TORONTO — The resident sound guy of Queen Street Hall is at the center of a tense hostage situation, according to authorities gathered outside the venue, with one band allegedly held captive during what started as a routine soundcheck, now entering its fifth hour.
“We have reason to believe that the sound check, which began at approximately 12:15 p.m. today, should have lasted only 45 minutes, maximum,” Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said in a statement to the press. “Video evidence and eyewitness reports confirm members of independent rock band Saint Cliff have been trapped onstage under the hot lights for several hours under the guise of getting the ‘perfect sound.’”
The sound guy, identified as David Murphy, according to the Queen Street Hall weekly schedule, has yet to clarify his actual demands, if any. Dispatchers made contact with Saint Cliff during Murphy’s repeated smoke breaks, and although all six members of the band are reportedly unharmed, lead vocalist Andy Mussle is allegedly suffering from low blood sugar and a serious blow to his self-esteem.
“I asked him to turn up the vocals in the monitor, and he screamed that I ‘looked and sounded like if Tiny Tim dropped out of community college to form a shitty jam band,’” Mussle said. “In case we don’t make it out of here alive, please tell our merch guy to move the van before 7 [p.m.] so we don’t get towed.”
Keyboardist Becca LaRue reportedly suffered non life-threatening injuries after Murphy insulted her equipment and musical abilities. “He shouted at me, ‘Are you using borrowed equipment? Because it sounds like you’ve never even touched this shit before,’” LaRue told crisis negotiators. “No need for that.”
Roadies and venue staff alike remain in the green room until authorities can get them out safely.
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“That sound guy is a colossal dick,” said one technician, who simply goes by “Gus.” “I knew it was gonna be a long day when he saw us unloading their equipment and he shouted, ‘Great! Why not just invite the whole goddamned marching band onstage with you?’ I sent him the stage plots. He’s acting like a six-piece band is something he’s never seen before.”
Authorities have assured family and friends of Saint Cliff that all band members and crew will be fine, aside from minor injuries including dehydration, emotional trauma, and tremendous self-doubt about their musical abilities.
“It just reminds you how precious life is,” LaRue said in a message recorded during the standoff. “One minute you’re getting ready to play music with your friends, and the next you’re being berated by a repressed audio terrorist. Hug your loved ones close tonight.”
Photo by Kat Chish.