Saturday, January 15, 2005

THAT'S RATHER REASSURING: Following on from the shooting of Dimebag on stage in Ohio, there's been some humming and hawing about quite what form of total over-recation is called for to ensure that this never happens again. But not everyone believes rules and security and so on are called for:

"I'd have to say, the people heavy metal shows are drawing are coming out with a different mind-set about what's fun," says veteran security professional Bart Butler, president of Rock Solid Security. "But when it comes to gun-toting crazies, I wouldn't say metal shows are any different than any other mass gathering."

Good to know you're no more likely to be taken out by a gun-toting crazy at a Man O'War gig than you are, say, at a riot or the next time you sign up for a Human Be-in.

Paul Bassman, manager of Damageplan, is still puzzled about the whole thing:

"How this man got onstage without encountering security is the most puzzling question," Bassman says.

That's right, I'm sure nobody has ever been at a gig before where people have ever got on the stage, run about, hugged the bass player, sung two lines of a song, kissed the singer, trod on the effects pedal, danced about like a pansy-boy or simply dived off the stage back into the crowd. It just never happens, does it?

The Alrosa, where the shooting happened, may or may not have been making the crowd go through metal detectors on the night Dimebag died, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway as it seems the gunman slipped in through the backdoor. Though, generally, if someone wants to shoot someone, they'll find a way in anyway: what stops everyone being shot to pieces in gigs is that generally, there aren't that many people who want to go round shooting everybody. The metal detectors are just for reassurance.

However, even in the face of the obvious, people are still suggesting that Something Must Be Done, although they don't quite know what:

"Underwriters in general take into account that the (metal) shows are of a different nature than the plain-vanilla type of show," says Jeff Insler, CEO of entertainment insurance firm Robertson Taylor North America.

"If anything, underwriters' perception is that promoters need to take more steps to make sure people don't get into venues with weapons," Insler adds.

...which is just a step away from saying "We really think it might be good if clubowners ensured people didn't get shot to death at their premises." Maybe they could put up a sign?

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