Local Wire

Band That Started Rebel Lounge Fire: "We Will Continue Rocking!"

Three Bad Jacks, and the Rebel Lounge management have released conflicting statements about an incident Saturday night involving fire setting off the venue's sprinkler system.

The band called the Saturday night accident an "unfortunate situation."

As evidenced in a pair of videos posted by Instagram user evilchavo, Three Bad Jacks bandleader Elvis Suissa started a fire in front of the stage at Rebel Lounge. It's clearly part of their regular stage routine, as the band's bassist and drummer continue to play as the fire grows. At first, the white flames appear to be about shin high, but then Suissa squeezes a bottle of liquid onto the fire and the flames roar even higher, appearing to be at about the singer's shoulder level as he walks past. Soon after, the Rebel Lounge's sprinkler systems go off, and an employee shouts for everyone to leave the venue. 

Originally, Rebel Lounge announced it would reopen by tomorrow. According to a statement on the venue's website, it now hopes to re-open by the weekend, though shows scheduled for Thursday and Friday do not appear to be canceled. 

"Three Bad Jacks did not have permission to use fire. They did not ask anyone at The Rebel Lounge for permission nor would any such permission have been granted," the venue's statement read. 

The band's statement said otherwise though, insisting that the venue was on board and complaining that the venue didn't pay the band.

"There was a code of ethics read to all of the bands. And we agreed to everything. No one mentioned anything about sprinklers to us or not to do fire," the statement said. "Some venues say no fire and we follow instruction [sic] every time."

The band said that the accelerant used was rubbing alcohol, which "burns itself out super quick." However, the flame appears to be much hotter than what you see from a typical rubbing alcohol fire, characterized by cool, light blue flames.  Also, most sprinkler systems are triggered by heat, which would imply that the flame at Rebel Lounge Saturday night was much hotter than one fueled by just rubbing alcohol. And though the band also said that no one at the venue told them not to start the fire at the Rebel Lounge, there are reports of the lead singer saying otherwise during the gig. 

Defiant, the post said the band did nothing wrong: "THE SHOW WE PLAYED IS THE SHOW WE WERE HIRED TO PERFORM. Some venues say no fire and we follow instruction every time," the post read.

"We are in the process of assessing and repairing the water damage from the fire sprinkler system and hope to be open again by this weekend," the Rebel Lounge statement said. "We want to thank for [sic] Phoenix Fire Department for their assistance and support during and after this incident. We will continue to assist with any ongoing Phoenix Fire Department investigation should it be necessary."

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David Accomazzo is a music wrangler, award-winning reporter, critic, and editor with more than a decade in the business.
Contact: David Accomazzo