Radiohead Show Tragedy
As most people would know, the recent scheduled Radiohead show in Toronto was cancelled due to a tragic accident when part of the massive stage complex collapsed. The accident claimed the life of Radiohead’s drum tech, Scott Johnson. This was the last show on their North American tour. I ,like forty thousand others, was on my way to the concert when I heard the news and was left in disbelief. In the days after, one is left with a lot of ‘what if’s and ‘how could’s’. What if the band had started the show? How could this have happened on a beautiful, clear and calm night? It’s also easy to get frustrated on not getting the chance to see one of the best live bands.
Collapsing stage complexes have happened in the past, usually at outdoor events when a stage is being modified for a non-traditional type venue such as Downsview Park. However, they are rare and usually the result of unforeseeable circumstances or a freak accident. Radiohead have always tried to push the boundaries with their music, mediums and live shows including the venues they play. I believe this tragedy shouldn’t impact trying to hold these events at outdoor venues, as they usually end up being tremendous shows free from the stuffy and poor sounding confines of a stadium. Obviously something needs to be learned from this, but stopping or banning these shows would be futile.
In the end one is left to reflect on the tragedy, the loss of life, the unpredictable perils of a job someone had done countless times before.