Fans attending a rock concert in Missouri may have noticed that at one point during the band’s, Circa Survive, set their guitarist, Brendan Ekstrom, walked off stage mid-song.
At the time Ekstrom nor the band offered any explanation for the sudden disappearance, but after the Friday night show, the guitarist took to Twitter to clarify why he walked off the stage for the first time in 20 years.
While he was on stage at St. Louis’ Pageant theater, Ekstrom witnessed something that made his blood boil.
“For almost a whole song I watched a guy stand a row behind a girl flirting and then trying to kiss her,” he wrote.
Ekstrom described what he saw from the stage on his Twitter after the show.
He admitted he wasn’t entirely sure what was happening in the audience because “at times she seemed ok with his advances,” but after he watched a man attempt to kiss the woman a second time, he knew he had to get security involved. The guitarist attempted to get a security guard’s attention, but couldn’t, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Without regard to the fact that he was in the middle of playing a show Ekstrom walked off the stage and down into the audience.
“I left the stage and walked straight for them, my mind an emotional blur,” Ekstrom recalled.
He admitted he was unsure about the situation unfolding before him, but had a feeling something wasn’t right.
When Ekstrom reached the two people, he said the man appeared “dumbfounded.” He left the two and the security who followed Ekstrom into the audience to deal with the situation and returned to the stage.
In his tweets the guitarist reflected on how he reacted and was concerned what he might have done if it was his daughter who was being harassed.
“I really don’t know but it made me furious to watch a girl forcibly remove someone’s hands from her body multiple times,” he wrote.
He continued his thread of tweets by apologizing to his bandmates and fans for abruptly leaving the stage to which his fans replied that they were extremely grateful Ekstrom stuck up for the woman who was being harassed.
Even after diffusing the situation, Ekstrom still felt weird about it, but his fans were thankful.
While there’s no specific data on the number of sexual assaults at concerts and music festivals, individual reports suggest unwanted advancements and rapes have been on the rise. In July 2016 there were over 40 reports of sexual assault at two music festivals in Sweden over the span of a weekend and in 2014 a teenager was allegedly raped in front of a crowd while concertgoers looked on and recorded the assault with their cellphones.
Even though Ekstrom was almost remorseful for taking the action that he did, fans replied to his original tweet thanking him for stepping up and saying something.
You can read Ekstrom’s full response to the situation on his Twitter.