Published May 09, 2016Eagles of Death Metal have been bringing their high-power live show to Canadian fans on a current tour alongside Death From Above 1979, though they also managed to squeeze in a one-off gig in Toronto for Canadian Music Week. And while plenty of fans streamed out of the Opera House on Saturday night (May 7) with their heads pleasantly ringing, one fan left with one less ear than he arrived with.
According to online whisperings (and Alan Cross's blog), a male attendee at the Toronto show had his ear bitten off during the set. An employee at Universal Music apparently witnessed the incident, and sent Cross the following replay of events:
Some guys just got into a fight in front of us and the one guy bit off the other guys ear.
I am not joking. It was the most fucked up thing I have ever seen. We had to get security to pick up his ear in case they can fix it .
Just sharing because it happened right where we were all standing.
Versions of the story have also been circulating on Reddit, suggesting that the grisly injury was the result of a fight in the crowd. One user even posted a photo of what appears to be the gnarled ear in question lying on the ground. Unsurprisingly, it's a pretty disturbing sight, but if you wish to take a look, you can do so at your own discretion over here.
The band, venue and Toronto police have not yet issued any formal comment on the incident. A witness at the venue told Exclaim! he saw a man with a bandaged head being detained by police, though that man's identity and involvement with the ear-biting altercation could not be confirmed.
UPDATE (5/9, 2:30 p.m.): The Opera House's general manager Athena Ellinas-Towers told AUX, "I didn't witness anything, but there was a confrontation between two individuals. It was brought to my attention by the medical attention. The one gentleman that instigated the whole thing was arrested and charged. I'm not sure of the charges; I just saw him being arrested. The police haven't followed up with me yet. We called them because this is a serious offence."
She also revealed that a female member of the crowd picked up the detached body part and handed it over to venue staff, who put it on ice until passing it along to medical personnel once an ambulance arrived.
UPDATE (5/9, 11 p.m.): According to the Toronto Star, the victim incurred the injury as he was trying to break up a brawl in the crowd. A spokesman for Toronto 55 Division told the newspaper, "The victim required surgery to repair and reattach his ear. There was a concert. The accused bumps into one guy, the accused assaults him, a third party steps in to break it up and he's actually the one who's got his ear bitten."
45-year-old Martin Edwards has since been charged with assault and aggravated assault. The victim remains unnamed.
If you've got any appetite at all left, maybe you'd like to wash down your next meal with Eagles of Death Metal's Ontario-brewed "Boots Electric" beer.