Morbid Angel Issue Statement on Illinois Venue Roof Collapse + Fundraiser Started for Man Who Died in Tragedy
UPDATE (April 2, 2023): Morbid Angel postponed their Joliet, Ill. concert last night (April 1) to this Wednesday (April 5), as well as issued a statement via social media regarding the March 31 tragedy:
On behalf of Morbid Angel, we want to first and foremost send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the individual who tragically lost their life last night in the venue roof collapse due to heavy winds from a Tornado. We lost a brother in Metal last night, and many were hurt and injured in this tragedy. We would like to express how truly thankful we are for those in attendance (Fans, Venue Staff, Bands and Crew) that assisted with getting people out and to safety.
We want to thank the First responders (Fire, EMT, Police) that were on the scene quickly and were able to help in getting people out of the venue and to hospitals for treatment as quickly as possible. YOU ARE TRUE HEROES! At this time our minds continue to remain with all those who were injured and hospitalized, as well as everyone who was effected by the storms in the surrounding area. We truly hope for a fast recovery of all who were injured. As a result of the events of last night, we are working to re-scheduling tonight’s show in Joliet, IL to Wednesday April 5th. With that said, our focus remains with the Victims of this terrible storm. MA.
In a follow-up post last night (April 1), they also paid tribute to Frederick Forest Livingston, Jr., the 50-year-old man who died in the tragic incident:
*Attention* We want to personally send our heartfelt condolences to the the family and friends of our deceased brother in Metal, Fred Livingston Jr. Anyone who wants to help or show support to the family may do so below. Below is a note from Fred’s Niece Brittany [Mills]. “Last night, my uncle, Fred Livingston Jr. went to the concert at the Apollo theater in Belvidere and unfortunately was identified as the person who didn’t make it. Our family is beyond devastated. We can’t help comprehend how this could happen to us. Please share and donate if you can. There will be a candle light vigil at the Apollo Theater at 7:20 pm this evening for those who would like to attend.” LINK IN STORY. MA.
You can view both Instagram posts below:
As reported by ABC7 Chicago earlier today (April 2), Livingston’s sister – Deanna Hicks – clarified that he was “attending the concert . . . with his son Alex, who Hicks said is ‘OK.’”
Hicks also issued the following statement to ABC News: "On behalf of the family of Frederick Forest Livingston, Jr. Fred was a son, brother, father, uncle and grandpa. Fred was a car (proud owner of a 1967 GTO) and Heavy Metal enthusiast. Fred had a big heart and cared for others deeply. Please keep all of Fred's family and friends in your thoughts. Please respect our privacy.”
UPDATE (April 1, 2023): It has been confirmed that one person has died and at least another 28 were injured as a result of a structure collapse at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Ill., as confirmed by the city's fire chief in a New York Times report.
Morbid Angel were scheduled to take the stage at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Ill., on Friday night (March 31) when the venue's roof collapsed during a powerful storm after opening act Crypta had just finished their set. One user on Twitter shared a video showing the aftermath of the damage and also noted that "there are reports of multiple victims."
You can see the video below.
According to Chicago's FOX 32, "More than a dozen ambulances were reportedly called to the scene. Reports are calling the incident a 'mass casualty event'—which does not necessarily mean there are deaths involved. It could just be injuries."
Based on photos other news sources have shared, it appears as though the Apollo Theatre faced significant external damage as well, including the marquee being torn off the side of the building.
It is unclear which bands had already played before the damage occurred; according to the venue's official Facebook, Crypta were set to perform at 7PM, Skeletal Remains at 7:45PM, Revocation at 8:40PM. and Morbid Angel at 9:40PM. Doors opened at 6PM. The show was part of the United States Tour of Terror 2023, dubbed "40 Years of Acid."
Much of the Midwest endured tornado warnings and heavy storms throughout Friday; the damage at the Apollo was caused by what ABC7 in Chicago described as a "severe weather outbreak."
Morbid Angel said it was a tornado that hit the venue. "We ask anyone who is still traveling to the venue to please seek shelter and stay safe," the band wrote on Facebook. "We are currently sheltering in place, and want to extend our support and hope that everyone at the show tonight is safe. Right now our focus is on making sure everyone in the venue tonight is ok and gets home."
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is aware of the situation and his administration is monitoring everything closely.
The Apollo Theatre is located in the Belvidere North State Street Historic District. It was built in 1865 and opened in 1921, originally home to entertainment such as movies, plays and vaudeville (via Cinema Treasures).
This story is developing. The entire team at Loudwire sends our condolences to the bands, crews, venue and all involved and impacted by tonight's accident.