In the middle of heavy metal Disturbed's show at House of Blues last Wednesday, Shannon Pardue had other things on her mind. With a thunderstorm rolling through North Texas dropping golf ball-sized hail that damaged roofs, mangled blinds and shattered car windows, Pardue’s 14-year-old daughter was home alone “freaking out” at their home in Rendon, a suburb southeast of Fort Worth.
So imagine Pardue’s surprise when Disturbed frontman David Draiman called her out for texting.
In an episode that was caught on video by another fan (using his or her cellphone, presumably), Draiman had just spent several seconds amping the crowd up when he singled out Pardue. “Oh, up in the balcony, what am I gonna do with you?” asked Draiman, pacing the stage like a bald panther preparing to pounce. “Especially this one. Yeah, you, the brunette.”
Pardue looked up at him then. She had just been texting with her daughter, as she would later explain in a Facebook comment.
“Yeah. Hi, how are you?" Draiman asked. "So what is so important going on in the world that you need to be texting the entire fucking show? The whole show! You’re right up front. I can see you."
The room was silent and Draiman leaned into his attack. “Don’t tell me to go fuck myself,” he added. “You already did by looking in your phone instead of paying attention.”
Disturbed kicked off its North American tour in early February in Fargo before heading to Dallas to promote Immortalized, the band’s sixth studio album, which debuted at the top of Billboard’s Hot 200 chart.
It’s unclear from the video posted to YouTube on March 24 why Draiman even cared that one fan ignored him when several hundred other fans in the packed house were paying attention. But he continued with his reprimand as if he were a teacher catching his student texting in class.
“I’m not wrong. Am I wrong?” Draiman asked Pardue, who was unable to voice her opinion without a microphone. “If you were up here and I did that to you, how would you feel? Seriously! It is fucking rude. It is!"
After continuing to bully Pardue, Draiman turned his attention back to the rest of the crowd. “Now she’s all pissed off,” he said. “She thinks that I did something wrong to her. I love it. Welcome to the age of the Internet, ladies and fucking gentleman.”
After the show, some Disturbed fans took to the Internet to voice their own disappointment with what they saw as his public shaming of a fan.
“If other paying customers around her didn’t care, then what’s the deal?” asked one fan. “It’s not like she was in the pit or something.”
“Drug fueled tirade no doubt,” another fan responded.
Pardue eventually took to Facebook to voice her side of the story.
“That girl was actually me,” she wrote in response to news reports about Draiman calling her out on stage. “There was a bad hailstorm going on at my house and my 14-year-old daughter was at home freaking out, and yes, I was texting her to calm her down. But, of course, the only person able to speak was the one with the microphone. He was a jerk. Disturbed just lost two big fans.”
More fans came out in support of Pardue after she'd posted.
“Exactly, I was gonna say it could have been an emergency,” wrote one fan. “What a dick to think that he is so important. What a fucking queen.”
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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.