The Ocean Vs. Summer Slaughter
So rare is a Dillinger Escape Plan show without stage diving that Kip Wingerschmidt and I couldn’t help but notice the absence when Summer Slaughter hit NYC last week. Still, it was merely an observation, and didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the show. The band, for their part, sounded great, and gave it 110%, as they always do; and although there was no stage diving, there was moshing and crowd surfing a-plenty. The whole “no stage diving” thing seemed like it was probably the result of playing a certain-sized venue with a corporate sponsorship. C’est la vie.
But the members of The Ocean have also noticed the lack of stage diving on Summer Slaughter, and, they think it’s lame. From their Facebook page:
To which Ash Avildsen, the founder of Summer Slaughter (and Sumerian Records), responded:
All of which leaves me feeling like the middle of a Venn diagram; I understand both sides of the argument. ‘Cause like I said, the lack of stage diving at the show was noticeable. And when the entire city of Boston tried to (successfully?) ban moshing last year, that just seemed, y’know, completely fucking ridiculous.
But moshing and stage diving ain’t the same thing, and as I noted before, the lack of stage diving at this year’s Summer Slaughter didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the show. In fact, while stage diving can be a fun part of a concert, plenty of bands pretty much never have stage diving (Ever seen anyone stage dive at a Tool show?) and still manage to put on a great show every time.
And in case Randy Blythe’s arrest and trial weren’t enough to convince you that shit can get real if a fan is injured, check this out — when we interviewed DEP’s Greg Puciato back in 2007, he actually did express to us concerns about being slapped with a law suit as a result to what most extreme music fans would consider perfectly acceptable behavior:
“The thing I worry about is the lawsuits, getting sued and never being able to have a life after this because, y’know, not me but someone else at a show decided it was too much for them and decided to sue us, which happens all the time. It’s happening right now, not that I can talk about it too much. The thing that sucks about this whole punk rock/hardcore thing getting bigger is that it’s drawing in a lot of people from outside of it, which is great, ’cause in a commercial sense it’s absurd to think that that a band like us could ever be in the Billboard Top 200, it’s stupid to even think that, or that we could sell out an actual venue, not just some VFW hall or something. But at the same time, that’s because there’s a lot of people who listened to Sum 41 a year ago but now are like “Oh, this is the real shit, I wanna get as close as possible to it and see what it’s all about,” so there’s like, little girls and boys that were into almost pop music a couple of years ago and now they come to a Dillinger show… and they sit right in front because they’re just like, ‘I love them!’ And between kids going off and us going crazy, something happens – even if it’s something little.”
“But usually what happens is they start a lawsuit, realize we’re not rich, and then the whole thing will just disappear. ‘Cause no lawyer is gonna spend fucking two years or whatever trying to get the ball rolling on something that’s not gonna pay. But there’s a couple of things going on right now that are still going, and it’s starting to freak me out, because they try to sue you for not just current earnings, but they try to sue you for future earnings, too, as an individual, not just as a corporation. And it’s like things that weren’t even my fault, just because I’m a person who’s associated with the show. They go after everyone they can. They don’t know anything about who to sue, so they just go ‘We’re gonna sue every person in the band, we’re gonna sue the record comapny’ – which is absurd, they have nothing to do with the shows – ‘we’re gonna sue the club, security, the promoter, anything we can try to get because my son, somebody landed on his toe and broke it.’ And they’ll try to sue for astronomical amounts, and it’s like, ‘Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous!’ Stage diving and crowd surfing and shit like that has been going since the beginning of fucking history, man, you know what I mean? Eddie Vedder did it in a video that everyone saw – there’s crowd surfing at fucking Avril Lavigne shows and shit, y’know [laughs]? It’s not that crazy. And honestly, the crowd is not that crazy – I still feel way more scared in the middle of a Slayer concert.”
So, like I said, I can see both sides of the argument. But in the long-term I think I tend to come down on the side of “stage diving really does not make or break a gig.”
How do you feel about it? Debate in the comments section below.