[Update, Monday, July 26, 7 p.m.: The local rumor mill is in overdrive. Read more here.]
[Update, Sunday, July 25, 8 p.m.: Links to audio and video of the St. Louis show, and information on what happened at last night's Chicago show, were added at the end of the article. Also, our slideshow of photos from the night is posted.][Update, Saturday, July 24, at 12:55 p.m.: Kings of Leon has issued a statement. Read below.]
Kings of Leon canceled its St. Louis show on Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater after playing just three songs. We've not officially confirmed why -- although the prevailing rumor at the moment is that bird shit is the culprit.
RFT online intern Steve Hardy, who was set to review the show for A to Z, said that things seemed fine during opening sets by the Stills and the Postelles, and at the start of KOL's set. (He noted that "the songs they played were great - there was a good solo on 'Crawl.'")
After the Nashville band finished "Taper Jean Girl," the third song of the set, it walked off stage. According to Hardy, the house lights stayed off for a short while and then went up, and then someone came to the stage and said that "due to concerns over the band's safety, we are canceling the show. Please file out in an orderly fashion." RFT photographer Erin Kinsella estimated it was "3 to 5 minutes after the stage went dark" that they made the announcement. She also noted that security was then beefed up near the stage.
Adds Hardy: "Everyone was convinced it was a hoax."
Mass confusion ensued. The crowd started booing and chanting, "Bullshit!"; Hardy said the parking lot was full of honking horns and the sound of bottles being broken.
Footage on YouTube of the crowd chanting "Refund! Refund!":
The official @rftmusic Twitter, of course, started exploding with angry messages, tips, perplexed reactions - and rumbling about "pigeons." In fact, Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill tweeted the following:
@doctorfollowill So sorry St. Louis. We had to bail, pigeons shitting in jareds mouth. Too unsanitary to continue.
@doctorfollowill Don't take it out on Jared, it's the fucking venues fault. You may enjoy being shit on but we don't. Sorry for all who traveled many miles.
Translation: A pigeon shit in bassist Jared Followill's mouth. Now, this seems preposterous - except Hardy also said that opening band the Postelles dedicated a song "to our bassist, who just got shat on."
Justin Burnett, 31, of Manchester, Missouri, confirmed Hardy's observation - and noted that the Stills' bassist, Oliver Corbeil, was also hit by what appeared to be bird shit. Burnett was in the front row, directly in front of Kings of Leon vocalist Caleb Followill, and said that the creature was in the rafters of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.