Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Maybe you picked up today’s City Paper and read about the melee last Friday night as local hip-hop group Moosh & Twist called off their show at Union Transfer. Or perhaps you were out and about and saw some of the scene in person. This came just a little under two months after Moosh & Twist’s headlining show at The First Unitarian Church, which was was stopped after a pulled fire alarm emptied out the venue and ended the show four songs into the band’s set.
We reached out to Evan Reynolds, the manager of Moosh & Twist via e-mail, and here’s what he said about last Friday’s incident.
The event was ultimately shut by down Union Transfer after multiple calls to Police from those neighboring the venue. With a sellout crowd, the venue experienced a large influx of fans at once, many of whom were underage and drinking. Within the first five minutes of doors opening an ambulance was called due to a fight outside (those involved were also drunk to the point of needing medical assistance.) In the same first five minutes after doors, there were a few fights inside the venue as well. The process of searching individuals coming into the venue while removing other individuals out of the venue caused the line to move slowly, and many of those waiting in line were drinking with open containers with a majority being underage.
It was really what was going on outside of the venue that resulted in the police being called and shutting down the show. People were urinating on neighboring buildings, fights continued to break out, it was an all around chaotic scene. I was notified that the show was being shut down as the cops arrived. At that point there was absolutely nothing that could be done. Overall, it was due to multiple incidents of ticket holders acting irresponsibly that became a threat to the venue and forced Union Transfer to shut down. We had absolutely no say in the matter. Sucks that it was ruined for all those who attended the event, and those who were excited to perform, including the openers and OCD. Really can’t put in words how upset our entire camp was, they would have done absolutely anything to get on that stage.
Sean Agnew of R5 Productions told us that “school buses full of kids” showed up to the show already drunk, leading the venue to come to a mutual decision with Philadelphia Police to end the concert before the headliners took the stage. “With the doors only open for a few minutes, we were already tossing out kids left and right,” Agnew said. “After discussing it with all parties we decided it was best to postpone the show before any serious incidents happened.”
In Dotun Akintoye’s City Paper report, Twist (offstage name: Oliver Feighan) talked of fans tweeting at him that people were planning on showing up on Friday “just to get drunk and have fun.” From the story:
That’s cool with OCD. What they love most is performing, where the unresolved contradictions of commercial necessity and authentic expression come together in a “gratifying” alchemy, where you can mean and feel this, that and the other with impunity. “I don’t remember nothing while I’m up there,” says Moosh, “That shit is magic.”
Not if you don’t get to do it. The love at 7:45 has crossed the thin line by 8:45, and the last sounds of the night are teenagers yelling (from rented school buses, no less), “Fuck OCD, right, bro?” “Fuck them, dawg!” This show got shuttered because of all the drunk kids.
What happened at the Moosh & Twist show isn’t a new story. Kids getting rowdy and having excessive fun at concerts has been a part of pop music’s big history since Little Richard sang “I’m gonna rip it up, I’m gonna shake it up, I’m gonna rock it up.” It’s unfortunate, though, that Moosh & Twist’s fans who were responsible couldn’t get to experience what they paid for.