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Radiohead Stage Collapse: Flaming Lips 'Knives' Out' Tribute Cover, Investigation Begins, Keane & Caribou Statements, Foster the People Show Affected
- Posted on Jun 18th 2012 2:25PM by Jason MacNeil
Courtesy of Kelsey Wetheral, Twitter
According to a Canadian Press report, the Ontario Ministry of Labour were examining the area yesterday, trying to find the exact cause of the mishap. A ministry spokesperson said the "fairly complex" incident could mean a lengthy investigation into what happened. But some within the staging industry say a lack of clear, transparent guidelines is one reason.
"In some cases, it is not clear who's going to say, 'That's not OK,' or 'That doesn't meet the standard,'" Stratford-based safety consultant Janet Sellery said. "I think there's a lot of performances and events that may go on with a lot of fingers crossed."
Sellery also said the current regulations implemented don't go as far as they should when it comes to outdoor concerts held at temporary stages. Sellery says even though people want to "be compliant, you read something and it's clearly written about a construction site."
And unlike previous stage collapses which took place last year in Ottawa during a Cheap Trick performance and in Indiana minutes before Sugarland took the stage, weather conditions played no role in what transpired. At the time of the collapse, it was warm and sunny with little to no wind.
Yesterday, Radiohead addressed Johnson's passing in a statement, saying they were "shattered" by the drum technician's death. The group has made no comment as to whether they will carry on with European tour dates which start with a June 30 show in Rome. Because the Toronto stage is under investigation, it's unclear if the band's gear will be able to be removed from the scene, if it has been damaged, or if they can logistically replace the equipment before the European jaunt.
What cannot be replaced though is Johnson, a drum technician who worked with several bands in his career, including British group Keane. That band posted a photo of Johnson today on its site with a statement expressing their grief.
"We lost our great friend Scott Johnson on Saturday," the band said. "Scott has been part of our touring family since 2004, working as drum tech, stage manager, and studio tech, but he gave us so much more -- he saw the good in everything. He was the cheerful, dependable guy you could always turn to, who lifted the spirits of everyone around him. We can't believe he's gone. Our thoughts are with his family and friends; Radiohead and their crew. We love you Scotty, we'll miss you."
Several acts expressed their condolences via Twitter including Josh Freese, Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum, The Charlatans' Tim Burgess, White Lies and the Australian Pink Floyd Show, the last two having worked with Johnson.
Canadian group Caribou -- who were slated to open Radiohead's Toronto show -- shared their thoughts earlier today (June 18).
"Our most heartfelt condolences to the family of Scott Johnson and to the whole Radiohead family who have been so kind and welcoming to us," the group tweeted.
Many of the fans who had planned to attend the Radiohead show instead came down to Yonge-Dundas Square where Spinner was hosting a free NXNE concert headlined by the Flaming Lips. The stage collapse was on the mind of the crowd and the band, and Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne paid tribute throughout the show, including a moving cover of Radiohead's "Knives Out," which he presaged by saying "peace be with their hearts tonight." Later Coyne noted "everyone is looking for an answer when something like this happens, this song says just hold on the best you can" before playing "Waitin' For a Superman." "This has been a pretty powerful day. This goes out to the Radiohead family," he said, closing the show with a tearful yet triumphant "Do You Realize?"
Downsview Park is slated to host a concert tomorrow evening headlined by Foster the People with Tokyo Police Club and Kimbra to support. There's been no announcement thus far regarding a possible postponement or cancellation given what happened Saturday or if the ongoing investigation will affect the concert.
Foster the People's Mark Foster tweeted yesterday in response to a fan that "none of us know yet. As of right now I think it's a go."
Finally, although completely coincidental and filmed months before Saturday's tragedy, Foster the People's video for "Houdini" now seems uncomfortably eerie. The opening seconds of the video show the band performing before a lighting rig falls on top of the group and kills them. A paramedic is then shown shaking his head suggesting they're dead before a member of the camera crew is shown holding Mark Foster in his arms.