Published Mar 19, 2008So it turns out Fucked Up's unofficial bridge show at SXSW was a riot after all! But not the kind of riot that invites tear gas and billy clubs. It was a riot in the sense that everybody had a fucking blast and partied like maniacs. It's a multi-purpose phrase that NME.com believed was chaotic merriment gone wrong. An honest mistake... not really.
Not to say there wasn't plenty of chaos involved. It looks like NME.com made more and less of the event than really happened. Michael Barnes, Entertainment Editor for the Austin American-Statesman and writer of entertainment blog Out & About didn't notice or hear anything that could be described as negatively noteworthy about the bridge gig.
"Bands play that bridge all the time. The next day, the police reported no problems or water rescues. By the way, it's called the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge and it was built to hold a lot more than 1,000 people," Barnes wrote to Exclaim!
According to an email to Exclaim! from Fucked Up guitarist Young Guv, the bridge's capacity was definitely tested and the whole show was a hectic affair, though surprisingly, still a safe one. And yes, bridge jumping did occur.
"SXSW was amazing. The bridge show was by far the craziest show I've ever been a part of," wrote Young Guy. "I don't think we played one full song, as each one ended with us lying in the toppled over drum kit and no one being able to play because of all the people going berserk.
"There were about 3000 people on the bridge when we played, and I definitely saw people jumping for their lives to save (themselves) from being squashed to death. I also saw someone's dog jump off the bridge after their owner took the plunge into the darkness. It was quite a high bridge - I can't believe no one was injured.
"I think the only people who truly got stressed out were the Taco Cabana employees when they had to serve a good 2000 people after the bridge dispersed. They closed early after the manager had a panic attack. Good times."
Sounds like a riot as defined by the first entry of the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
1. archaic a: profligate behavior : debauchery b: unrestrained revelry c: noise, uproar, or disturbance made by revelers.
And not the second:
2 a: public violence, tumult, or disorder b: a violent public disorder; specifically : a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent.
One Fucked Up bridge