- Posted on Mar 20th 2011 12:40PM by Jonathan Dekel
"I didn't know the police were beating people," singer-drummer Sebastien Grainger -- who initially encouraged the fence-crashers to come in with a hearty "welcome to the party" -- told Spinner shortly after the set.
"Damn, now I feel bad."
The chaos broke out around 1:30AM CT, nearly twenty minutes into the band's set. As hundreds of fans and onlookers outside the fenced off venue jostled for position, those in the front began to smash against the metal barrier, slamming their fists in time to DFA1979's aggressive rock.
Noting the unrest, several security officers lined up inside the barrier hoping to encourage order with their presence.
As the Toronto-based duo were halfway through single 'Black History Month,' the fence finally gave way and a sea of riled up humanity were suddenly free to rush in. As bassist Jesse F Keeler (also half of MSTRKFT) and Grainger smashed furiously on, the inevitable clashes soon arose. Nearly 30 seconds later, Keeler stopped playing and looked onto the fracas, alerting Grainger before looking onto tour manager -- former Goldfinger drummer Darren Pfeiffer -- for guidance.
As security and fans inside helped right the disjointed fence and desperately tie it back together, Grainger and Pfeiffer took to the mic to try to regain control of the chaos, warning the rioters that if they didn't calm down the duo would not be able to continue playing.
It was around this point that the mounted police arrived and, in a show of force, rode straight through the crowd using mace and tasers to divide them and, in the case of one blonde female officer, hand-beating a particularly aggressive rioter (for more reports, see comments section).
As Pfeiffer and the security team tried to regain order, Grainger held court telling cheesy jokes to diffuse the tension and eventually the crowd calmed down long enough for the band to finish their set -- which also included a feisty version of single 'Romantic Rights' -- after which security and police made sure everyone quickly fled the scene before any further violence could take place.
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