System of a Down Stops Riot Fest Set to Rescue Injured Fans

By Amanda Wicks

Foo Fighters‘ Dave Grohl may have been labeled a badass for breaking his leg while on tour in Sweden and still playing the rest of the show, but that “show must go on” attitude obviously shouldn’t apply when it comes to fan injuries.

Over the weekend, System of a Down performed at the three-day Riot Fest in Chicago. The band headlined Saturday night (September 12), and sparked an energetic—to put it lightly—reaction from their fans. According to Loudwire, the band had to pause their show several times due to severe fan injuries sustained in the mosh pit. Security and EMTs needed access to remove and help the injured attendees.

“We love playing these shows, but it’s not worth one person getting hurt,” Serj Tankian can be heard saying on a fan video of one such pause.

Related: System of a Down Play First Show in Armenia Ever: Watch

An aspiring pro wrestler from Pittsburgh, Steve Schneider, was in the crowd when all hell broke lose. He spoke with WrestleZone about the terrifying ordeal, saying, “I fell over during system of a down, then someone fell on top of me so I couldn’t breathe. Then once they got up, someone else fell on top of me. It was never ending. At one point I had someone on top of my back, and someone either sitting or standing on my head, pushing my face down into mud. I couldn’t breathe the entire time, but then any breath I could take I was close to inhaling muddy water. It was the scariest thing in my entire life cause I had no idea how long I’d be trapped for. Apparently System of a Down had to stop playing so paramedics could get me out, I was unconscious at that point so I have no memory of it. Both of my eyes are blood red from passing out due to lack of air + someone crushing my head + screaming for my life.”

See the photo of Schneider’s bloody face and his message to SOAD on

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