Singer Michelle Shocked lived up to her name Sunday (March 17) when she went on a rant against gay marriage at a show in San Francisco.
Shocked, best known for her 1988 album “Short Sharp Shocked” and the song “Anchorage,” played an uneventful first set at Yoshi’s, a San Francisco club. Before she began her second set, though, she told the crowd that bad times are ahead if the Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8, a ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California a few years ago.
According to numerous reports, she told the increasingly agitated crowd they could “go on Twitter and say Michelle Shocked says ‘God hates fags,'” which more than a few people did. A lot of people also walked out, and Yoshi’s shut down the show soon after.
“It was a very painful experience to go through,” concertgoer Matt Penfield — whom Shocked invited on stage to live-tweet the show as she played — tells Yahoo Music. “To be that close to someone who is clearly having a breakdown of some sort is not an emotionally comfortable place to be. I’m still a little bit shaken up.
“And I don’t like to see people vilified. … But if she has made a conscious decision that she is going to use the stage to espouse beliefs that are hateful and damage groups of people, she probably should not be charging money for a concert. If she wants to sit on a panel at a conference or go to a religious festival, I think in that context she should say whatever she wants. But I do think that doing it as a bait-and-switch at a concert performance is really unfair and not showing respect to people.”
Shocked has a long history of leaning hard to the left in her politics — she’s been active in the Occupy movement recently, and the cover of “Short Sharp Shocked” shows her in a police chokehold. She describes herself on Facebook as “your average anarchist skateboard punk rock born again Christian.” So her comments Sunday may have come as an extra surprise to fans used to her progressive attitude on other political issues.
Shocked has not spoken with the press or on social media since Sunday’s show. Yoshi’s said via Twitter Monday afternoon that Shocked “will never be back” for another show.