System of a Down’s Riot Fest Gig Stopped Multiple Times Due to Serious Fan Injuries
Over the weekend, Riot Fest invaded Chicago for three days of great music. System of a Down headlined the Sept. 12 date to play a somewhat rare gig, but things unfortunately got dangerous during the performance forcing System to pause multiple times due to fan injuries.
If you've ever seen System of a Down live, especially in a festival setting, you know how insane the band's fans go once System takes the stage. Chicago concertgoers needed emergency treatment over the weekend after a pile of fans collapsed over each other in the pit. A personal account of the scene was shared with WrestleZone by aspiring professional wrestler Steve Schneider, who may have died if it wasn't for the intervention of festival security and medics.
"I fell over during System of a Down, then someone fell on top of me so I couldn’t breathe," Schneider writes. "Then once they got up, someone else fell on top of me. It was never ending. At one point I had someone on top of my back, and someone either sitting or standing on my head, pushing my face down into mud. I couldn’t breathe the entire time, but then any breath I could take I was close to inhaling muddy water. It was the scariest thing in my entire life cause I had no idea how long I’d be trapped for. Apparently System of a Down had to stop playing so paramedics could get me out, I was unconscious at that point so I have no memory of it. Both of my eyes are blood red from passing out due to lack of air + someone crushing my head + screaming for my life." Schneider also shared some graphic photos of himself following his ordeal, which show how serious the situation really was.
Video of System of a Down stopping their set after "Aerials" was captured by a fan. You can clearly hear Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian asking fans to create an open space after the pile of fans became dangerously large. "We love playing these shows, but it's not worth one person getting hurt," said Tankian.
System were somewhat apprehensive about continuing on, but did so by preluding "B.Y.O.B." with the intro from "Soldier Side." "It's extremely awkward to sing when there are people who look like they're dying right in front of me," Malakian said to the crowd. About halfway through "B.Y.O.B." security told System to stop once again. This was the final pause in SOAD's 21-song set.
Check out the fan-filmed video of the chaotic scene above. Riot Fest will invade Toronto this weekend. To grab tickets, click here.
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