Generally, when fans hear of a relatively violent or crude action that has occurred at a show, the automatic response is something like “that’s what rock and roll/punk/etc. is all about” or “you have to expect that at a show.”
Yes, it is common for things to get a bit rough at shows, but where is the line between “being rock and roll” and being down right violent and unacceptable?
Recently, a video surfaced of Parker Cannon, frontman for pop punk band The Story So Far, drop kicking a female fan off stage for taking a selfie during their encore performance in Toronto. The Story So Far has since been banned from the Toronto Venue, Mod Club, but the backlash has continued. The video of the incident went viral across the web, with viewers loudly voicing mixed opinions on the incident.
It is commonly known and understood that it is incredibly disrespectful for any fan to take the spotlight away from a band by standing on stage using a phone, but I do not believe Cannon addressed the issue in the most professional way. This musician, known for getting into fights with security for being too rough with the audience, has caused a big commotion with his actions.
However, this is not the first time he has been in the news for harming a fan. Last June, similar headlines surfaced stating that Cannon had “kicked a male fan” off stage who interestingly enough was also taking a selfie at the Scout Bar in Houston, Texas. During that incident, though, more fans were supportive of Cannon’s actions as the fan was male and wasn’t kicked as forcefully.
Some fans have declared that they no longer will support the band because of their actions, while others stand by the band, blaming the incident on the female fan by saying she shouldn’t have been on her phone. The supportive fans state that the fan didn’t have a right to be up there for as long as she was and should not have been on her phone, both justifiable reasons. However, many fans further went on to comment about how people are overreacting, and that this is what happens at concerts, statements that I do not personally agree with.
Fans should not have to worry about being potentially harmed or kicked by a musician, especially one they paid to see. Should that fan have been on stage doing what she did? Absolutely not. But she shouldn’t have been physically assaulted either. Cannon had not started singing when she was on stage, so he could have easily asked her to get off, or have asked security to remove her from the stage or venue. He also could have made an announcement and called her out for doing what she did. There are plenty of alternative actions Cannon could have done, rather than condoning violence.
I personally believe that Cannon should have been more aware of what he was doing, understanding that he is a member of a popular band who influences and inspires many fans. Kicking a female for a harmless act sends the wrong message to those around him and reflects poorly on the band as a whole. Being a well-known public figure to pop punk lovers of all ages, Cannon needs to understand that his behavior teaches those who look up to him that harming somebody is acceptable.
Fans are the reason for bands becoming successful. If there is something a fan is doing that a band does not approve of, the band should communicate it with words instead of actions. Hopefully Cannon’s actions will help guide other bands in how they should refrain from acting toward one another. Bands and their audiences need to have mutual respect for one another.