Is this metal or what?
Chris LaRocque was so bummed when he was ejected from U.S. metal band Slayer’s farewell tour show in Toronto Tuesday night that he decided he didn’t want to miss the head-banging and dove into Lake Ontario in hopes of catching the action.
Unfortunately, the only action he got was from security.
“I just thought, ‘I really need to get in there to see these guys,’” the 46-year-old Oshawa resident told the Sun Friday afternoon. “I kind of exhausted my options. I was hoping no one would see me, in all honesty.”
For LaRocque’s birthday in February, his friend purchased a pair of tickets for them to see the heavy metal show. But enroute to the concert, his friend left behind his ticket — in the 300-level section — in the Uber they took.
So, the friends spent $150 for a pair of pit-area tickets, plus handed the 300-level ticket over to a ticket reseller.
Once inside the venue, LaRocque said he was layering up concert shirts he purchased — Slayer, a tour t-shirt with all the bands and Anthrax — on top of the Judas Priest one he arrived in.
“We had a few drinks and got into the pit and I like to mosh, but they didn’t want anyone moshing,” he said.
“I’m not a crazy aggressive guy, I just like having a fun time. I got kicked out. My buddy was still there. It was just a couple of guys walking me out. I wasn’t going to put up a fight.”
Outside the gate, around 8 p.m., he observed the distance between the shoreline and the venue.
“I’m outside the gate and I’m talking to a police officer and had the wristband for the floors and asking him to let me back in,” he said.
“I didn’t have any cash left because I already spent it on the tickets. I’m looking under the bridge and thought, ‘I can swim that.’ There was a wall there, so I climbed along it and eased myself down into the water and swam across.”
He said he was treading water for 15 minutes, but he wasn’t hard to spot.
“There were people waiting for me,” he said, referring to paramedics and police.
“I was waving my wristband. ‘C’mon, I paid to get in. I just want to see Anthrax and Slayer.’ They weren’t going for it.”
LaRocque said the paramedics asked him to come out of the water and they checked him for hypothermia. He didn’t sustain any injuries.
“The cop’s like, ‘Well, you can go to hospital or you can go to jail,’” he recalled.
In the end, LaRocque left Ontario Place in a cab and wasn’t able to get back in to see the rest of the show. He said he wasn’t charged by police.
“I did get to see the Anthrax tour bus,” he quipped.
Ian Scott, the guitarist for Anthrax, one of the opening bands along with Lamb of God, and Testament, posted photos of the wet man, as he paddled his way towards a red life-preserver outside Budweiser Stage on the waterfront.
“Fan of the tour. He got kicked out and tried to swim back in. Swipe left! #commitment #allin #hypothermia,” wrote Scott.
In the comments, Gary Holt of Slayer said: “I tried to have someone let him back in! A for effort!!
The post has received more than 11,000 likes.
A lot of fans were applauding him.
“You should have handed him a backstage pass,” wrote one person.
“This man needs to be recognized for his commitment for thy Anthrax,” wrote another. “We shall all remember this day in history in honour of him. What a legend.”
Toronto Police 14 Division Acting Staff-Sgt. Dan Pravica said they arrested another concertgoer for public intoxication.
“He was repeatedly trying to climb over a barricade to get into the mosh pit,” he said.
LaRocque said the Instagram post was up for a while before he was alerted to it.
“There’s an Oshawa memes group where they took the picture of me in the water with the life-preserver and somebody edited it to say: ‘I swam all the way from Oshawa just to see Slayer.’”
Would he take a dip again if it meant rocking out with his favourite bands?
“You’ve got to keep trying to accomplish what you want,” he said. “Doesn’t always work, but sometimes, you have fun.”