Radiohead Return To Toronto, Demand Accountability For Fatal Stage Collapse: “The Silence Is Fucking Deafening”

Radiohead’s two concerts at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena this week mark their first visit to the city since 2012, when a stage collapse at Downsview Park killed their drum tech Scott Johnson. The band has been vocal about its displeasure over the city of Toronto’s prosecution of the accident, sharing an “appalled” statement after a judge stayed charges against Live Nation, staging company Optex Staging, and engineer Dominic Cugilari last year. They continued their campaign for justice earlier this week when drummer Phil Selway appeared on BBC Newsnight to detail the group’s ongoing frustration with the situation. And onstage at the first of the gigs last night, Radiohead continued expressing their outrage.

Thom Yorke told the audience, “The stage collapsed, killing one of our colleagues and friends. The people who should be held accountable are still not being held accountable in your city.” After the crowd began to boo, Yorke continued, “The silence is fucking deafening.” The band then held a moment of silence for Johnson, though a handful of disrespectful assholes in the audience opted to yell inane nonsense instead of observing it. (If you ever find yourself blabbering through a moment of silence, first shut the fuck up and then take a long period of reflection to figure out how you became this way.)

After concluding the moment of silence, the band launched into “Karma Police” — a pointed song selection, no doubt. Watch the whole sequence of events in the footage below.