A pigeon infestation forced Kings of Leon to cut their performance at St. Louis’ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre short Friday night. Bird excrement rained down on the band, forcing them offstage just three songs into their set. According to the Riverfront Times , fans initially thought the band was pulling a hoax when they exited after “Taper Jean Girl,” but an announcement followed that the show had been canceled “due to concerns over the band’s safety.” Drummer Nathan Followill explained to fans that a pigeon defecated directly into bassist Jared Followill’s mouth.
“So sorry St. Louis. We had to bail, pigeons shitting in Jared’s mouth. Too unsanitary to continue,” Nathan Followill wrote on his Twitter. “Don’t take it out on Jared, it’s the fucking venue’s fault. You may enjoy being shit on but we don’t. Sorry for all who traveled many miles.” Added the band’s manager Andy Mendelsohn in a statement, “I’m surprised they stayed on for as many songs as they did. 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 hazard. They really tried to hang in there.”
The band was warned prior to the show that a “significant pigeon infestation” had plagued the stage for several years, but officials at the venue insisted they were working on a solution. Pigeon excrement rained down on both of the opening acts, the Postelles and the Stills — the Postelles at one point dedicated a song “to our bassist, who just got shat on” — but the Kings of Leon decided to give their show a go because they believed it would have been unfair to cancel at that late moment. “We couldn’t believe what the Postelles and the Stills looked like after their sets,” Jared Followill said in a statement. “We didn’t want to cancel the show, so we went for it. We tried to play. It was ridiculous.”
The fans, many of whom couldn’t see what exactly was transpiring onstage, were upset, loudly booing and chanting “Refund!” after the house lights came on (watch video of the reaction here). Kings of Leon promised to return to St. Louis again “as soon as we can.” In the meantime, Live Nation promised refunds to all those in attendance.