Your Worst Concert Experience: Blood, Fatherhood and Worse

Music Features

Welcome back, gluttons for punishment, to Your Worst Concert Experience. Before we begin, I’m issuing another call for some good (read: awful) stories. In fact, we need some for next week. So send yours in! Do it! The email address is [email protected]. It can be your story, or somebody else’s, and it can be anonymous if you prefer. Long or short—you decide. Misery is the only requirement.

We’ve got a couple entries in the tank today, and one of them, in particular, might be the worst thing I’ve ever heard. We can’t start there, though. Let’s begin instead with a story from reader Alan I’m calling “Bad Charlotte.”


Sophomore year of high school. I’m 27 now. Been to a lot of shows—punk, country, Springsteen. Hell, I got drunk and saw Agent Orange play to 10 of us in a hole-in-the-wall bar in Wilmington, North Carolina. But nothing like this.

My aunt drove me to my friends house, and from there we carpooled—about seven of us—to the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, South Carolina to see a certain popular band who will be revealed later. It was my first stadium show. The opening band was full of energy; in fact, there was a domino effect of skinny Hot Topic kids swaying that caused everyone to fall over on the cold, hard standing room floor.

During the next band, I had to—just had to—crowd surf. It was an amazing, if not spiritual experience. Maybe the best experience of my concert career. But what made it the worst concert experience was yet to come.

After a long, roadie-filled lull, the soon-to-be-named headliner appeared. They began the set with their MTV hits. During about the fifth of these initial songs everyone wanted to hear, a girl beside me said “lift me up” to a massive, bicept-exposed douchebag, who—at that time—I assumed was a football player from a local high school. The pretty boy accepted the request and threw her above the crowd.

Her unchained glee, accompanied by the unknown, guy-linered dudes wearing their girlfriend’s pants grabbing her ass, began to dissipate when those helping hands became thin.

She fell, hitting her head on the concrete floor, forming a pool of blood.

My buddy lifted her up in lightning-fast instinct, carried her toward the back of the stadium, and into the hands of EMT staff right outside the venue. No one ever saw her again. Not even in the papers the next day, which we unanimously assumed was a good sign.

Still, not one of us will ever forget that, to this day, the most hardcore shit we ever saw during a live show occurred at a Good Charlotte concert.

Next up is Anonymous, with a story that we might as well call “every father’s nightmare”:

I took my 16-year-old daughter to a small club one night where her boyfriend’s band was playing. It was sparsely attended and she and I sat near the bar waiting for his act to get going. An staggering drunk guy, about 24-years-old, wandered by a couple of times leering at my daughter and I was glad I’d decided to accompany her. So she went to the restroom and he sidles up to me and asks “Hey, are you trying to hook up with that girl, ‘cause if you’re not I’d like to talk to her.” I told him “she’s 16, and she’s my daughter,” and he (seriously) nearly fell over backwards. He slurred an apology and wandered off for a bit, only to return when she did in order to relate the hilarious story to her and apologize again. Which he did a few times during the evening, obviously hoping to impress me with his social skills and give him consent to marry my daughter.

Finally, we have Karen, with a story I’m legitimately too afraid to title. I’m so sorry for what you’re about to read:

You’re looking for stories about bad concert experiences? Here’s mine:

I was attending a Day on the Green concert at the Oakland Coliseum in the early ‘80s. The Clash opened for the Who. The Clash played in daylight but, of course, the Who wouldn’t take the stage until dark (lasers look better that way) so there was a lengthy wait on the field between shows. People were standing around in little knots, talking, drinking, smoking, etc., when we noticed a commotion in a group about 10 feet from ours. Seems a woman decided at that moment to remove all of her clothes. Who wouldn’t watch that? So we did, engrossed by the spectacle of the strip tease only to discover she didn’t have a great body (it’s one of the unwritten laws of the universe that people who shed their clothes in public never do) and worse yet, she was covered in some pretty awful scars.

Of course, that stopped no one from staring. While we were all so engrossed, she delivered the coup de grace: she removed a tampon from her body, twirled it a few times by the string, and then casually launched it into the air, and into the crowd. The commotion ended in a collective gasp, followed by groans of horror. I don’t know where it landed, but 30 years on, I still feel awful for the person it landed on.

A Touch of Brown
Built to Spill (Out of Your Pants)
The Bad Religion Crotch Incident
The Butt Arsonist
The Trench Coat Vigilante
The Phantom Grabber

The Handhold Switcheroo
The Accidental Threesome
The Elusive Sasquatch

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