Filter Show in El Paso Canceled Over Anti-Trump Comments
Thursday night (March 7) Filter were all set to play a show at the Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso, TX. However, their plans were quickly dashed when the venue’s management team was informed of a recent Facebook post by singer Richard Patrick which featured a short clip of the band sound-checking before their set. The caption on the aforementioned post read: “This is sound check!! We’re Playing El Paso!!! Get here later and it will be packed!! A lot of trump bashing! Does anyone know Beto? Bring Beto!”
The caption might seem harmless on its own, but combined with the imagery in the video of an upside-down American flag it was enough for the venue to receive unwanted phone calls.
A post from Filter speaking up about the cancelation of their show read:
“The band was told the venue ‘didn’t like’ the post and that they were getting threatening phone calls and bomb threats from Texans who didn’t like it either. The tour manager was in the green room and woke up from a pre-show nap to 30 yellow-shirted security guards and the General Manager shouting expletives and telling the band they were not welcome at the venue. ‘The First Amendment does not exist in this Casino. Get the f@*k out,’ they said.”
The venue’s management team also told Patrick that it was illegal to display the flag upside down. U.S. law states: “The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” Patrick responded appropriately: “This is a dire emergency! This country is totally jacked up!! This is my right to artistic expression. If they are going to tell me that I am un0American for saying that about the President, I’d ask them if they have been to Iraq or Afghanistan. I have been over there and love and respect the job that our troops are doing over there – fighting to ensure our rights to say what we like. As a matter of fact – I was asked recently what FILTER stands for and THIS IS IT – our freedom of expression!”
As for the Speaking Rock Casino, they addressed the issue through their own statement. “Unfortunately, due to safety concerns associated with Filter’s performance tonight we will be canceling their show. We want everyone who comes to our venue to experience entertainment with positivity, union, safety, and joy. We all have our own political views and want to respect everyone’s opinion, but our shows will not be a platform for it. We apologize for the cancellation. On a positive note, Fall 2 Rise will still be on at 7p.”
Although the casino had every right to cancel the show it seems that the concern for the safety of their venue and their concert goers was not the only motive for the show cancelation, and politics and an omnipresent divide in the country had everything to do with it. All the people of El Paso wanted was Filter. Give the damn people some Filter! Where is Beto when you need him? Probably still recovering from his recent outing to a Metallica show.