[a]Michael Stipe[/a] and various [a]Counting Crows[/a] are among the guests evacuated...

Matchbox 20's show at LONDON's HAMMERSMITH APOLLO was delayed by more than 30 minutes last night (June 15) due to a bomb scare.

The American five-piece were evacuated from the backstage area around 8.40 after a man claimed to have left a suspect package nearby.

He was quickly arrested close to the venue and admitted it was hoax. But as security in the area has been heightened of late due to the recent bombing of Hammersmith Bridge, the band were briefly moved out of the Apollo to allow further checks.

The scare didn't seem to upset Matchbox 20's rock star friends who had joined them for the show. R.E.M's Michael Stipe remained backstage throughout while Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz and keyboardist Charlie Gillingham joined the band for a spirited run through Willie Nelson's 'Mama, Don't Let Your Children Grow Up To Be Cowboys'.

As reported yesterday on, Matchbox 20 singer Rob Thomas had joined Carlos Santana onstage at London's Wembley Arena on Wednesday (June 14) to play their top five single 'Smooth'.

Matchbox 20 play two further UK shows this weekend at Manchester University (tonight) and Glasgow Fruitmarket (June 18).

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