The title of this article is a reference to a scene from the film, Man on Fire, in which the character of Peter Quill (played by Christopher Plummer) has to navigate a situation where the audience has just witnessed a man melt down in a fiery rage.
While the scene was not directly inspired by the incident, the reaction from the audience and the band itself has sparked debate on the internet.
“We were literally in the middle of a meltdown in the parking lot of the Meltdown, and a couple of people came up to us and said, ‘Do you think this guy is going to die?’, and we were like, ‘Yeah, we know he’s going to be OK.
This guy is really just a total nutcase,’ ” drummer Steve Litchfield said in an interview with Noisey.
“We were just like, oh my god, this is not a bad thing.
We’ve been in this kind of situation before, and we’ve got a pretty good sense of what’s going on, and the crowd went nuts.
We were all like, this isn’t going to happen.
This is just going to go on and on and not stop.”
The band went on to describe the experience as a kind of catharsis.
“The reaction was just so strong,” Litchford said.
“I think it was one of those moments where it’s just, ‘Oh my God, there is no way this is happening,’ ” he continued.
“But it’s a big, big deal for us, it’s like a miracle.
You know, we’ve just had so many people in this world that don’t understand, and that are just completely insane and have no idea how this is supposed to work.”
Afterwards, Litchfall’s guitarist said he was “shocked” by the reaction.
“When we got back to the hotel after that, we were in shock,” guitarist Jeff Tweedy told The Guardian.
“You know, there was a moment where the crowd started chanting ‘we’ll burn you down, we’ll burn your car, we will burn your house’ and then we got a phone call that the police were called and that we were being held for questioning.
It was just shocking.
It felt like we were actually doing something really dangerous.
You feel like it’s an emotional rollercoaster, and then you have a moment and you’re like, wow, that was really scary.”
The incident is the latest in a string of controversial acts at the festival, which has become a flashpoint in the American music industry.
The annual event has also drawn controversy for its role in the violent protest movement Black Lives Matter.
Last year, organizers cancelled a major concert by the band Dead & Company, after they announced a planned concert featuring a performer whose name they withheld to protect the identities of the performers.
Last year, an anti-racism activist and activist for Native American communities held a protest against the festival in front of the stage.