Asian Dance-Rock Outfit Banned From Hawthorne Theater….and they aren't happy

the Slants Portland Oregon - Asian Dance-Rock

I just received this in the ol' email box.  I had a decently bad experience myself with the Hawthorne theater about a year ago when the person who was booking left (I think she had had it also) and they brought in new people (not sure if it was just the booker or new owners as well).

Anyway, I know Mike Thrasher brings some good music there, but Mike has more power than them–so they probably treat him rather well. Others, from what I've heard and seen, seems not so much.

Here is the view from “The Slants”, who appear to be totally demoralized and upset by their experience…and well…make your own judgement on the situation.



the full (and I mean long and full details after the “more” jump

Portland, Oregon-based Asian dance-rock outfit The Slants – Simon Young
(bass), Aron (vocals), Jen Cho (keyboards), Gaijin (keyboards), AC
(drums), and Jonathan (guitar) — were banned from one of their hometown,
Portland, Oregon all-ages venues, Hawthorne Theatre, today after being
kicked off-stage October 3rd in the middle of their set.

During one of their songs, front man Aron uses a Bic lighter and lamp oil
(pouring the lamp oil in his mouth and blowing it out hard on the Bic
lighter, mixing air with the lamp oil to create a fireball effect) to
“breathe” fire. Quickly after Aron did this, the stage manager for
Hawthorne Theatre ran on stage, berated him and the band, and kicked them
off stage. This was their first time performing at Hawthorne Theatre.

The band has this to say about the incident and ban:

“The stage manager ran on stage and decided to scream at us in the middle
of our set, in front of the audience
,” states The Slants' bassist Simon
Young. “Rather than explain the club's policies, which we were unaware of
and had previously not been informed of, the club's stage manager decided
to handle it this way, which was unfortunate.

“We quickly got off stage, as requested, and decided to avoid any further
confrontations and to leave the venue. Because of that, the club, in an
email to us today, stated that we were being arrogant and rude, and that
was part of the reason they did not want us back.

“Everyone in the audience, the other band on the bill, and even some of
the staff of the Hawthorne Theatre told me that the behavior displayed by
the stage manager was unacceptable
. After this experience, we have no
problem with not playing the Hawthorne Theatre ever again. I would
recommend the same thing for any artists considering playing and for
future patrons to avoid the venue if at all possible.”

Young further explains that he's “heard of many other bands being treated
poorly by the Hawthorne Theatre before,
but I wanted to give the club the
benefit of the doubt and do our best in promoting the show and in our
performance.We spent quite a bit of money on full color printing and
advertising, as well as many man-hours promoting the show. In fact, most
of the flyers that the venue put out themselves had no mention of The
Slants, which made sense to us on the day of the show, because from the
moment we arrived at the club we were treated like we weren't wanted. Many
of our fans even came up to us before we played and complained that the
staff treated them rudely, too. Some of our guests that we put on the
list were denied and had to pay a cover to see us, even though when we
turned in our guest list we were told it was acceptable. The overall
experience for us as a band was horrible. Rather than being treated with
respect, we were yelled at not once, but twice by the Hawthorne Theatre
staff. Once because we wanted to have a fan introduce the band before we
performed. And second, because of Aron's fire-breathing.”

Here are the facts of the lamp oil The Slants use, provided by the
manufacturer and confirmed by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health

1) Auto-Ignition Temperature: 392 degrees F
2) Fire and Explosion Hazard: None
3) Contains no harmful chemicals or carcinogenic ingredients
4) Non-hazardous as defined by OSHA Classifications
5) Level 0 reactivity hazard by both NFPA and HMIS, only a level 1 for
both flammability and health risk (which is extremely minimal)


It should be noted that Aron's fire-breathing is a common occurrence
during The Slants' live shows, and no other venues in Portland, or the
, have complained during similar performances (including
Conan's, the venue that previously occupied Hawthorne Theatre's space).

PR — or 503-557-9661.

0 Responses to Asian Dance-Rock Outfit Banned From Hawthorne Theater….and they aren't happy

  1. Simon October 9, 2007 at 10:46 pm #

    Thanks for the support Julian!
    We appreciate it. Of course, not everyone is going to agree with what we do…I’ve already gotten a flood of hate mail saying that we were idiots for doing it, etc. but to each their own.

    I don’t think Alex/In Music We Trust mentions that for every show, we always:
    1) inform the venue about what we use for firebreathing, what is required (often times we ask the venue to provide the materials), and even provide video footage of how its done (we also ask them to obtain the necessary permits if they dont have them)

    and that
    2) We’re trained professionals. Aron (the singer), has been traveling the nation for over 8 years doing this. Other fire dancers/breathers, magicians, theatrical groups, etc do it all the time without people freaking out on them…but when a band does it, many people freak out thinking that we only do it to do be “edgy” or “cool.” In reality, this is the entertainment industry and we are performers…its what we do for a living, our lifeline. We rehearse, carry the necessary insurance/saftey equipment, and do all we can do to minimize risk to anyone.

    Anyways…thank you again!

  2. Will October 13, 2007 at 12:02 pm #

    good. The hawthorne theatre treats everyone like shit, fans and bands alike.

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