Rock Disasters: A Brief History of Shows Cut Short


Throughout rock history, concerts have come to abrupt ends for stranger-than-fiction reasons, but Kings of Leon's show in St. Louis this past weekend raised the bar: pigeons in the rafters used the stage as a toilet, dropping excrement into Jared Followill's mouth. Here's a rundown of more early exits:

• If "onstage pratfalls" were a statistic like Home Runs and Strikeouts, Aerosmith would lead the rock & roll league: In 1980, singer Steven Tyler passed out during a Portland, Maine concert at the peak of his cocaine-and-martinis addiction. Things didn't get any better with age, as Tyler fell off the stage while dancing during a 2009 concert in Sturgis, South Dakota, dislocating his shoulder and ending another Aerosmith show, and ultimately an entire tour, prematurely.

• In 1992, Metallica's James Hetfield suffered second and third degree burns after a pyrotechnics blast scorched him just one song into the band's concert in Montreal. Fourteen years later, Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee suffered show-ending burns when an errant pyrotechnic fired towards him while he was suspended 30 feet in the air for a drum solo.

• During a 2002 Nickelback performance in Portugal, the Canadian band was pelted by whatever the crowd could hurl toward the stage, including piss-filled water bottles. After being the target of too much audience artillery, frontman Chad Kroeger halted the show to ask if the fans wanted the band to continue. As evidenced by the video here, a perfectly tossed rock was the only response Kroeger needed before Nickelback left the stage for good.

• Fiona Apple had one of music's most memorable and oft-teased onstage meltdowns in April 2000, when she burst into tears and pleaded with journalists in attendance not to pan her performance after suffering sound problems at New York's Roseland Ballroom. After just a few songs, an emotional Apple fled the stage.

• And as Kanye West proved when he stole the spotlight from Taylor Swift at the VMAs, no stage is safe from a straight-up hijacking. In response to comments P.M. Dawn's Prince Be made about KRS-One to a magazine, KRS and Boogie Down Productions stormed the stage of a 1992 P.M. Dawn concert, forcing the Set Adrift on Memory Bliss crew off the stage. To add insult to injury, Boogie Down Productions performed three of their own songs in front of P.M. Dawn's shocked fans.

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