After a surprise reunion announced earlier this year, Toronto’s Death From Above 1979 performed their first reunion showon Sunday in Austin, Texas, at the South By Southwest music festival. The noise-rock duo certainly got fans excited with their showcase—a little too excited, perhaps, considering a riot broke out at the Beauty Bar Backyard venue when frustrated fans couldn’t gain entry due to limited capacity.
According to Spinner, at about 1:30 a.m., a rowdy crowd outside the venue broke down the barrier fence and chaos broke out at the March 20 concert. Police officers lined the venue in hopes of calming the crowd and mounted officers were brought in. One reported incident involved a female police officer allegedly beating an aggressive reveller by hand. Eventually, the band was forced to stop the concert and singer-drummer Sebastien Grainger urged the crowd to calm down. “Everyone stand still; put your hand on your neighbour’s shoulder. How does that feel? Does it feel nice? Is it a little bit romantic? I think it might be,” he joked to ease the tension.
The show was once again interrupted during the final song of the night by an announcement that police needed the area cleared or the entire concert would be shut down. At this point, Grainger grabbed the microphone and urged the crowd to call their moms in a last-ditch attempt to quell unruliness. If instructions to call one’s mother doesn’t instill a bit of shame into rioters, then we’re not sure what would. “I didn’t know the police were [allegedly] beating people. Damn, now I feel bad,” Grainger told Spinner after the show.