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too many people went to see the Strokes @ SXSW (pics & video), Ben Weasel apologizes for punching girls

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

“Fans started climbing fences after the grounds reached capacity (about 25,000 people), and SXSW badgeholders with VIP connections fought the same porto-john lines as all the riled-up Austin teens in attendance.” –Star Tribune

Strokes fans @ SXSW
The Strokes
The Strokes

When people talk about last year’s SXSW, they think back to Bill Murray taking an impromptu turn as a bartender at a hipster bar on Austin’s east side. And when they look back on this year’s SXSW, they’ll remember getting maced at the surprise Death From Above 1979 reunion show.

The talk in Austin is all about whether or not SXSW Music has gotten too big for its skinny jeans. The mayhem at the free Strokes show Thursday night was merely a precursor to several meltdowns and accidents in the days that followed. At a late show Friday, synth-pop act OMD had just come on stage when one of their camera rigs collapsed and injured four in the audience (SXSW said it hadn’t known about the filming ahead of time).

There were some truly ugly moments, too, and I’m glad I didn’t witness any of them in person. Ben Weasal, a singer from the punk band Screeching Weasal, punched a female audience member in the face (she had spit some kind of liquid at him) and fought against a female staff member before being ejected by security at their showcase at the Scoot Inn on Saturday night. (The Los Angeles Times has a thorough report on the incident, and a video can be seen [below]). Weasal apologized today, and the band canceled their next show in San Antonio. [The Atlantic]

More pictures and videos (official Levi’s ones included) from the charotic, big, free Strokes show (fireworks included), the Screeching Weasel punch video, and some news videos and stuff, below…

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes

SXSW The Strokes Riot

Ben Weasel gets in a fight

“Prior to Screeching Weasel’s performance at Scoot Inn for the Fat Wreck Chords showcase, mercurial frontman Ben Weasel sent a typically grumpy tweet, “Gearing up to play the most depressing show of my life in the most joyless, soulless, shameful excuse of a music event in modern history.” When someone asked what was wrong, he responded, “I’m going to play for free for douchey rock critics & music industry hacks. I’m ashamed of myself.” Considering his mood, it’s not surprising that Weasel got into it with some audience members during his set–that happens when he’s in a good mood–but the show ended in a melee with Weasel punching a female audience member who’d allegedly thrown ice at him, then getting in a scuffle with on stage with one of the female owners of the club. Yes, it’s on YouTube:” [AV Club]

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