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Death from Above

Kings of Leon cancel show, run for cover.

3:45 PM, Jul 26, 2010 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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For musicians, managers, and venue owners, the fears of a concert going awry are multiple. Often the problem is crowd control (the 11 fans who were stomped to death at the Who concert in Cincinnati in 1979). Sometimes it stems from security (the Hells Angels at the Altamont Speedway in 1969). Other times the issue is the performer (Jim Morrison's antics at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami, 1969). And still other times it's a combination of factors (the Diana Ross concert in Central Park in 1983 was cancelled the first day because of a severe thunderstorm and concluded the next day with the gang rampage known as "wilding"). But a concert ending because of pigeon droppings? This has to be a first.

According to CNN.com,

Pooping pigeons forced the Kings of Leon to abandon their St. Louis, Missouri, concert after just three songs Friday night, the rock band's management said Saturday.

An infestation of the birds in the rafters of the Verizon Amphitheatre bombarded the musicians as soon as they took the stage, according to Andy Mendelsohn of Vector Management.

Sure it's not like the stabbing murder that occurred at Altamont during the Rolling Stones' set. But from the CNN report, the aerial bombardment does sound fearsome:

"Jared (Followill) was hit several times during the first two songs," Mendelsohn said of the band's bassist.... The ... attack began during the opening song—"Closer"—when he was bombed in the face. His bass tech wiped most of it off with a sanitary wipe, he said.

Excrement struck each of his arms over the next two numbers, he said.

"I was hit by pigeons on each of the first three songs," he said. "We had 20 songs on the set list. By the end of the show, I would have been covered from head to toe."

It also didn't help that Followill is a self-confessed germaphobe. (I wonder if he's ever seen High Anxiety?)

And yet the opening bands, God love them, suffered through all of this: "The Postelles and The Stills came offstage complaining of getting riddled with large amounts of excrement, their publicist said.... 'We couldn't believe what The Postelles and The Stills looked like after their sets,' Followill said. 'We didn't want to cancel the show, so we went for it. We tried to play. It was ridiculous.'"

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