Kings of Leon Cancels Its St. Louis Show After Playing Three Songs Because of Bird Shit
"It was so high up you couldn't see it, but it was definitely a bird," Burnett says. "And not to be gross, but when a pigeon shits, it comes out as a long line, and it's very noticeable. We thought it was water at first, and when the opening act commented on being shat on, we knew it was a bird."
After Kings of Leon walked offstage, Burnett says he saw people shining a spotlight near where the bird was in the rafters.
"We thought they were coming back onstage," he says, in reference to the band. "We were disappointed that they chose to cancel the show."
He added later: "I really wish they would've found a way to keep on playing, because they disappointed everyone there."
Unlike the situation with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell -- who fell ill due to dehydration during last Sunday's show at the same venue -- there's been no indication yet that heat was a factor in the cancellation. (Heat indexes yesterday in the area were over 100.) Burnett also stressed that he did not see bottles or other objects thrown onstage.
Due to the unexpected abbreviated Kings of Leon performance at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Live Nation is issuing refunds on all tickets.
Purchases made at the box office and outlets, will be refunded at point of purchase starting Monday, July 26. Purchases made online and via phone will be refunded starting Monday, July 26.
Box office hours are Monday- Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am- 2pm.
Followill's Twitter is private; a friend request from us is pending. The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater didn't pick up when we tried to call. Emails are in to the publicists for all three bands for comment and/or clarification.
We'll update this when we know more.
With additional reporting by Will Melton
[UPDATE, Saturday, July 24, 12:55 p.m. Here's the KOL statement, via the band's publicist:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PIGEON INFESTATION FORCES KINGS OF LEON OFFSTAGE EARLY IN ST. LOUIS
An infestation of pigeons living in the rafters of the Verizon Amphitheatre in St. Louis, MO, forced the Kings of Leon to walk offstage after three songs last night. Even though opening bands The Postelles and The Stills came offstage complaining of getting riddled with large amounts of pigeon excrement, the Kings of Leon decided to carry on regardless. The band felt it would be unfair to the fans to cancel the show at that late moment.
"I'm surprised they stayed on for as many songs as they did," said Andy Mendelsohn of Vector Management. "Jared was hit several times during the first two songs. On the third song, when he was hit in the cheek and some of it landed near his mouth, they couldn't deal any longer. It's not only disgusting -- it's a toxic health hazard. They really tried to hang in there. We want to apologize to our fans in St. Louis and will come back as soon as we can."
When the band arrived earlier in the day, the venue warned management that there had been a significant pigeon infestation problem with summer shows over the years, but they were doing all they could to fix it.
"We couldn't believe what The Postelles and The Stills looked like after their sets," said Jared Followill. "We didn't want to cancel the show, so we went for it. We tried to play. It was ridiculous."
Kings of Leon are headed to Chicago tonight to perform at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre as scheduled.
[Update, Sunday, July 25, 8 p.m.: A call we made yesterday to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater seeking a comment about Kings of Leon's statement hasn't yet been returned.
Video of the third song of the set, "Taper Jean Girl," has surfaced on YouTube:
My friend Althea Legaspi reviewed last night's Kings of Leon show in Chicago. In her Chicago Tribune review, she stated:
On Saturday singer/guitarist Caleb Followill quipped, "We've made it through five songs," in the only seeming reference to the incident.
She also had some complimentary words for the band: "Their once lackadaisical approach was replaced with a much more energetic delivery. Whether it was their newer moodier material, such as "Closer" or a number pulled from their garage beginnings, such as "Molly's Chambers," the group appeared to enjoy themselves as much as the fans did the performance."