Leather Space Man: The Footage

Pieced together from rare archival footage, a young fan remembers his first concert experience. As with all things Leather Space Man, it goes off the rails almost immediately.

Michael DeForge was born in 1987 and draws comics in Toronto, Ontario. His series Lose...

Recent Articles


I mean, yeah. It was a pretty crazy first concert experience.

I wasn't even that big into his music at the time. My older brother loved that stuff, but it was a little extreme for me. These "edgy" girls in the neighbourhood loved it, though, and I knew a few people who were going to be there. My dad stood in line with me and my brother so he could see us walk through the door. He wasn't a racist or anything–our mom was black–but he had certain ideas about "that part of town" and wanted to make sure we were okay.

My brother wouldn't even talk to me before the show started. He'd barely even look at me. I was trying to scope out the audience to see if I could spot any classmates from where I was. The club was full. Eventually, the Space Man took the stage.

I have to admit, I didn't really see the appeal of the outfit until I saw it up close.

I did think it was weird that he didn't have the rest of his band with him yet. He didn't even have a guitar? This bleating synthesizer loop was playing behind him. The smoke cleared.

I turned to look at my brother. The crowd around him was buzzing, visibly uncomfortable with how long this introduction was going on for, but he was staring at the stage so intensely. His face all scrunched up. Then I heard the banging noise, which I actually thought was a chair or a stool being knocked over.

I turned around and the Space Man had already hit the floor. People started screaming. I mean, you've probably seen the footage.


Everyone rushed out of the club. The doorways were getting jammed and people were getting trampled. We were all worried that the shooter was still there.

The audience spilled out into the streets and darted off in different directions. That whole neighbourhood was this mix of tight alleyways and huge stretches of nothing. My brother seemed to know where he was going, which surprised me, and I followed him.

Eventually, we wound up with some other kids. My brother knew them somehow. They spoke in this weird slang I hadn't really heard before. They all dressed like the Space Band did–like my brother did.

The outfits were pretty wild back then. They gave me this jacket with studs and scraps of fishnet. Loud oranges and purples, that whole look...

My brother hugged me. We lived with the gang for years.

My dad would routinely come by the neighbourhood looking for us. I saw the Missing Persons posters around. I'd watch him. I even watched him get mugged, once. I felt bad not doing anything, but it felt important at the time to not jeopardize my new situation. He was square and white and would never understand our whole thing.

Eventually we all settled down. My brother went home first, actually. I was clinging to the wreckage of that scene for a few more years before I finally left. I was just going through the motions with everyone. The concerts, the murders, the clothing, the kidnappings... My heart wasn't into it anymore. I took off, rented an apartment, and got a job at my brother's new business.


Anyway, yeah, weird first concert experience.