A concert from Girl Talk at Cannery Ballroom Thursday night brought the house down -- or at least a portion of the stage.
Gregg Gillis, who performs as Girl Talk, invited the sold-out crowd to join him to dance on the venue's stage, which couldn't withstand the crush of bodies. A seam in the wood floor gave way, according to venue co-owner Todd Ohlhauser, sinking about six inches. No concert-goers were reported injured, although a water pipe was ruptured in the process.
"DJ shows are the bane of Chark (Kinsolving)'s and mine's existence," Ohlhauser said Friday afternoon. (Kinsolving is also a co-owner.) "We are a rock 'n' roll venue and we are going to play rock 'n' roll shows from here on out."
"The safety of our patrons is our primary concern. We take great pride in being a responsible venue," Ohlhauser added. "Girl Talk played here a year and half ago without incident. Since that time, his audience has become younger and stupider. Girl Talk's security demanded that there be no barricade (in front of the stage). Security did the best that they could, but people were acting like animals.
"Nobody got hurt and everything is fine," he continued. "There was minor damage from a busted sprinkler pipe and some water leakage, but it could have been avoided had Girl Talk been more responsible in their security demands and had the audience acted more responsible. We got the situation under control as quickly as we could. The audience has to take responsibility for their actions. They shouldn't expect to come back or have another show like that."
Metromix columnist Heather Byrd was in the crowd and filed this report:
"If you weren't at Cannery Ballroom for Girl Talk Thursday night, you missed quite an eventful evening - the crowd grew so riotous that they literally broke the stage. It happened when Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk, invited the sold-out audience on stage with him to dance. Not surprisingly, the crowd pushed and shoved their way onto the platform, nearly swallowing Gillis and his laptop whole.
"Fifteen minutes into the show, the house lights came on and security lowered some fans off stage to safety. But as the lights went down again and the party resumed, it was obvious that there was little anyone could do to dampen the out-of-control revelry.
"Just after midnight, everything came to an abrupt halt. The music was cut altogether, the house lights blazed, and an announcement was broadcast through the room. There was an emergency on stage, and the show was officially over.
"Gillis stood in the center of the stage, hoping to address the crowd, but nobody was left in the sound booth to turn on his mike. As I approached the stage for answers, I immediately saw the problem.
"A portion of the stage to the right of where Gillis had been playing had collapsed from the strain of hundreds of fans bouncing up and down in unison. Even worse, they had crashed through a water pipe as well. From the sound of the rushing flow, I had a hunch that the basement would not fare well if that water wasn't immediately shut down.
"As fans cleared out of the venue, I could see the mess they had left behind: a sloshy, gooey mix of toilet paper that Gillis' costumed sidekicks had flung into the audience combined with random pieces of outfits left behind by fans too enthralled with the ear candy to realize they had lost their headbands, earrings or even their shoes.
"The place was in complete disarray. From the looks on the faces of the Cannery crew, I got the feeling they probably wouldn't book Girl Talk again anytime soon.
"Gillis, on the other hand was in high spirits, sticking around to chat with fans about the fiasco.
" 'You know if this had been my last night ever to play, if we had all died here tonight, then at least it would have been one hell of a party to go out on.' "