What is the craziest thing you have ever witnessed during a live concert? Was something that band had set up for the audience? Or was it something that just happened unexpectedly and out of nowhere, surprising even the artist or band? There is no doubt that there is absolutely nothing like going to a live show and seeing your favorite artists do what they do best. What better way is there to experience the music and sound than by interacting with the musicians themselves at a live performance? You can meet and greet several different artists, get free merchandise tossed your way, see new bands and artists that you may not have already known, and maybe even hear sneak previews of upcoming music from big musicians. But sometimes the show will get extra fun.
With crazy performers and even crazier fans, concerts can sometimes get out of hand and situations may be unpredictable. Fights on stage can be entertaining, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. How about an all-out brawl between fans and the entourage of the performing artist? There can always be more to a show than just “seeing if they’re as good in concert as they are on the album.” Whether it be an artist getting arrested or a group of fans being struck by a bolt lightning, you never know what kind of unanticipated accidents or conflicts could break out during a live concert. So here is a list of 15 concerts that you probably wish you could have witnessed for yourself.
15. Afroman Hits Female Fan
Afroman was obligated to pay a $330 bond after being taken into custody for hitting a woman while performing. The Because I Got High artist was playing a show in Biloxi, Mississippi in February of last year when the video surfaced and spread immediately. In the video, the girl can be seen dancing with a drink in her hand while trying to go unnoticed by the musician. Without looking, Afroman quickly turned around and hit her. Afroman had an opportunity to publicly apologize and make a couple excuses with TMZ Live: “I love my fans. I go early these days to meet and greet them, hang out with them. It was an early show… I had to walk like a half a mile to get to the place. I had my frustrations to make a long story short.” He goes on to explain that one fan was shouting obscenities at him throughout the show, and that he thought the guy had snuck up on him behind stage. “I’m just trying to do my job. And I thought it was that guy, and I turned around and you know… man. It was wrong.”
14. Jim Morrison Arrested While Performing (New Haven, Connecticut)
Jim Morrison of The Doors was never exactly known for conforming to acceptable behavior, nor for respecting authorities. And his manners would definitely not change during the times he performed on stage, even if cops were there to keep him company. In 1967, while performing “Back Door Man”, Morrison took the time to slow down for a moment and get personal with his fans. He began to recount an incident that happened just before the show, where an officer interrupted him and a fangirl in a shower-stall. Morrison went on to explain that he was sprayed with mace after telling the cop to “beat it.” “The United States of America man! Land of the free, home of the brave,” Morrison mocked during the show. “In God we trust,” he continued, just before honoring a cop’s request to speak to the audience. The officer announced that the show was being cut short and proceeded to arrest the fighting rock star, saying that he had “gone too far.” Anarchy breaks out on stage as the band fights off the handful of officers. After finally being taken into custody, Morrison was later charged for inciting a riot.
13. Famous Guitarist Is Murdered Onstage
Dimebag Darrell Abbot is one of the most famous guitar players in the history of heavy metal. Playing with Pantera, and later with Damageplan, Dimebag was ranked “No. 1 Greatest Guitarist” in UK’s Metal Hammer magazine. In 2004, Damageplan played at Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio where the venue was less than 50% filled to capacity. Many fans could not tell if it was part of the act when a deranged fan jumped on stage and shot Dimebag multiple times. Although security tackled the shooter, and an ex-marine attempted to unarm him, Nathan Gale continued firing. After hitting several targets and taking one man hostage, 25 year-old Nathan Gale was shot down by Officer James Niggemeyer. Club staff Erin Halk, concert-goer Nathan Bray, and crew member Jeff Thompson were also victims in the incident. It was later reported that Gale was an obsessive Pantera fan who was upset that the band had split up.
12. Akon Launches Teenager Off of Stage
Akon was never really recognized as a “hood” artist, nor had he ever accrued any real “street cred.” However, on this special day, the soft-spoken R&B artist felt like it was time to earn some respect from his colleagues. Akon was in the middle of explaining his first experiences in the country before he was interrupted. “What’s crazy is when I first came to this country, I didn’t really understand the whole culture…” At this time, Akon spotted the direction from which a bottle was thrown directly at him. “Who was that? You threw that over there? Point him out…” After the loyal fans revealed the thrower to one of Akon’s stage members, Akon directs him to bring the culprit to the stage. “Get him. Bring him up here!” Akon takes off his tank top as the 15-year-old is escorted to the stage. Sure enough, Akon ended up with a lawsuit on his hands after demonstrating a wrestling-style toss that left one fan injured.
11. Danny Brown “Didn’t Miss One Bar” While Groupie Surprises Him
Just a few years back, Danny Brown made history while performing a show In Minneapolis. The Detroit rapper pretended not to notice when a groupie in the front row pulled his pants down. The fan performed oral sex on the emcee for a short amount of time before things had to return to a more family-friendly concert setting. This incident sparked a lot of controversy, some claiming that the performer was victimized of sexual assault while on the job. Kendrick Lamar was proud of his colleague after hearing about the record breaking show. But, he had to hear the truth come directly from the source, so he reached out to Danny Brown. He tweeted the following: “@XDannyXBrownX u really just got the head on stage stanny???”, to which Danny Brown responded “<<<- and didn’t miss one bar bruh bruh”.
10. David Bowie Gets Lollipop Stuck In His Eye
In June of 2004, Bowie was playing a show in Oslo, Norway for around 8,000 fans. It was probably a gesture of love when, early in the show, someone threw a lollipop at the 57-year-old rock-star. Once struck with the stick, Bowie was clearly startled as he backed up grabbing his face. Realizing that the stick of the candy was stuck in his eye-socket, he reached out to his stage-members for assistance. After getting the lollipop removed, he swore and demanded at the anonymous culprit to come forward. But he regained his composure and decided he would “punish” the fans by making the show longer than intended. Throughout the rest of the show, Bowie demonstrated his great sense of humor by continuously making a joke out of the incident. At one point, he even threw a guitar pick out into the crowd before asking if he hit someone in the eye, and then asked if he should hide behind his band, laughing and smiling the entire time of course. It was confirmed and reported later after getting a check-up that there was no damage or injury to the eye.
9. Snoop Dogg & Crew Stomp Out Fan
Snoop fought a lawsuit for three years after a famous incident that occurred while he was performing in Auburn, Washington. 22 year-old Richard Monroe, a resident of Kent Washington, took it upon himself to join the Long Beach crew on the stage in the middle of Snoop performing a set. Monroe hardly got as far as laying a finger on Snoop Dogg. Once he was noticed, Snoop alongside many other famous West Coast rappers immediately pummeled him to the floor and continued to batter him on the floor. Although Monroe later claimed that he was accepting an open invitation from the rapper for everyone to jump on stage, he was the only one seen doing so. Richard Monroe sustained multiple injuries during the scuffle…which was actually more of a beat-down. He later tried suing Snoop for $22 million. In May of 2009, a California jury concluded that Snoop Dogg and his fellow stage members were not responsible for, nor would they be held accountable for, the injuries that inflicted upon Monroe at the show. However, the DoggyStyle Label was responsible in granting Monroe about $450,000.
8. Amy Winehouse Can Hardly Function
Amy Winehouse’s last performance prior to her tragic death was painful to watch. Throughout the show, Winehouse at times refers to band members for lyrics, struggles to speak, and leaves multiple songs unfinished. But despite her uncanny stage-etiquette, it is clear that she in intoxicated by her unusually unconfident body-language. One cannot help but ask who would allow Winehouse to perform in such condition? The only person to attempt justifying this was Moby, who was the closing act of the show. He explains that some younger musicians are high energy performers, even when under the influence. He also makes statements that suggest that a show’s profit is a priority over questioning a member’s health. Here is what Moby explained during an interview with Today.com:
“It’s especially hard when people are younger, as the consequences of their using are generally less severe. When I was in my twenties, I thought I was bulletproof. The hangovers only lasted a few hours, so there was no deeply compelling reason to get or stay sober…. Addicts love to drink and get high, and we’ll employ any type of mental stratagem to enable ourselves.”
7. Pitbull Throws One-Hitter-Quitter after Fan “Makes It Rain”
A cell-phone video went viral in 2009 as evidence that Pitbull doesn’t like it when you “make it rain” at his shows. The video shows the entertainer help the fan on stage, only for the fan to throw money in Pitbull’s face. Pitbull then pulls his right hand back as far as he could, and launches a swift one to the guys face, laying him out. In attempts to dismiss the elephant in the room, he finishes performing Bojangles before acknowledging the incident. “I told that mothaf***a not to do the shit no more… I’m a nice guy!” Pitbull later revealed the whole story in an interview. “They don’t show the whole clip of what happened”, he explains. “I was going into Bojangles and this mothaf***a had already made it rain like three times.” He continues, “I told him ‘Look dawg, you already got three strikes. Don’t make it rain no more. I’m telling you.’” “I started Bojangles and about a minute later, he comes to the other side of the stage and throws money again.”
6. Grateful Dead Fans Struck By Lightning
This band is well known for intentionally defying conventional traditions and protocols. And although The Grateful Dead often went out of their way demonstrate exciting acts, this incident was certainly not within their control. In the dead middle of summer, June 25th of 1995, three concertgoers were shielding themselves under a tree from the season-rebelling downpour. Near around 3:00 pm, just before the show had begun, a large rod of lightning, leaving the three fans severely injured, struck the tree. 23-year-old Kira Lee, 21 year-old John Pongel, and 20-year-old Kristin Daniel all survived the devastating strike. An emergency response team commander that was first on the scene reported that Kristin Daniel took a majority of the punishment, as the other two were not as close to the tree. It was also reported that one of the concertgoers had happened to be an emergency medical technician. And if he had not had an oxygen tank and breathing mask in his car, along with a practiced set of CPR skills, the 20 year-old would have likely died.
5. A$AP Mob Brawl Ends SXSW Show
In 2012, an A$AP show in Texas quickly turned into what most describe as a punk-rock concert. As a matter of fact, A$AP Rocky‘s shows are known for having a punk-rock nature. This usually includes mosh pits, massive stage dives, head banging, fires, and more mosh pits. But this particular situation was unlike other punk performances. Early on in the show, Rocky restrained himself by politely asking fans to throw only water on stage, after almost nailing one of his stage-members with a can of beer. This was the second time through the night that he had to stop the show. The first was after a member of Rocky’s entourage had a do-rag stolen off of his head while crowd surfing. The Harlem rapper was obligated to react after fans threw one final can of beer at the stage. Rocky glanced at his crew for half of a moment, just before everyone on the stage rushed the fans. This would turn into one of the most memorable brawls at an independent artist’s performance to date.
4. Curtis Mayfield’s Crippling Stage Light Incident
Curtis Mayfield is a musician that was most active during the civil rights movement. He was one of the most prominent and influential singers that dipped into soul genres and socially conscious properties. While performing a Brooklyn, New York show in 1990, Mayfield’s life would be changed forever. Just as the 48-year-old was appearing on stage, a strong gust of wind hit what is happened to be called the Windgate Field Stage. The wind dismantled a scaffold of improperly installed stage lights that were hanging just above the singer, causing the lights to crash upon him. Weighing hundreds of pounds, the fixture induced neck and head injuries upon Curtis Mayfield. The impact caused Mayfield to be paralyzed from the neck down for the remainder of his life. Although he could no longer play the guitar, Mayfield continued to write lyrics and record vocals. Complications with type 2 diabetes ultimately led to the passing of Mayfield in 1999.
3. Kurt Cobain Fights Bouncer of His Own Show
Kurt Cobain wasn’t always one to pick fights. It’s safe to say that Kurt would likely rather be playing his guitar than driving it into the head of a bouncer that’s twice his size. But unfortunately, things did not go as planned during a Nirvana set in Texas in 1991. While playing Love Buzz Kurt takes takes a leap into the crowd with his guitar still in hand. The altercation began while he was unbalanced along the surface of the crowd. By the time he neared the stage again, Cobain and the bouncer already began striking each other. And when Cobain finally gets a couple of limbs under him in order to hold himself up on the stage floor, he is punched in the head and kicked in the stomach by the bouncer. At this point, the rest of the stage-members drop what they are doing to grab the bouncer. They can be seen yelling and swearing at them while the crowd chants “Bulls**t!” repeatedly at the bouncer.
2. Jim Morrison Arrested While Performing AGAIN (Miami, Florida)
Jim Morrison was arrested on multiple occasions. However, two of them just so happened to take place while he was doing what he did best. When he returned to his home state to perform in 1969, it was just another night on the job. While performing a piece that was unreleased at the time and would be later recognized as hit Touch Me. Morrison cut the band mid-song. It was tradition for Morrison to rant about the social injustices that were so corrupting at the time. However, seldom was it that members of the audience were also interactive with the band’s outbursts. Fans joined the band on stage, suggestive nudity was displayed, and Morrison strained his voice calling for a revolution. Once things got out of hand, the promoter of the concert, Ken Collier, was forced to bring the show to an end. Although Morrison dodged many other charges, he faced public exposure and profanity. Morrison fled the country and later died before his appeal could be heard.
1. Young Guitarist Upstages Clapton
Being the lead guitarist for a band called Cream, Eric Clapton was easily the greatest guitar player the world had known. During the 60’s, it was not uncommon to refer to Eric Clapton as the Guitar God, or even just God. The phrase “Clapton Is God” was famously tagged, and printed on t-shirts for nearly every teenager around the world to wear. In London, a new upcoming younger cat made a bold suggestion: that he gets an opportunity to perform a segment with Cream. The kid chose to play Killing Floor by Howlin’ Wolf, a song that Clapton openly claimed was too difficult to perform. Beyond all doubt, he steam-rolled through the song while performing all of his trademark moves. Playing between his legs, behind his head, with his teeth, the whole nine yards. After staring at the 25-year-old in awe with a blank face, Clapton stormed off stage in anger, cutting the show to half of its intended duration. Clapton was reportedly seen backstage shaking, struggling to light a cigarette. His manager claimed Clapton was asking if the kid was “really that good?” in hopes that someone would reassure him that it was an audio recording or digitally altered… it was not. Jimi Hendrix would become one of the most celebrated guitarists of all time.