Kasper Martenson (Barren Earth keyboardist):
We played in St. Paul, Minnesota, last February (2011). After putting up the keyboard rig and doing the sound-check, I was asked to move the keyboards half a meter backwards in order to make room for the local support band. I complied with this request, but left the sustain pedal where it was, since I was to return the keyboards to their original position later anyway. But by the time we were due on stage I had completely forgotten to move the keyboards back. As is customary for us, it is me who starts the show by playing a short piano intro. When it was time for us to start, I walked to the keyboards and started to play. About half a second later, I realized that the sustain pedal which I desperately needed was situated half a meter in front of the keyboards. And I just had to reach it, otherwise the intro would’ve been ruined. This resulted in an uncomfortable but acrobatically impressive stretching of legs which would have made even David Lee Roth jealous…
Nicolas van Dyk (Redemption guitarist/keyboardist)
We were supporting Dream Theater in Milwaukee. On the first note of the first song, my low D string snapped, throwing the guitar out of tune. I am the only one playing at that part in the song so stopping was not an option. I made it through that, eventually swapping out guitars, but before that song was even over Ray ran out just before his vocals begin but our bass player was being animated at that point and swung his six string bass which is about the size of a telephone pole and cracked Ray pretty hard on the side of his head. Ray wasn’t too pleased, to say the least.
Shortly thereafter, the lights got cut. I don’t mean some, I mean all. We were in total darkness and couldn’t see our instruments. They were out for a maybe thirty seconds but it felt like ten minutes. Has to be the worst show we’ve played by a long shot!
Jonah Livingston (Ramming Speed drummer):
During our first European tour we had this awful rental van that had pretty much everything wrong with it. Third gear didn’t work, when it rained water came shooting in every window, it had the wrong size tires, you couldn’t change the oil due to rust… the thing was just a shit box. We didn’t have a driver so we were already kind of winging it and when we pulled into a gas station before our first show in Sweden the battery died. We managed to get Kalle, the show promoter for that night on the phone and he arranged to have the guy from a local auto shop come check it out. Of course that dude didn’t have a tow truck and needed to get us back to his shop to start working on all the corrosion under the hood. Dude straight up looked like Mr. Clean and just tied a rope from the front of our van to the back of his car and used that to pull us to his shop. The whole thing was so ridiculous and over the top, but we eventually got a new battery and made it to a killer show in Malmo with Government Warning and Wasted Time! Here’s a photo of our poor van playing tug-o-war:
Jeremy Wagner (author of The Armageddon Chord/ Broken Hope and Lupara guitarist):
The best “Spinal Tap moment” I can think of is this one time when Broken Hope played Hollywood in the mid-90’s. A promoter flew us out to Hollywood to do a special headline gig. We flew to LA and brought our guitars, amp heads and some light gear. We rented a van at LAX airport and drove to the venue the next day. At the venue, we accidentally locked the keys in the van and all of our gear was in there. We literally spent 7 hours heatedly arguing amongst ourselves about whether or not to break a window to get in the van and retrieve our stuff. It was the stupidest thing, ever! Haha. No cops could help us, either. While we stared at all of our equipment, I stepped away and got in touch with the rental car company and actually got a spare key to open the van. By the time we unlocked the van and got to our gear, we missed sound-check, the opening bands played and we went right on stage late. It sucked. We could’ve saved a lot of heartache by busting a window.