Thursday, March 13, 2003

Eighteen Dead in Yo La Tengo Concert Disaster


Eighteen young people are dead tonight after a riot at local live music venue, the Cat's Cradle. The event is a bizzarre real-life version of an event described in the online parody newspaper, The Onion.

The riot started when Laura Llew*, 25, of Western North Carolina, was interrupted while tinkering with sound equipment. Llew was removing connecting wires from their jacks when she was approached by the technician.

Nonplussed, she took up an aluminium crutch used by another patron and started swinging. She may also have been provoked by an unidentified Emo girl who stepped on her.

"It was real weird. She was all curled up and quiet when Bam! She took to swingin. She hit me right in th' mouth. It hurt real bad," said another victim, a blonde girl in a denim jacket who asked to remain anonymous.

Reports have Llew masochistically screaming "Spit on me. Spit on me!" It appears nobody did.

The violence accelerated soon after. Six people were killed and 2 dozen people recieved minor injuries from flying beer bottles and cigarette burns. Members of the band cowered in a corner of the stage. They remained unhurt.

Twelve victims were killed in a stampede for the door, as has happened twice recently in clubs in Chicago and Rhode Island. "I hate to see so many young people killed for no real reason" said Curtis McClintock, a Carrboro police officer who was on the scene. "It was just unreal what happened. Blood everywhere. Lot of ruined vintage clothes."

In a gruesome twist, Llew appeared to have stolen the clothes from at least one victim. Charles Levier, 19 of Maston Grove, IL, was found without his frame glasses. Witnesses recall Llew pointing to him earlier in the night.

Police are still looking for Llew as of press time. Also wanted for questioning is Jason Eckard, 24, of 501 Jones Ferry Rd, who may have also been a participant.

Club owners have already started rebuilding. They hope to be open for a show by the Delgadoes late next month.

A spokesman for Yo La Tengo has said the band is "Shocked and appalled such a thing would happen at their concert. They grieve with the families of the deceased and pray for the injured. They will continue on their tour, but 'Autumn Sweater' [the song played when the riot began] will not be played again."

Yo La Tengo has a new album to be released next month.

*A known alias

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