UPDATE:
Robb here: The man on the floor is Dan Giles, Dan was severely injured at last nights show when during a song near the end of our set. Several witnesses confirmed that Dan (who is a big dude to begin with) was picked up by a larger unknown dude and “suplexed” WWE-style (turned upside down and dropped on his head). He was knocked unconscious for 45 minutes.
We stopped the show after people alerted us that he was not getting up, and we were unable to finish the concert as we waited for an ambulance to arrive, combined with a strict Sunday night curfew.
Dan was laid out on the venue floor for over 90 minutes. He eventually came to, and thankfully was able to walk to the ambulance through a great amount of pain in his chest. He felt bad for stopping the show.
To say that Machine Head does NOT in any way approve of this WWE-type of behavior at our show would be a fucking understatement.
Machine Head shows are rough, we know it. Part of the fun of being at our shows is the rowdy, drunken, nature of it all, circle pits, jumping, releasing negative energy in a positive way. Hell, surviving a Machine Head pit is part of the danger and fun of our concert experience. I myself can’t tell you how many “war wounds” I walked out the pit with when I was young, and I’m proud of every one of ’em. Busted nose, chipped teeth, broken rib at a Slayer show in 1991… they were all lived-to-tell-about-it-moments… some bizarre rite-of-passage young men put themselves through.
But it is an unsaid rule of the circle pit, that if someone falls, you pick them up… you love your brother! I often bellow these words as a reminder to folks before starting a giant circle pit, to “look out for each other”. We’re all here to work out our own struggles and bullshit that we are going through as individuals.
It should go without saying that picking somebody up and slamming them on their head, is COMPLETELY FUCKING LAME! I can’t imagine the dude who did this is a Head Case or even someone who regularly goes to metal shows. More like some asshole there to start shit.
This is the 2nd show in a row now, where we’ve had to stop the concert because of a serious injury.
Complicating things even more, is that for the first time in 24 years of touring, people are now regularly waving-us-down to “stop playing” because someone fell or got hurt. It happened 4 different times last night, and we finally stopped when there was clearly a serious issue.
The tough call is that, in MOST cases the injured person is fine, and gets up. Obviously stopping the show every time someone falls down, will basically ruin the show for thousands of folks. But at the same time we need to find a balance between violent-fun and safety.
This is uncharted territory for us.
You’ll have to bare with us a we figure out the best way to approach this, and involving well-trained concert security familiar with Machine Head-type shows at a higher level will absolutely be important.
The good news is, is that long-time Head Case Dan Giles walked out of the venue last night, and while I’m sure he’s feeling it today, is going to be able to rage at another Machine Head show again.
Thank you Southampton for what was great show up until then, send some good vibes to your local boy Dan Giles.”