The Brian Jonestown Massacre Melbourne Show Ends In Band Member Brawl

22 November 2023 | 11:42 am | Mary Varvaris

The show was described as a "car crash" and "disjointed, disorganised and chaotic".

The Brian Jonestown Massacre @ Forum Melbourne

The Brian Jonestown Massacre @ Forum Melbourne (Source: YouTube/@GMAC)

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Last night’s Brian Jonestown Massacre gig at the Forum in Melbourne ended in chaos, with band members getting into an on-stage brawl.

In YouTube footage captured below, user GMAC wrote in the video description, “Tensions boiling over at the Forum, Melbourne.”

The alleged incident between band founder Anton Newcombe and guitarist Ryan Van Kriedt escalated quickly after one appeared to swing a guitar at the other before the pair wrestled each other to the ground. Forum staff activated the venue’s security curtain as the fight broke out.

Footage of the incident also appeared on Twitter/X, with one user writing, “Dramatic end to the Brian Jonestown Massacre show in Melbourne tonight...” above a video of the brawl.

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Another fan posted a brief clip of The Brian Jonestown Massacre playing music before another video of the show’s chaotic ending and a picture of the safety curtain.

A third punter described the show as a “car crash” and “one of those gigs you hear about but never see.” The fan wrote that attendees “Lost almost half a Brian Jonestown Massacre gig to incoherent rambling”, Newcombe allegedly having a go at the audience and the band, “with the apparent firing of Ryan, a fist fight, security curtailing the gig. Oh Anton!”

On the Melbourne corner of Reddit, more descriptions of the concert surfaced, with one user writing that The Brian Jonestown Massacre “only played seven or so songs”, calling the show “disjointed, disorganised and chaotic”.

Another fan who had seen the band six times claimed they’d “never seen anything like this”. Other fans in the Melbourne subreddit said that last night’s incident was “typical” at a Brian Jonestown Massacre concert. “You got the proper BJM experience. Be thankful!!” another said.

The Music reached out to representatives for The Brian Jonestown Massacre for comment.

ABC reports that the band’s remaining dates on their Australian tour in Castlemaine and Wollongong have been cancelled.

The band’s current Australian tour is their first run down under since June 2018, after Newcombe said he mightn’t ever perform in the country again.

After the band’s show at the Metro Theatre in Sydney, Newcombe came under fire following a controversial and insensitive joke he made while on stage in which he was accused of making light of rape culture.

As a result of the comment, a fan started a petition for the rest of the band’s tour to be axed. In response to the petition, the US songwriter claimed he “never made light of rape culture” and was being attacked by two men in the audience. 

A few days later, Newcombe took to Twitter and wrote, “I don't think I will return to Australia. I'm fine with it.”