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Machine Head Guitarist Walks Off Stage After Shoe Attack

Phil Demmel
Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images

Metal music has the power to possess people into doing things that don’t particularly make sense — notably, the shoe toss. In the heat of the moment, concertgoers risk getting their feet stomped into oblivion just so they can throw their shoes at their favorite band. Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel recently found himself at the receiving end of a shoe toss in Belgium — walking off the stage after a blow to the head.

Metal show rule #1: Watch your head. Whether you’re in the pit getting kicked in the head by a crowd surfer or getting punched in the face by some karate master in the circle pit, everyone is eventually going to take a swift hit to the dome. This rule doesn’t exclude the band onstage, as Demmel was reminded on Nov. 29.

During the closing song of the night, Demmel left the stage after a fan hit a bullseye throw, clocking the guitarist right in the face at the 3:35 mark in the video below. Demmel quickly put his guitar down and left Machine Head to finish ‘Davidian’ without him. The guitarist did however return to the stage for a few moments to pick up the shoe and give a one finger salute to the thrower.

Frontman Robb Flynn didn’t seem to notice the absence of Demmel until the song was finished, as Machine Head thanked the Belgian crowd and threw out guitar picks and drumsticks to their fans.

Machine Head are currently headlining the ‘Eighth Plague Tour,’ sharing the stage with Bring Me the Horizon, Devildriver and Darkest Hour.

Watch Fan Footage of the Shoe Attack

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