Appearing at the Milwaukee Metalfest in 1990, Obituary nearly obliterated half the death metal fans in the world with some jerry-rigged stage pyro. The big KABOOM! happens about 50 seconds into this clip.

As Monte Conner writes: “You have to see this explosion. It looks like a nuclear bomb went off in that place. Obviously, the footage is deceiving, or everyone in that club would be dead.”

I think that’s James Murphy’s whammy bar you hear wiggling after the pop. He recently told Decibel: “I think it knocked Donald [Tardy] off his drum stool. It threw wood out into the crowd, like jagged, sharp pieces of wood everywhere. I saw a piece fly over the crowd’s head and land behind the soundboard. I got shoved forward, and I thought it was just a concussion at first, but it hurt really bad. And I turned around and there was a piece of wood laying right behind me. And it was completely sharp and pointed on one end. And someone said, ‘That piece of wood hit you flat across your back, dude. I thought you were going down.’ It hurt really bad and I was deafened, but we actually continued playing and finished the set. If that piece of wood had spun around, that sharp point certainly could have killed me.”

That’s right — Obituary almost wrote his obituary…



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