A Bieber fan left a comment on our Facebook
wall about an unpleasant experience.
So let's say you're attending a concert for your favorite artist or band. The opening acts have finished and you're sitting (or standing) around getting restless. Now it's been 45 minutes since the opener left the stage and you're still waiting. Finally, an hour and a half later the artists waltzes onto stage. By this point you're probably quite cranky, but maybe that'll be consumed by the energy generated by the fans around you. Maybe.
Okay, so stuff sometimes happens to make an act late. Traffic is heavy. A band member gets sick. The lead man gets a flat tire on his bike and is without a cell phone (spoiler: crisis averted). That's not what I'm talking about, though. What I'm talking about is an artist that is late of their own accord. And it's not all about artists who are late. Sometimes they're just downright rude or abusive to their fans, making for a very bad experience indeed.
This isn't something that happens everyday, but it happens often enough to be worthy of highlighting. So here are five artists who ruined a concert in the last few years by their lateness or bad behavior.
It's no secret that pop icon Justin Bieber has upset fans lately. As you can see above, he was over an hour and 45 minutes late for a concert in Des Moines, IA, earlier this month, and it made a lot of fans (and parents) angry. A staff member of the Iowa Event Center where the concert was held said Bieber was scheduled for 9:30pm, making him 25 minutes late, even though the last opening act finished up at 8:30pm.
This wasn't the only time this year, though. It seems that as his star has increased, Bieber has seen fit to mozzy onto the stage whenever he well pleases. At a concert on Friday in Hartford, CT — our backyard — Bieber was more than 40 minutes late. And he was also late in March, April, and May, for concerts in the UK, Germany, and Dubai, respectively.
Much like Justin Bieber, Rihanna has a recent habit of showing up late to her shows. Recently the R&B star got fans angry by showing up three hours late for a show in Monte Carlo. And last week she arrived one hour late to her show in Manchester, England, only to get pelted with chips!
After dodging incoming snacks, she laid into the audience with an expletive-filled rant. Actually, I can't quite blame her for that one; it may be bad to show up late, but that doesn't mean things should be thrown at you.
While it's not unusual for an artist to share their political and/or religious views during the course a concert, it is a little odd to do so when much of your fanbase is diametrically opposed to the comments you're making. That rule of thumb didn't stop folk singer Michelle Shocked from sharing her views on homosexuality and the challenge to the now-struck down Proposition 8 during a concert in March.
At a show in San Francisco on March 17, Shocked suddenly launched into a rant against homosexuality and the then-ongoing Prop 8 case at the Supreme Court. Concert attendees pretty quickly made their feelings on the tirade known by walking out, and the mic and lights were eventually shut off. Venue management has vowed to not invite Shocked back, and the rant prompted promoters to cancel most of the rest of her U.S. tour.
Last year, R. Kelly was performing with Fantasia when he suddenly walked off stage after two songs. Fans were understandably upset at the course of events; however, whether or not he did the right thing is of some debate.
According to Team R.Kelly, the performer was angry that the conditions of the contract with the show promoter were not met, including hotel and transport arrangements and compensation. However, Fantasia wasn't having any of it, calling the act "disrespectful" toward fans. So, whomever you want to agree with is up to you.
Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill generated headlines in 2011 when he suddenly complained of being hot and promptly walked off stage after performing part of a concert in Dallas, TX. He reportedly claimed he needed to take a breather backstage, but never returned to continue the show.
Bassist and brothers Jared Followill offered an apology to fans on Twitter after the show, hinting that there were larger problems that just dehydration, writing, "I love our fans so much. I know you guys aren't stupid. I can't lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade." The band was originally supposed to add a second Dallas show later in the year to make up for the walk-off, but ended up cancelling the rest of their U.S. tour that year to give Caleb more time to rest.
Update: I've posted a sequel to this article, outlining a few times where an artist's actions have made a concert extra special.