The last time The Dillinger Escape Plan played Reading / Leeds festival, in 2002, frontman Greg Puciato dropped his pants and took a shit on stage into a paper bag, smeared a little on himself, and then said “You’re going to see a lot of shit on this stage today, You might as well see some more” before throwing the bag into the crowd.
The band almost got banned in the UK for violating public indecency laws. In an old interview with KZSC, Puciato went into detail on what happened that night:
At those types of festivals, a lot of people sleep in tents at the festival itself, and they’ll start meandering around at noon not really paying attention, so we were wondering what we could do to separate ourselves from the rest of these bands that are playing, because we have absolutely nothing in common with Puddle of Mudd and stuff like that. So all these weird radio rock bands are playing, and we’re going to play in front of all those fans. We were gonna be a spectacle anyway, so lets just take it as far as we can. You know, you see people like GG Allin who do all this gnarly shit, but they do it in front of twenty people in a basement. I want people to see stuff en masse that they’ve never seen before, and metal and rock is all about theatrics. If there’s fire on stage, it’s contained, it was planned, it explodes a certain way, and there’s not much risk. If there’s blood, it’s fake blood. If Gwar is shooting feces at the crowd, it’s actually chocolate milk. For someone to see shit being wiped over a person and thrown out into a crowd, or to see you on TV bleeding from the face shooting fire that isn’t contained, that jars people. It takes them out of their comfort zone, and that’s what we wanted to do, and it worked, because it was unheard of and we almost got banned from the UK.
We had to petition to be allowed back inside the UK because apparently we broke some sort of public indecency law sixty thousand times over. They told us, “It’s illegal to shit in public in front of one person, and you did it in front of sixty thousand people.” *laughs* We actually had to petition to come back, and now it’s following me forever. It’s really interesting, because outside of the music scene, that became a news story over there, and on mainstream newspapers and stuff like that with the headline, “Dude from band that you’ve never heard of does this horrible thing.” So sometimes over there mainstream press that don’t know about The Dillinger Escape Plan will say, “Oh that’s that guy that shit all over his face.” *laughs* That’s just so weird to me that that’s even a thing.
Returing 14 years later, Puciato show maturity and grace as this time, he was much calmer, opting instead to read the paper and drink a spot of tea during the band's thunderous return. Here's some footage: