30 Bands I Have Shared The Stage With. Literally.

While I was away on the island I noticed a bunch of people were posting a list of 30 bands that they had shared the stage with. Just a list of bands they had opened for. A real yawn fest if you ask me, so to spice it up I decided to post a list of bands I had shared the stage with, literally. As in I climbed up on stage while they were playing and then quickly jumped off onto the crowd below. Even if I was only up there for the blink of an eye, I had literally shared the stage with them. The shorter time you're up on stage the better. You're outstaying your welcome with every second you're up there and no one wants to be that rando guy dancing and acting a fool on a stage that isn't his. That guy sucks.

But without further ado here's the stage dives I remember, and at the very least ALL of the ones I should try to forget. Yes those would be the ones where I went from stage to ass. Funny how you always remember the failed ones. Also the following list of bands I've shared the stage with is brought to you in consecutive order thanks to old ticket stubs and the internet!

Diesel Boy (The band, not the DJ) (This was my first stage dive ever and I looked like a raving lunatic when I did it. My bro took the photo that proves this and they ended up printing the damn thing in the local newspaper. Jeez.)

- SNFU (The band that played after Diesel Boy, my second round of stage diving. Less exciting and invigorating than the first because I had gotten the hang of it, but still really fun, right up until Chi Pig squirted whip cream at me.)

- Buck-O-Nine (I'm not proud of how much I loved ska back in the day, but I did, OK? I'd dance like a freak at ska shows and piss people off by climbing onto the stage and diving onto a crowd below that was too busy trying to skank than wanting to hold me up.)

- Face to Face (Kelowna punk shows sometimes got completely mental. We'd drive down from Vernon to see whoever, it didn't matter. If there was a show we were going! We even went to see the Humpers once, mainly because dbs was opening though.)

- Blink-182 (Believe it! Before there was a Travis Barker playing drums for them Blink-182 was playing shitty little cafes in Kelowna. I went out on an ill received stage dive that didn't work too well. Still shared the stage with Blink though.)

- Gob (I want to jump on your face.) Alternate comment: (I want to jump in a lake. Of people!)

- Strung Out (I got a little ahead of myself at this show. Strung Out were one of my favs at the time and after standing front row for the start of the show when the second song began I felt it was time to climb up onto the stage and do a stage dive. The mosh pit was significantly smaller than I assumed, but I only realized this after I had launched into the air. The first row of the crowd that wasn't in the pit were the ones that tried to catch me. I had cleared the mosh pit entirely. It was a high stage and my elbow seemed to take the worst of the fall. It really hurt, but that didn't stop me for long. I was back up there in no time, now performing more of a stage topple than a stage dive. Those big stages in big halls can be a killer and you learn this the hard way.)

- Straight Faced (Absolutely loved this band when I was younger. They played in a roller rink in Kelowna that was eventually torn down. Nobody roller skates anymore.)

- Goldfinger (I was 18 and had traveled down to Vancouver to visit my brother and attend some shows. We went to Seattle, saw a wild show there and then back to Vancouver for two more the next day. Because Goldfinger were playing in a bar that night they booked a free show at the college for everyone who couldn't attend the bar show due to being minors. This was very cool, not much of a stage though. My brother, who was of age, wanted to go to the club show as well, so I sat at his place and sulked. Just kidding! He left me in a back alley behind the venue and told me to tell Goldfinger I was Ashley's brother and hope they'd get me in. It didn't work, but a group of kids had spilled off the bus with the band and they had the same problem as me, so we became fast friends. The one crazy guy kept saying he was going to rush the bar through the back doors on the second song, and we all agreed this was a good plan. During the second song he wrenched the doors open and fell on his ass in the process. I walked up to the doorway and realized I was at the bottom of a stairwell, then I turned around to see the guy who had ripped the door open get to his feet and I yelled 'let's go' and charged up the stairs. I was the first one to the top and I ripped the next door open. The bouncer on the other side looked a bit shocked, tried to grab me, but I was too quick and headed straight for the pit. After moshing and going crazy for the band for a while I jumped up on stage and went out on a stage dive. Seems like the smart thing for an underage kid who has broken into a bar through the back doors to be doing.)

- Brand New Unit (I loved this band. They played a Minor Threat cover and the crowd held me up for most of it. This show would prove to be a defining moment in my life, as we talked about starting our own band that night.)

- AFI (Once again I would go to any show that was happening when I was younger. And if the pit was good I'd jump off the stage too. I didn't even need to like the band!)

- Good Riddance (I always found Good Riddance kind of boring, but you know what I thought wasn't boring? Stage diving. I remember at the end of this gig the bassist chased some huge guy who was picking fights in the pit across the parking lot with everyone behind him. I don't think he ever caught him, but I definitely respected Good Riddance a lot more after this show.)

- Sick Of It All (No one wanted to catch me at this show. They were too busy beating each other up. That never seemed to stop me though.)

- Death By Stereo (I had moved to Vancouver by this point and most shows that I attended had barriers between the stage and audience, or not enough people to make a good enough mosh pit to hold a person up. However the Brickyard would sometimes go off, and I would follow suit.)

- CKY (This one was crazy. I launched it and had both my feet in the air as these jock type dudes were tossing me around. I didn't seem to care, but it went on forever. They wouldn't drop me! At one point my feet almost hit the ground but one guy was still holding me up by the back of my pants, giving me a wedgie and he muscled me back on top of the crowd. It was relieving to finally get both my feet back on the ground, but a couple songs later I had forgotten about the whole debacle and jumped off the stage again. Thankfully the jocks didn't hold me up for an entire song again.)

- The Bronx (My favourite band at the time and when they say go, you go. Their singer called out for more stage dives and I went for it with reckless abandon. Usually as a stage diver I tried to not hurt anyone. Sure this may be a tall task when you're jumping off a stage and landing on a crowd of people, but I always prided myself on keeping my feet in the air while crowd surfing and looking towards the area that I'm jumping into before I go. However when the Bronx started playing my favourite song of theirs and the singer called out for stage dives I forgot about all that. I did a flip and conked someone in the head with my foot. I would have never known that it ever happened if he didn't call me out on facebook the next day. I still owe you a drink for that one Kyle!)

- Bison (I told my friends beforehand that if Bison played my jam I was gonna go out on a stage dive. And when they played that damn song I handed my beer to my friend and I ran to the entrance of the stage, dodged a bouncer and nimbly bolted down the stage making sure I didn't step on any chords before launching myself on top of the crowd. Now as I mentioned before I prided myself on holding my legs up when crowd surfing but these days I was taking it to a whole new level. I'd get completely perpendicular sometimes and this happened to be one of those times. The ceiling at the Biltmore is low and I planted both my feet on it and was completely upside down. I started walking on the ceiling as if I was in some sort of zero gravity situation, but that theory was debunked the minute everything in my pockets dumped out onto the floor and my belt came undone. When I staggered out of the pit people were hi-fiving me and I could barely even keep my pants up. Then I waltzed back out onto the stage and gave the very recently deceased Michael Jackson a shout out over the mic. I dedicated my upside down moonwalk on the ceiling to his memory. If I'm not mistaken there was definitely alcohol involved. Then later in the evening my friend gave me my phone back! He said he couldn't find the battery because the phone exploded into three pieces on impact, but he still had the phone and back piece which was a score. After the show was done I scowered the floor and found my battery, looking all scratched up, but alive. I put it back in the phone and it worked. And six years later I'm still using that same phone!)

- The Briggs (This was one of those times that I probably shouldn't have gone out on a stage dive. It was at the Bourbon on a pretty high stage, but there was a girl I was trying to impress, and nothing impresses a girl like a guy jumping off of a stage during a punk rock show, having the crowd fail to catch him, and totally landing on his ass right in front of her. It took three tries to get it right, but if at first you don't succeed, try try again.)

- Bouncing Souls (In the early days the Rickshaw Theatre brought in a barrier for in front of the stage and I was kind of bummed. Turns out it wasn't fixed to the ground, so it just crushed the bouncers standing behind it once the show began and they got the hell out of there. Now the barrier was used as a step up to the stage and made our jobs as stage divers that much easier. Thanks for looking out Rickshaw Theatre!)

- Propagandhi (Not only did I share the stage with Propagandhi, but was literally rolling around on it at one point. Their stage bouncer guy didn't like the look of me at first, but I won him over. You should have seen him run out of his crouching spot at the side of the stage every time a crowd surfer approached the band and shove them back on the crowd before they could hit the stage. But for some reason every time I came around he just let me do my thing. It was almost as if he knew I was conscious that this moment was much more about the band and the show than my-dumbass-self crowd surfing onto the stage and turning around and jumping off of it as quickly as possible. It's nice to get that kind of respect for once, still not sure how I garnered it though.)

- snfu (Again) (Literally 13 years after my first stage dives went down at an snfu show there I was at the Cobalt. My friend was down visiting from the USA and barfed on the floor in the bar and we laughed as people walked through it. Yeah it was that kind of night. Earlier I had been bragging about my crowd surfing skills so he demanded I go out on a stage dive so I complied with his wishes. I lost complete control while I was upside down on the mosh pit and the crowd launched me back towards the stage. Sure enough I landed back on the stage, but I had taken out Chi Pig in the process! We both flopped around on the stage for a bit until I was able to get to my feet and flee the scene of the crime. 'I'm OK,' Chi told everyone which I was thankful to hear. I too was OK, but no one cared about that.)

- Dayglo Abortions (Knowing this was going to be my last time in the Cobalt before it became a night club I knew I'd have to go out on a stage dive to end all stage dives. I stayed completely upside down for as long as possible, and if my feet fell back towards the stage I'd use it to relaunch myself back into the odd positioning of being vertical on top of a crowd. Not sure how long that went on for, but a photographer snapped a pretty hilarious photo of it. When I finally did hit the ground I remember it being pretty hard on my ass, so believe it or not, but in that picture below I didn't hit the ground shortly after it was taken. It's quite possible I was levitating.)

- Our Lady Peace (Look, don't hate on me for this one because going to this show made for one hilarious story. We were the drunkest guys at the OLP show and I kept ranting on and on about how I was going to go out on a stage dive when they played Naveed. I am a man of my word and I can assure you it happened. This story is too long for me to type out here, but it includes way too much booze, some girls, some security guards and me on the ground. It has already been written and maybe one day I'll publish it somewhere.)

- Fucked Up (One of my bands had the pleasure of opening up for Fucked Up at Fortune Sound Club. At first we were chilling back by the bar, leaning against it feeling cool and drinking our free beers, when out of nowhere the singer was right next to us on the bar, yelling into his mic and reminding me we were at a packed out show. So I told Cam we better get a better view and because we were the opening act we could stand right beside the stage. We could also hop up onto said stage and jump onto the crowd. So I did. Twice!)

- Guttermouth (I was celebrating my birthday at this gig and people were buying me drinks. Does this excuse my behaviour that I am about to write about? Probably not. So the band was rocking, the crowd was going bonkers and people were all over the place. I tried to get on stage but my foot got caught on something, I toppled over and both me and the singer were rolling around on stage. The song was almost over and the last band you'd ever want to be caught on stage with while no music was playing is Guttermouth. Pretty sure the singer would have told me to pull my pants down or something, so I quickly got to my feet and launched as fast and desperate as I could. My foot swung around and whacked a girl right on the face and after gaining my composure I found her and apologized profusely. She just brushed it off like it never happened. I bought her a drink because I felt so bad, she was wearing glasses for Christ's sake! After the show I apologized again and she said she barely felt it, this chick was tough! We got to talking and she gave me her card and told me to call her sometime. And even later than that she told me about her boyfriend. Hmm, that was kind of weird. The moral of the story is if there's any guys out there looking to pick up girls, apparently kicking them right in the face is a good way to go about it.)

- FIDLAR (If you know how to jump the Biltmore is a wonderful place to stage dive. The stage is low, so you've got to really put some umpf into it. All those days of doing the high jump in gym class were finally paying off in the real world. I had to push passed Nardwuar the Human Serviette to get on stage, so I turned around and flipped his camera the bird before going for it. He edited this shot into his video interview with FIDLAR and we even discussed it at a different show. Then he gave me a Nardwuar pin that said doot doot on it. Shortly afterwards I gave away the pin to a friend, not because I don't think Nardwuar isn't great, but more so because I don't collect stupid little pins.)

- The Rebel Spell (The Rebel Spell were local heavyweights in the punk scene known for bringing out the kids in hordes and stirring up good sized mosh pits. As promised the kids went off, but the stage at the venue was quite tall. You had to be one of two things to pull off a stage dive there, daring or drunk. I was definitely the latter. The kids who were busy putting their all into mosh pitting decided my efforts put into the stage dive were unworthy of catching and once again I found myself jumping through the crowd and hitting the ground. No one had yet to try such maneuvers, but I was there to get the party started, and one little fall will never stop a drunk man from getting what he wants. I am quite tall, but also deceptively lightweight, however all the weightless thoughts in the world weren't enough to keep me off that ground. Twice. But as they say third time is the charm, and I'm also not a quitter. My five seconds of crowd surfing that night was totally worth it.)

So there's the list. I've probably forgot some, but what'cha gonna do? When I look back at this I think of how awesome it was that Kelowna had such a thriving all ages punk scene. This is where I learned to let loose and have more fun than any kid should be allowed. Cop Out Records in Kelowna did so much for that cities punk scene, and while we had some fun shows of our own in Vernon we'd have to put them on ourselves. It's a lot harder to lose all inhibitions in the mosh pit when you're worried about the hall getting damaged, if the band on stage is happy with everything, if everyone is paying to get in, if the authorities might show up and if things are running on time. So while I'm sure Rob and Rob from Cop Out will never read this, I still want to thank them endlessly. Those guys were awesome.

And on a last note, apparently this is the five year anniversary of this blog. I kind of ignored it in 2013 and 2014, but that doesn't mean I still didn't start it on this day 5 years ago. Happy Anniversary to me, and thanks for reading everyone!


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