Depending on who you believe, At the Drive-In were on the verge of becoming the next – and maybe last – band of the ‘alternative’ era to earn household-name status when they broke up in March 2001. Their performances were always volatile, even hostile; that volatility could sometimes turn inward, as Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s early exit during a 2000 Conan appearance testifies.
Here, singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala taunts the Big Day Out crowd for not knowing The Fall (“You’re listening to too much hip-hop and heavy metal!”), then mocks them for crowd-surfing and tells them to take care of each other. His concerns were apparently warranted: Several hours later, teenager Jessica Michalik would be crushed and killed in a mosh pit during Limp Bizkit’s set. Years later, Limp Bizkit would tour Australia with a giant banner bearing her name.
ATDI left the stage early in – well, “protest” is too meek a word to describe their exit, just as “intense” is too meek a word to describe the three songs that precede it. Two months later, they would begin their indefinite hiatus. words / m garner