We’ve all gasped with concern (or, OK, stifled a sigh) when somebody needs to get pulled from the crowd at a gig and the performers put on the brakes, and most of us have endured the odd egotistical rant from an artist mid-set (looking at you, Kanye), or waited in exasperation between songs while the band get to grips with what they’re doing. All that’s par for the course, right? But sometimes artists halt gigs for extraordinary reasons – here are 10 of the weirdest.
Fans in Dortmund, Germany had their night out cut short when A$AP Rocky refused to perform until he got his limited edition Supreme hat back. Prematurely finishing his verse on the ‘Work’ remix, Rocky made a plea/ultimatum for his beloved head-wear (“It’s either that, or I’m not partying in this motherfucker no more”) before giving up and leaving the crowd with the words, “Germany, it’s been good. Thank you, I’m out this bitch. Peace”.
Florence Welch was dubbed “our guardian angel” by the YouTube member who uploaded footage of the songbird comforting a crying fan mid-way through a performance of ‘Shake It Out’. “I can’t sing this song while there is a fight going on in front of me. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, just sort it out and be friends,” said the crimson-haired hero at the Aberdeen venue.
1969 saw the ever-controversial and, in this case, overly enthusiastic Jim Morrison become the object of an arrest warrant for “lewd and lascivious behaviour in public by exposing his private parts and by simulating masturbation and oral copulation”. Apparently during a gig in Miami The Doors frontman exposed himself on stage. Manager Bill Siddons denied that the exposing performance was deliberate, saying, “No one in the group saw him do it. Morrison said he did it, but not onstage. Like he had been tucking in his shirt or something and he might have slipped a little”.
Kanye West stopped mid-song after being distracted by a fan-thrown coin. Yeezy cut the music during his set in Dublin and went on to berate the fan who threw the contentious object. “You fucked it up for everybody, I was having a perfect show. Flawless victory. Don’t throw no shit on the stage.” His “flawless victory” of a performance was, apparently, ruined.
Kings Of Leon were forced to abandon a show in 2010 in St Louis owing to “safety concerns”, aka bird shit. After being pelted repeatedly by pigeon excrement, the band were compelled to leave the stage when bassist Jared was nearly hit in the mouth. Drummer Nathan Followill later tweeted, “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 travelled many miles.”
Kurt Cobain confronted a male concert-goer who was groping a female fan in the front row during a gig. At the show in Oakland on New Year’s Eve 1993, the Nirvana singer stopped midway through a rendition of the acoustic ‘Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam’, prompting bassist Krist Novoselic to chime in with, “Copping a feel, eh buddy? How’s it feel, huh?”
Midway through a recent performance of ‘Irreplaceable’ in Copenhagen, Beyoncé was slapped on the bottom by an over-zealous fan. She sternly told the fan, “I will have you escorted out right now, alright?” Ever the professional, the bootylicious diva then picked up where she left off.
Earlier this year, Pink cut short an acoustic version of her hit ‘Who Knew’ in Philadelphia to comfort a crying girl in the audience – with a Rice Krispies Treat and toy frog. The singer turned mama-bear cooed over the upset girl and told the people who had been fighting near her to “cut it out. You all are grown-ass women. Go get a pizza, have a beer, sit down somewhere.”
During a soundcheck in Chile in 2012, Madonna scolded her smoking fans, saying, “If you’re gonna smoke cigarettes, I’m not doing a show”. Perhaps adding insult to injury to her Chilean fans, Madonna then lit up her own cigarette during a performance of ‘Like A Virgin’ a couple of days later in Cordoba.
Rihanna reprimanded a fan during a performance in Birmingham in June, taking to Instagram later to continue her bitter reaction to the “bitch” that wouldn’t “let me go”. After the singer had slipped into the crowd to interact with fans, the guilty party had grabbed her sleeve, and a less than thrilled RiRi flung her mic straight back at them.