September 9, 1994

On this day in 1994, Green Day played a free show at the Hatch Shell in Boston. Many in the crowd took moshing to extreme rioting, and police ordered the show to end. The band had been playing to high energy crowds, which caused problems when casual fans and families found themselves engulfed in a tornado of moshing teenagers.

One of the members of Green Day had asked the crowd to calm down, which temporarily helped but twenty minutes into their set, some of the crowd started to rip up flower beds, and also threw Snapple bottles at the stage. The lead singer, Billy Joe Armstrong, then jumped off the stage and tore up flowers himself, and the band was cut-off mid-song and the concert canceled.

The September 10, 1994, Boston Herald describes the riot: “Requests for the crowd—estimated by State Police at 65,000—to disperse failed to move a hardcore group of about 5,000 people, who taunted police and began throwing bottles at officers and concert staff. At 9:30 p.m., a line of approximately 100 state troopers and Boston police officers formed a human wedge and drove the crowd out of the Esplanade and into the Back Bay. Calm was restored by 10 p.m. More than 50 people were arrested and roughly 50 more were treated for minor injuries—from sprains to drug overdoses—suffered during the concert and the hour-long fracas between police and the crowd, police and medical personnel said.”

After the concert was canceled, moshers got extremely violent and threw bottles at police. The crowd reportedly started chanting “Hell no, we won’t go! Pigs Suck!” The violence spilled into the Back Bay District for a while, with further reports of vandalism.

 

 

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