Brian Jonestown Massacre has abruptly ended its tour of Australia, following an intra-band fracas that broke out onstage earlier in the week, video for which has gone viral.
Anton Newcombe’s psychedelic rock outfit has canceled the last leg of its 11-date tour, which was scheduled to wrap-up Friday night (Nov. 24) at University of Wollongong UniBar, in New South Wales, with The Laurels in support.
Eight of those shows were sell-outs, including the scrapped dates Wednesday at Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, and Thursday at Northcote Theatre, Melbourne.
There is no official statement to share at this time, a rep for the tour promoters, Principal Entertainment, tells Billboard. Though it’s easy to draw a conclusion.
During the band’s gig Tuesday (Nov. 21) at The Forum Melbourne, their ninth show on their swing Down Under, Newcombe and his revolving cast of bandmates became unstruck in a bizarre — and very public — display.
In fan-filmed clips doing the rounds of social media, Newcombe is seen rumbling with guitarist Ryan Van Kriedt after telling him to leave the stage.
“Cut off this guy’s mic, put down my guitar, party’s over captain,” Newcombe remarked, adding: “get to f***. we actually don’t need you. Go. Put my guitar down on the stage and think about what’s happening. Unplug.”
Van Kriedt can be heard saying: “You better think about this one, man. Because this is forever,” before putting his guitar down and wandering offstage.
Push then came to shove. Newcombe hit Van Kriedt over the head with a guitar, escalating a scuffle that saw security step in and call off the concert. “Undefeated, god bless this country,” Newcombe told the audience, as the house lights went on, the curtains fell and boos rang out.
As frontman of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Newcombe is 20 studio albums deep into a career, one in which commercial success has been outweighed by his reputation for unpredictable and eccentric behavior.
To most casual fans, Newcombe is best remembered for his colorful, central role in DIG!, the 2004 documentary which follows the love-hate relationship between the frontmen of Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols, and the bands’ contrasting career trajectories.
Brian Jonestown Massacre is touring in support of 2023’s The Future is Your Past, released locally through A Recordings/MGM Australia.