Every fan has been to a concert and shook their head in disbelief as someone falls over drunk, gets tackled trying to rush on stage or does some other crazy action. Well guess what – artists see that stuff too. We spoke to 11 top acts about the craziest things they've ever seen a fan do at one of their shows. The results ran from the comical, like the 10-foot tree that wrestled Moby to the stage in Toronto, to the eerie, like the delusional Alice Cooper fan that convinced her father she was Evanescene's Amy Lee. —as told to Steve Baltin
"The first time I played in Toronto, which would've been '90, '91 or '92, it was at a late-night rave. A man dressed as a ten-foot tall tree ran on stage and started wrestling with me. And of course, because it's a rave, there's no security, and I think people thought it was part of the show, but it was just this man on ecstasy losing his mind, dressed up as a ten-foot tree who kind of tackled me. So there I was literally wrestling in so far as you can wrestle someone dressed up in a ten-foot tree costume at three o'clock in the morning in front of an audience out of their mind at a rave in Toronto."
"It would have to be a Rage Against The Machine show in Moscow in 1996. At this particular show, the front lip of the stage was reserved for all-audience dancing. So we're playing the songs, and kids would climb up on stage, dance, and then be ushered back into the crowd. But one young man was wearing cowboy boots, super tight white underpants and nothing else. And he proceeded to charge back and forth on the stage with his fingers like bull horns. I almost had to stop playing because my guitar tech and I were doubled over with laughter at this kid, who was a little bull on parade"
"I was at a festival in Glasgow when a guy set off a giant flare right in the middle of the crowd. I looked out, and everyone parted like it was the Red Sea, and there was one guy standing alone with this giant flare burning. After a minute, he threw it towards the front and I said, 'Oh shit.' Thankfully no one was hurt."
"A girl once chucked her iPhone at me. After the show, we wanted to give it back. When we tried to get into the phone to find a number to call, it was locked. Then we realized her screensaver was a screen grab of a text that said 'ring this number.' So we rang the number thinking we'd get through to someone that would know her. Instead, the phone we had started ringing. The number on the screen was for her own phone – she was hoping that I'd see it and call. Luckily, her dad ended up waiting at the back of the venue and we managed to get it back to her."
"I was at a show in the Midwest. I was about to go on stage when someone said, 'Your wife just passed out backstage.' So I ran back and saw this heavyset woman on oxygen. Someone took her mask off and she says, 'Hi, honey.' This woman was not my wife, I looked at her and said, 'Who are you?' She thinks for a second and goes, 'I'm Amy Lee from Evanescence.' It's obviously not Amy Lee, but then her father came in, and she had convinced him she was Amy Lee. He said, 'Oh, she just came off tour.' I don't know how she did that, but I started playing along. When she got up, she said, 'Can I meet Johnny Depp?' I said, 'Maybe if you go to one of his shows in L.A.' Then she said, 'Doesn't he play guitar for you?' I said, 'Sometimes.' Then she got up and walked away with her father, and I had to go on stage that night knowing I wasn't the most bizarre person in the building. I sometimes wake up at three in the morning thinking, 'What was that?'"
"I've had a few onstage marriage proposals – those are pretty brave. In each case, the guy tracked me down online and asked if he could propose to his girlfriend onstage during the show. Twice the women said yes, once no. That one was a bit depressing, but good for her for not succumbing to the peer-pressure of 500 people in a room shouting at her. The best one was in Seattle, where after the 'yes' I launched into a spontaneous cover of the Old 97s "Question;" the couple was hugging, the crowd was cheering – a truly romantic moment for all involved."
"I'd never met Nas before he came to one of my shows at Bowery Ballroom in '04 or '05. He bought a whole bunch of t-shirts, watched the show from the balcony and threw the t-shirts into the crowd. I should ask him about that. That was also the day him and Black Thought were able to squash hate – Black Thought was a guest at my show."
"When Pantera played small and medium-sized theaters, watching kids dive off the balcony to the floor was fucking crazy to me. This was death-defying shit, flying off the balconies to hopefully the waiting arms of fans below. In the box seats, there were metal wires that ran across the entire venue, from box to box, and kids would snake themselves in these wires and hang over the audience twenty feet in the air until they fell to the ground."
"The band I was in at the time, the Circle Jerks, played down at UCLA, and we were headlining. One of our friends [Angelo Moore], who was the lead vocalist in a band called Fishbone, decided that he was going to find the highest stack of equipment – we're talking like thirty feet in the air – and was just going to swan dive off of the top of this thirty-foot PA."
"In 2012, on the Deadmeat tour, there was a fan at one of my shows who climbed up on the roof and hung upside down just to get close enough to give me a high five in my DJ booth that was 20 feet above the ground."
"A girl in a bikini ran up on stage and just started grinding on Amy, who just kept performing like it was a normal thing."