There is an alarming trend that seems to be happening with live performers this year. After the “Slap in the Face” in which Will Smith infamously confronted Chris Rock live at the Academy Awards ceremony, other terrible incidents occurred on stage, including an attack on comedian Dave Chappelle in the middle of the show. Beloved rock band Rage Against the Machine became the last to survive such an incident, at least to some extent, after a fan rushed onto the stage during a concert in Toronto.
On Saturday, July 23, Rage Against the Machine completed their set with the hit “Killing in the Name”, a video shot at the concert shows a man running (or jumping) onto the stage from the side. Security quickly tried to intervene, but when the fan rolled off the stage into the pit, the guard crashed into guitarist Tom Morello, knocking him off the stage. Watch the disturbing video below:
Someone Called @tmorello in Toronto!! @6ixbuzztv pic.twitter.com/GpIYCwXezM24 July 2022
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The fan who rushed onto the stage probably just wanted to try to dive from the stage into the crowd, despite the fact that it looked like a pretty massive jump. But with the incidents we’ve seen this year and in the past, especially given Rage Against the Machine’s strong political views expressed in their lyrics and visuals during their performances, the guard was absolutely right to react in such an instinctive way. Unfortunately, his instincts did not match his physical efforts, as the fan was able to jump out of his hands, forcing the guard to grab the respected 58-year-old guitarist.
Singer Zach de la Rocha continued the song for a few seconds after seeing Tom Morello take a hit, but when his guitarist stopped in the middle of the chaos, surrounded by many guards, the frontman called out to his bandmates: “Wait, wait.” , wait”, and a flushed Morello returned to the stage. The audience roared, and de la Rocha seemed to make sure everything was okay before addressing the crowd. He told the concert-goers (per person):
Don’t try this shit. We’re cool, we love you all… but don’t do it.
Despite the fact that the killer of the scene probably did not intend to harm the band, the guards do not have time to wait to find out what the fans’ intentions are before acting, the most serious example of this is the Damageplan shooting in 2004, which left dead. Legendary Pantera and Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was killed during a concert in Columbus, Ohio, after a fan ran onto the stage and shot him several times. The shooter killed three others who tried to stop him before he was shot by law enforcement.
It was, of course, the worst—case scenario — and we hope it will never happen again – but it underscores the importance of ensuring the safety of artists on stage. Dave Chappelle was attacked by a man with a homemade blade during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl in May. This incident occurred just a few weeks after the Academy Awards ceremony, when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock and then received applause for receiving the award for Best Actor, which some, including Jim Carrey, found “disgusting.”
This month, actor and comedian Craig Robinson experienced his own scary moment when the North Carolina comedy club where he was supposed to perform had to be evacuated when an armed criminal entered it. No one was injured, and although the graduate of the “Office” was still in the green room when the shooter entered the building, all these incidents show how important quality security and awareness are for live broadcasts.
Let’s hope that Tom Morello, the security guard and all the other members have recovered from the dramatic scene at the Rage Against the Machine concert, and the band will be able to continue their tour without any further problems.