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Old 07-21-2006, 06:25 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Atheist bassist falls through stage, comes right back out and plays again

Seminal technical metal pioneers ATHEIST kicked off their summer European tour run July 14 at England's Bloodstock FEstival and July 16 at Italy's Evolution Festival. The band's first live appearances in over 13 years were greeted with rabid enthusiasm as the group blazed through classics like "Unquestionable Presence", and "Piece of Time".

ATHEIST's luggage and guitars had been lost en route to Europe, so the band had to, in usual ATHEIST fare, overcome the obstacles, and the show went on with rented guitars. ATHEIST then proceeded to bring down the stage at Italy's Evolution Festival... literally! The stage collapsed in a horrific moment in the middle of "Unholy War" and bassist Tony Choy fell through an unsecured part of the large outdoor stage. Fortunately, his face was saved by his bass which was what the six-foot plank inevitably hit, in the process breaking all the strings on Tony's bass along with the neck. The large crowd of Italian metal fans went absolutely ballistic when Choy was pulled from the rubble and emerged minutes later with a borrowed bass from one of the other bands, and ATHEIST ripped into the classic "Mother Man". Frontman Kelly Shaefer says, "I looked over and he was just gone. It was a bad fall and i thought for sure he was gonna have a broken leg or something. We are very lucky to not have lost him for the summer. He did sprain his arm, but he should be healed up for Wacken. What is it with us and bass players, you know?"

The shows were classic, to say the least, and they will likely be even more eventful as ATHEIST prepare to hit the stage at the Wacken Open Air festival on August 5.

"It was an amazing, incredible experience for ATHEIST," says Shaefer. "The amount of technical-loving metalheads has grown tenfold since we last played on stage in 1993. People came from all over Europe, Mexico, Canada, and Russia to see us play. That is very humbling. So many new faces as well that are just discovering the records for the first time. We thank everyone for such a warm response. See you at Wacken, and Hole in the Sky in Norway!"

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