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Posted at 2:10 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Taking sides: What's the craziest concert you've seen?

By Click Track

monotonixIf you see Monotonix on Friday night, you might have to adjust your craziest concerts list.

Anyone who's been to a Monotonix concert has a story about it. Probably a few. When the Israeli garage-blues trio plays, it's a no-barriers, in-your-face-experience. Like, literally in your face and not in a pleasant way. Yes, we are talking about finding yourself eye-to-butt with the hirstute, sweaty rear end of gangly lead "singer" Ami Shalev. Maybe it will be something more innocuous, such as Shalev grabbing a beer out of your hands and pouring it down the front of his pants. Or perhaps Shalev will simply get the trash can out of the venue's restroom and dump all of its contents on the band's poor drummer. There will be no "safe spot" at Comet Ping Ping if you choose to see tomorrow's show.

So this got us thinking -- what's the craziest concert we've been to? Our answers below.

Chris Richards: I'm pretty sure it was the spring of 2000 at the old Black Cat, a few doors down from where the club is located today. I had gone to see XBXRX, a then-teenage noise band from Mobile, Alabama, perform an ill-attended show on the Black Cat's backstage. In our midst, however, was Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, who was in town for a Washington-area gig the next night. The kids in XBXRX did their thing -- which meant playing pre-recorded game show-ish music between songs and running out into the crowd to antagonize their fans. They would mock-waltz with people, shadow box with them, stuff like that. Vedder, however, was approached by the band's drummer, lifted off the ground and body-slammed on the dance floor. Everyone gasped. Vedder quickly hopped back up with a huge smile on his face. I have had the utmost respect for him ever since.

Allison Stewart: I know she doesn't sing or anything, but I saw Karen Finley one time, and I haven't been able to eat a yam since. She told a lot of performance-art-y stories about various sexual encounters (that she'd had? That other people had had? I can't remember) and made them seem horrifying and dull at the same time. A lot of the audience started to leave, and she yelled at them. Then she covered herself in honey and writhed around onstage while "Ring My Bell" played. There was more-those are just the parts I haven't blocked out.

David Malitz: I've done well (or not?) to avoid truly chaotic scenes over the course of my concert-going career. Each time I saw Monotonix would rank near the top, especially a 2008 show at the Red & the Black that was opened by marching band on acid Dark Meat. But another show at the Red & the Black springs to mind. It was October 2007 and garage duo King Khan & BBQ Show was playing. But first local punk hellraisers the Points played and it got plenty unruly during their set. Blood, ejections, ceiling fans in danger of falling to the ground, sound person unplugging the band's equipment to force them to stop. When King Khan & BBQ took the stage, things got rowdier. The sound was awful (there was one person to be bartender/soundman), the band was frustrated and was ready to start a fight with anyone. And all the while King Khan is wearing a skin-tight black mini-dress and a purple wig. It ended without violence, just some middle fingers and an abbreviated set.

Over to you, dear reader. What's the craziest concert you've ever seen? Let us know in the comments.

By Click Track  | February 3, 2011; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags:  Monotonix  
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Comments

Craziest band antics? Hmmmm...I can't really think of any. Plenty of crazy audience antics. The bonfires and bottle throwing nights at Ozzfest...the dudes of made a bong out of an aluminum can at the last Crufest...the guy wh othrew a shoe at Josh Homme at the 9:30 Club last time QOTSA played there and almost got beat up by Josh Homme...

Posted by: EricS2 | February 3, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

My #1 go-to crazy concert story is from a Monotonix show, which was a characteristically sweaty, hirsute man-ass and beer-filled. At one point in the show, a stranger handed me his half-full beer glass and at that point in time the only thing I could think to do was throw the beer in his face, so that's what I did. That's not something I've ever done before or since, but in that environment, that was the thing to do. The guy appreciated it too, he gave me high five! In that room, at that time, it was logical and admirable to throw a beer in a stranger face.

The show ended with the crowd spilling out the back door and playing drums and chanting in the middle of the street at 1 am on a Sunday night in a tree-lined residential neighborhood of single family homes in Rochester, NY. Must've been quite the sight to the neighbors.

Posted by: PTRQ | February 3, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Halloween 1992, Daisy Chainsaw at the old 9:30 club. No one knew quite what to expect, but we certainly didn't expect the lead singer to pull off her wig and use a power drill on a baby doll. Its hard to forget something like that.

Of course, I could have seen Yanni at the old 9:30 and it would have been a memorable experience.

Posted by: macdizzle4rizzle | February 3, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Led Zeppelin, Knebworth, 1979
Stones opening date in Philly, 1981
AC/DC at Towson, 1979
and the crazy list goes on.
Wtf is crazy anyway. Isn't that what real live rock and roll is all about anyway?

Posted by: backseatreviewer | February 4, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I saw Faust in Pittsburgh in the late 90s, at what was basically an industrial tool shop converted into a performance space. It was all rust and crumbling concrete, no heat, and you felt like you needed a tetanus shot. So Faust come out and just amazed, much more intense than they are on most of their albums. It ended with Zappi Diermayer, an enormous bald screaming German, lighting off road flares and waving them around while banging on metal. The entire building quickly filled with smoke and sparks, verging right on the point between being the most amazing show ever and feeling terribly unsafe. It was great.

Shortly thereafter the industrial theater was closed down for being completely unsafe and never should've been used for performance anyway.

Posted by: misere | February 4, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I saw Bad Luck 13 twice. They pretty much take the prize for me. Both sets blend together.

Superman in a wheelchair spewing his colostomy bag all over the crowd. A huge African-American guy beating a KKK member with boards, neon light tubes, a ladder, and barb wire before body slamming him through a table covered in thumbtacks. Band members self-mutilating. The guitarist beating an audience member with his guitar. Among the many facets of their performance. The stage and crowd were covered in broken glass, thumb tacks, blood, and various gross liquids by the end of the thing.

Boredoms at the old 9:30 Club got pretty wild too though. '93? I lost my date in the chaos of that show and found her the next day. She had a black eye. Ouch.

Posted by: mdarpino | February 4, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Montonix takes the cake, but Clockcleaner is a close second. When opening for Deerhunter they left a strobe on the entire set, then the singer brandished an aluminum bat and ask the audience why no one in DC dances. Plus this was in the black backstage and the band was 2 feet away from the audience.

Posted by: M__N | February 4, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The Extra-Action Marching Band at Warehouse was a lot of fun. They started their set and immediately marched into the seated audience and dragged everyone onto the stage with them. It was a hot, summer night and, man, did that whole band smell like a dumpster! I especially dug watching this little group of 15 year old boys in the crowd who were just awestruck by the whole thing.
I never saw a Butthole Surfers show as wild as some of the stories I've heard, but their outdoor gig for NORML on the Fourth of July at the Lincoln Memorial in 1989 was pretty out there. Someone cut the PA early in the set, but with Gibby set up to tweak his vocals with effects through an amp, they managed to press on and finish their set.

Posted by: gfriday | February 5, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I caught that Clockcleaner set. Deerhunter looked totally tame and pedestrian after that. Another that comes to mind is the Laundry Room Squelchers at Velvet last April. It lasted for six minutes in total but it was a violent six minutes that included amp throwing and ended in a tangled mess of people and cables on the floor.

Posted by: azaghal1981 | February 6, 2011 7:25 AM | Report abuse

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