Published Jul 26, 2010Arena rockers Kings of Leon were recently forced to leave the stage in St. Louis, MO after a veritable deluge of pigeon excrement came raining from the Verizon Amphitheater rafters.
Despite faeces-ridden opening sets by the Postelles and Canada's the Stills on Friday night (July 23), the band decided to take the stage anyway.
"We couldn't believe what the Postelles and the Stills looked like after their sets," Kings of Leon bassist Jared Followill tweeted, "[But] we didn't want to cancel the show, so we went for it."
The Kings of Leon played just three songs before Followill nearly got a mouthful of the disgusting stuff, and the band left the stage. Minutes later, a message rang out over the P.A. that the show was cancelled "due to concerns over the band's safety."
In a statement, the band's manager, Andy Mendelsohn, asserted that Jared was hit "several times during the first two songs," and on the third number, droppings "landed near his mouth."
"They couldn't deal any longer," he said. "It's not only disgusting; it's a toxic health hazard."
Drummer Nate Followill bluntly tweeted the next day, "You may enjoy being shit on but we don't."
Quick to clean up the mess - the metaphorical one - the gig's promoters announced that they would offer refunds for the cancelled show.
Fans have been quick to anger over the incident, calling bullshit on the Kings of Leon for bailing, but the Stills' bassist Oliver Crowe has now weighed in on the debacle in an interview with Eye Weekly.
"During our second song, 'Lola [Stars and Stripes],' I felt something like an air conditioner drop, or like little droplets of water spray on my face," Crowe said. "The carpet onstage was black, and I noticed 10 to 13 brown spots on it and I started worrying - but I figured, if a bird had shit, it won't happen again, so I'm fine. About two to three songs later, I bent over to do, like, a shoegazer move, and I felt something very substantial on the back of my head and down my back and, for the rest of the show I was extremely paranoid and constantly looking up. I couldn't stand in front of my monitors or in front of my bass cab. It was also 100 degrees, so I couldn't take advantage of the stage fans. The choice was either 'fan plus extreme amounts of bird shit,' or 'no fan and no bird shit.'"
He continued, "The venue fucked up big time. At the place we played in Chicago [the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater] the next night, they take high-powered hoses [to clear the rafters of pigeons]; other venues call in a hawk guy to chase them away. If you run a venue and there's that much money at stake, you should really do that; it's not that expensive."