Kings of Leon are used to getting pelted with adoration, adulation and the occasional female undergarment. But on Friday night (July 23), they got a whole new type of fanfare. Only a few songs into their set at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, the band was forced to leave the stage following a steady onslaught of pigeon excrement, dropped by an infestation of the birds who had decided to shack up in the venue’s upper rafters. “I was hit by pigeons on each of the first three songs,” bassist Jared Followill said. “We had 20 songs on the set list. By the end of the show, I would have been covered from head to toe.”
Though the show had to end early, the band can stand by at least one thing: There has certainly never been a high-profile rock concert ended prematurely by bird droppings. However, there are a handful of equally absurd (and in some situations, no less dangerous) incidents in rock history that delayed or ended shows in one-of-a-kind fashion.
Bowie took the stage in Norway in 2004 ready to perform songs from the length and breadth of his catalog (including the recently-released and critically-acclaimed Reality), but his performance was interrupted by a highly unusual projectile. Early in the set, a lollipop flew towards the singer and lodged itself in Bowie’s left eye. A panicked Bowie shuffled off stage, but he managed to continue on with the performance after a half hour delay.
In other eye-related disasters, the former singer of Moloko was putting on a solo show in Moscow when she caught her eye on the corner of a chair (she was in the midst of some particularly aggressive headbanging). Blood started gushing from the wound, which ended the show and earned Murphy a trip to the emergency room.
In August of 1992, Metallica frontman James Hetfield not only had to abandon his band’s show in Montreal but also had a brush with death. During “Fade to Black,” some of the band’s pyrotechnics misfired and scorched Hetfield, giving him second- and third-degree burns on his body. The singer had to be rushed to the hospital before the band could finish playing. The anarchy continued, as Axl Rose (frontman for headliners Guns N’ Roses) pulled his group off the stage (citing monitor problems) only a few songs into their own set, which lead to a good old-fashioned rock and roll riot among the paying customers.
1997 Fuji Rock Festival
Japan’s first major rock festival was supposed to be a massive two-day event at the foot of Mount Fuji. However, it only lasted a single problematic day, as a typhoon came through and destroyed the festival grounds and left a number of fans with hypothermia. Though the rain and winds were swirling at incredible speeds, first day headliners the Red Hot Chili Peppers still took the stage and played through to the devoted fans who stuck out the weather.
The Rolling Stones
During their 1965 tour of the United States, Keith Richards had a brush with danger when his guitar strings rubbed up against a microphone that was not grounded, thus electrocuting the legendary guitarist. The show ended and Richards was only given a 50/50 chance of survival, but he regained consciousness a little over an hour after the incident, further proving that you cannot kill Keith Richards.
What do you think is the craziest reason for stopping a concert? Let us know in the comments!