Today is the Tenth Anniversary of the Station Fire
Ten years ago tonight, Great White took the stage at The Station in Rhode Island; literally mere seconds into their set, they set off some pyrotechnics. The club was engulfed in flames in under six minutes. A hundred fans were killed; more than two-hundred others were injured.
I didn’t know anyone who was at the show, but I think of it every time I go to a small venue. I never used to make a point of knowing where all the exits are, but I do now. Even if you don’t like Great White, or bands of their ilk, pretty much every metal fan attends concerts at clubs just like The Station. These were innocent people who just wanted to have fun. Because of ego and hubris, they paid for it with their lives.
If you’ve never watched the below video — which documents not only the beginning of the fire, but also concertgoers crushing one another as they attempt to flee, only to discover that escape is impossible — I implore you do so. It should go without saying that it’s incredibly upsetting. But if it encourages you to be less cavalier about your own safety at small clubs, well… think of it as “Scared Straight” for the metal set.
Losing someone you love is difficult enough when that person died of natural causes. I can’t even fathom what it must be like to lose someone like this, and to know that their end was so terrible. The victims of this tragedy, and the loved ones they left behind, should be in all of our thoughts today.