Long Island alternative punk band GutterLIFE were in for a huge surprise when they showed up for their show on Saturday November 11th, 2017 in Reading, PA. With little to no knowledge of show details, because of the lack of communication between promoter and band, things escalated quickly. The band and tour manager had a handgun pulled on them by a security member after not being allowed into the venue at their arrival. Here are the events that unfolded during the night that explain in full detail the extremely unprofessional actions taken by the venue The Reverb.
Post 1: GutterLIFE
"Showed up to play our set at The Reverb in Reading Pennsylvania tonight only to have someone at the club pull a gun on us.We've been treated unprofessionally in the past but never to the degree of having our lives threatened for trying to play a show we were asked to play months before. Completely unprofessional and uncalled for.When you book a show, if there's a radius clause you inform the band. We had a house show the night before the show we were schedule to play (an hour away) and had we known this was an issue we wouldn't have had it. There was NO email about load in, backline information, set times, or anything show related sent to us. The promoter told our singer about load in in a Facebook message prior, in the midst of a long conversation and unfortunately it was forgotten. However this shouldn't have been the only time it was told to us. We were not in the event page until today, and we had to ask for our set time. There are screenshots to prove this.All of this could have been handled with proper communication and no attitudes involved. However none of the above matters when compared to how we were treated upon arrival. Our tour manager Lexxe, was spoken down to and that gun was pulled in her presence too, less than inches away. Unprofessional, classless, a million other words could describe this situation. We were surrounded by guards and men as if we were a threat.End of story: run your shows better. Bands are late sometimes no matter whose fault it was. Pulling a gun on a band in the presence of a young woman who was doing her best to explain the situation is embarrassing and uncalled for."
Post 2: GutterLIFE
"In lieu of tonight's events we'd like to state the following-We hold no ill will towards Reverb or the owner. We were not personally addressed by any owners/founders of this venue. We are solely addressing the security guard or whomever it was that cocked their gun at us. We haven't mentioned anyone's band, or anyone's personal business. This whole situation was started by security or whomever the man was that cocked their gun at me, my bandmates and my girlfriend. We know his name we know the name of the promoter and the names of both of their bands. We haven't slandered any of their businesses. We just addressed where it took place and who did this without naming names.We've been very civil when in reality we should've done more. It is not in any way our fault the backlash you face when threatening a band with such a devoted and loving following.We're fine and safe. Shout out to the The Lizard Lounge/Chameleon club for letting us perform on such short notice. Have a great night everyone."
I'm exhausted. But I'm appalled at the fact that people can type a statement that includes so. Many. Lies. For starters.1. We didn't force ourselves into the venue. We walked up the stairs and were pushed back with hand movements2. We didn't "outnumber " the venue. We were 6 people (including myself). One of us was in the van mostly because he didn't want to deal with the people telling us to stand back for no reason. Felt uneasy.3. No one ever said we're going to "fuck this club up.," ONCE. Nobody said that. This is straight bull. Matt literally even asked if we were still playing4. No hands were laid on the promoter. No hands at all. YES. Matt would not shake hands with him. Why? Because he has us set up when we got there with security waiting for us because he was nervous we were going to do something to him for his attitude in his messages.5. Yes, the promoter and matt argued before the show. Did anyone say we're going to fight you? No. Did anyone say watch yourself. No. We were upset, all of us. About the attitude coming our way. But we walked in calm and cool and ready to play; we were met with guards telling us to get back.6. The gun.The gun was pulled when the promoter started smiling or laughing ( I couldn't see) and matt took off his hat and said don't smile/laugh about this. Because that's mockery. You have us set up with 3 security guards waiting for us and you're going to stand there and laugh? Cmon dude. Then guess what. A gun was pulled.That's the story. Full truth. Sorry if it doesn't fit what you wanted it to. But there's not much else to tell.There's really not much else I can say. You all need to stop believing everything you read. Someone pulled out a gun for no reason tonight. End. Of. Story.- Ali (Tour Manager & Witness)
Post 4: Direct Statement from band following incident
"Since they said that 10 of us came out of the van we included a picture of us squished in the van with the six of us. And a screenshot of the disorganization going on at the venue from the promoter. Load in was at 2. At 3 I had to ask why GutterLIFE wasn't in the event page "
The following is full disclosure of the events that transpired on November, 11th 2017 written and composed of statements from the entire band and their tour manager/merch girl Alexis Nicole Lucena:
"To tell this story we have to start on the previous Monday. Matt and I (Alexis) were contacted by someone involved with their label and friends with the promoter of the show they were supposed to play, "Shredsgiving". For the sake of this article I will call the promoter, "promoter" because he doesn't deserve his name to be displayed on the internet like this. He didn't pull a gun on us, but perhaps his words and false warnings were the reason we were received the way we were.
Apparently, we had angered the promoter because we scheduled a house show in York, an hour away from his show. We were never informed of a radius clause, nor did we sign anything that made it clear we wouldn't play shows near the venue. That being said, GutterLIFE isn't packing out stadiums. Being worried about a show an hour away affecting the draw of your show reflects on yourself.
Since the promoter didn't contact us, Matt and myself both messaged him to smooth out the situation. He read it Monday and didn't answer, so Matt messaged him to follow up Tuesday. At the time we had considered dropping the show because of the lack of professionalism already being displayed. The promoter eventually answered, they talked it out, and all seemed well. In the message where the promoter answered he informed matt of the load in time. Matt answered with a thumbs up.
Here is where we take some fault. Yes, Matt was told the load in time. In a Facebook message. This past Tuesday. However, there was no proper email about backline, set times, load in or venue rules etc. Later on the promoter claimed he messaged everyone in the band, he didn't. And he never answered me. Still hasn't.
Come day of the show. Andrew, had to ask where our set time was. It wasn't in the event, and on top of that the bands name wasn't in the event either. To me (Alexis) things were starting to get irritating. I messaged the promoter asking why GutterLIFE wasn't in the info for the event page. Never answered.
We left at 5:25 (approximately) and planned to get there at 6:30, to load in before our 8:05 set time. At other shows, this is an acceptable load in time. By this point YES the Tuesday message had been forgotten. However, no one else was contacted. People make mistakes. People forget things, especially when you're juggling work, a tour, promotion of an upcoming album, and playing in two bands (In referring to Matt)
En route to the show, we got a message from the promoter stating something along the lines of "Are you guys coming tonight?"
Matt was immediately upset. We were tired of the disorganization at this point, and he answered with yes we are almost there. The promoter then reminded him he had mentioned in an earlier message about the load in time, but just like their "radius clause" no one else in the band was informed. According to him the load in time was in the event info, (where the bands info wasn't until we asked about it.)
The conversation with Matt and the promoter was an argument on Facebook.
"Whatever man. I'll see you soon" and a "Don't play tonight" was said to Matt. By this point, YES. Matt was mad, we all were. He replied with "Don't mouth off to me on Facebook. Say it to my face and see what happens, Im on my way. " The promoter backed off on having an attitude, and Matt ended with this statement word for word
"Talk to us in person. Let's work this out. We're all professionals. Just hate the internet keyboard barrier"
We do acknowledge that this promoter may have been nervous that something would go down. However, by the time we showed up. We were just ready to play.
Myself, Jesus and Matt walked up to the stairs (Matt's hands were literally in his jacket pockets) and we were met by a tall man who stated "You guys GutterLIFE?????"
I said "Yes"-With a smile mind you...And that's when things got stupid.
"Alright. Get back. Everybody get back. " he started waving at us down the steps like we were criminals. Apparently the promoter must have been afraid and told the security, manager or whoever this was. We stood and waited. The promoter showed himself and tried to shake Matt's hand from BEHIND the man who made us back up and wouldn't let us near the doors. At this point I noticed two more guys on our right that were not with our group. Matt said something along the lines of , don't shake my hand dude, and pulled his hand back. At this point we were ridiculed for being late. Hey, all things considered we WERE late. We can take responsibility for that. The tall man bickered with me when I told him that we were given no email about load in or back line. He said it was sent out to the promoter and I replied "Well, he didn't send it to us. And that's not OUR PROBLEM" I also asked him why we were being treated this way. No response but intimidation tactics. He (tall man) even stated we weren't in the event page because we were at one point pulled from the show (news to us), because we violated their radius clause (... also news to us)
At this point it was myself, Matt VanRossem, Jesús Arancibia and Andrew Nicolae standing back. Matthew David left and went back to the van when the radius clause was brought up, because to him that was enough to leave. Adam, was very uncomfortable with the situation from the second we got told to move down the stairs so he hung back. The promoter (still hiding behind the tall man) then stared laughing or smiling at Matt. And this pissed him off, who wouldn't be at this point? He took off his hat and said something along the lines of
"Don't smile at me".
Before he even had his hat off, the tall man had pulled a gun out of his holster, cocked it so we could see it was loaded and held it at his hips/waist area facing our way. To me, that's a gun pointed at us. I've been ridiculed online for this wording. It doesn't matter. You pulled a gun on 6 kids in a band. Adam had just walked up to see what was going on, saw a gun and like any smart human said to himself "Nope." He went back to the van to tell Matthew David we should leave. Jesús our drummer started laughing to himself in disbelief and I just honestly stared in shock. At this point we OBVIOUSLY weren't playing the show. And whatever was said after wards was more so me stuttering over my words like "this is not necessary, from where we play it's normal to load in 2 hours before your set time. " The promoter tried to combat us with "you guys should know, you play Pennsylvania all the time,". We've played there twice. I named them both to him. There was no point in even arguing anymore, and with the extra security around us like we were criminals we led ourselves out and to the van.
In their statement (which has since been deleted but I still have) they claimed we came with 10+ men. That we claimed we were going to "fuck this club up," and that Matt shoved the promoter. They said we tried to force our way into the venue, I was one of the first people up the stairs....with a smile on my face like always. I guess that was pretty intimidating. None of this is true, and in all honestly it seems like something made to cover up a grave mistake on their part. They claim there is video, and to us this is amazing news. Our stories are all the same , and the video will tell the truth. We gladly invite them to release the footage. However, after lying and stating that 10+ people came out of the van, and that we tried to force our way in, in sure they won't release it to save the embarrassment.
At the end of the day. There was a miscommunication, we were late. We were irritated. But we didn't show up to fight, they assumed and they assumed WRONG. a gun was pulled and cocked in front of us. And there is nothing they can do to take back that mistake. The tall guy and the two other guards around us were really huge big dudes (not saying fat, just tall and big) could have EASILY held back Matt or restrained him if they really thought he was a threat... seriously. But there was no reason to. Instead one of them pulled out a life threatening weapon. Power move, much?
This is our statement, and we stick by it. The story will never change.
After we left the venue, after hearing the news we were invited to play last minute at The Lizard Lounge. And we are so grateful and thankful for the support shown to us there. GutterLIFE is not a bunch of criminals looking to start a fight, and we're really thankful for those who stood by us.
To the people who spread lies about us we have one thing to say -
"Revolutions behind iPhone screens, you aren't changing anything. "
That's from our single Awake .. go check it out on YouTube.
THESE STATEMENTS ARE AS REPORTED! There is a Counter claim to all this in our article section. "Venue Strikes Back"
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