Published Jun 16, 2016Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard abruptly halted the indie-rock band's set in Charleston, SC, last night (June 15), storming off the stage after a fan had apparently been pummelling him with foreign objects.
Fan-shot footage from the Volvo Car Stadium reveals that Gibbard is thrown off his game during a performance of Plans track "Soul Meets Body," Pitchfork points out. At one point, he quickly rips out his earpieces and tosses down his acoustic guitar. While Gibbard attempts to continue the song, he becomes frustrated, topples over his microphone stand, and storms offstage. The rest of the band fall out of time, and the overhead lights fade to black.
During Gibbard's breakdown, drummer Jason McGerr stands up from behind his kit and points into the crowd. Though it's unclear exactly what set off Gibbard during the performance, a recap on Setlist.fm alludes to "an audience member throwing things at him."
You can watch it all go down in the video below.
The band have not responded publicly over whether or not an audience member was, as their "Code and Keys" would frame it, "throwing stones at the sky."
UPDATE (6/20, 12 p.m. EDT): Speaking to Billboard, Death Cab bassist Nick Harmer addressed the stage walk-off, and had this to say:
It was the last 20 seconds of the last song and all of Ben's equipment failed at the exact kind of unrelated moment there was a giant fight in front of us.
We would've finished the song but we're all feeling a little skittish after Orlando and things were just — we weren't sure what was happening. Suddenly, there was this moment in the crowd where we don't see this kind of energy happen in front of us.
It's kind of scary, so we stop as a band thinking somebody's hurt or something's happening, but that also just happened to coincide with the same other thing that was happening with Ben and all of his gear problems.
Despite the gaffe, Death Cab for Cutie would return to play two more songs ("Passenger Seat" and "Transatlanticism") as an encore. Also during the show, the group teamed up with Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry, who helped lead the band through a rendition of their "Brothers on a Hotel Bed." You can also watch fan-captured footage of that at the bottom of the page.
Death Cab for Cutie's tour schedule continues throughout the summer, with Canadian fest appearances booked at Montreal's Osheaga and Toronto's TURF. You can find out more details over here.