Not any more

The Stills’ Oliver Crowe talks about getting hit with pigeon shit at Kings of Leon concert

In Canada on August 3, 2010 at 13:06

Totally Wired

The Stills (from left): Gregory Paquet, Dave Hamelin, Tim Fletcher, Liam O’Neill and Oliver Crowe.

The Stills take a lot of shit

Bassist Oliver Crowe talks about getting hit with pigeon poop at last Friday’s Kings of Leon shitocalypse

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BY Stuart Berman   July 26, 2010 12:07

We all had a good ol’ laugh this past weekend over news that Kings of Leon fled the stage of St. Louis’ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Friday night after getting “heckled” (as it were) by a flock of loose-bowelled pigeons lurking overhead in the venue’s rafters. Being the headliners — not to mention arguably the biggest rock band in America right now — the Kings had the authority to the plug on the concert just three songs in. However, the opening band — Montreal indie-rockers The Stills — did not have the same luxury, and were forced to endure the shitocalpyse for the duration of their 45 minute set.

In particular, the VMA pigeons were especially enamoured with bassist Oliver Crowe, who, according to keyboardist Liam O’Neill, “received bacon.” Over the phone en route to Cleveland, Crowe gave EYE WEEKLY his plop-by-plop account.

“During our second song, ‘Lola [Stars and Stripes],’ I felt something like an air conditioner drop, or like little droplets of water spray on my face. The carpet onstage was black, and I noticed 10 to 13 brown spots on it and I started worrying — but I figured, if a bird had shit, it won’t happen again, so I’m fine. About two to three songs later, I bent over to do, like, a shoegazer move, and I felt something very substantial on the back of my head and down my back and, for the rest of the show I was extremely paranoid and constantly looking up. I couldn’t stand in front of my monitors or in front of my bass cab. It was also 100 degrees, so I couldn’t take advantage of the stage fans. The choice was either ‘fan plus extreme amounts of bird shit,’ or ‘no fan and no bird shit.’

“It was really shitty, dude,” Crowe laughs. “Let’s say you’re walking down the street, and a bird shits on you — you feel really embarrassed, right? Imagine that in front of 10,000 people — your embarrassment meter goes through the roof!”

Once The Stills completed their set, Crowe was quick to warn Kings bassist Jared Followill about what awaited him in his particular corner of the stage, leading to a last-minute scramble of riggers climbing up to the rafters in attempt to scare away the birds. But with the Kings cutting their set short after just three songs — during which Jared Followill reportedly took a bomb in the mouth — the effort was clearly a whole lotta too-little, too-late. Needless to say, Crowe wholly sympathized with the Kings’ decision to bail.

“It’s like if you’re sitting backstage and there are rats walking around — you’d be like, ‘I’m out,'” Crowe says. “Because of how [the Kings’] stage is built, you couldn’t move Jared over, there’s too many things — like metal grids and pyro. He had to just stand there.

“The venue fucked up big time,” he continues. “At the place we played in Chicago [the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater] the next night, they take high-powered hoses [to clear the rafters of pigeons]; other venues call in a hawk guy to chase them away. If you run a venue and there’s that much money at stake, you should really do that — it’s not that expensive.”

But even after taking one (and then some) for the team — and ruining a beloved new Fred Perry shirt in the process — Crowe is able to see the bright side of the situation.

“We played 45 minutes and the Kings played 3 songs, so we’ve dubbed it the best Stills encore ever. And, as we’ve been saying here, ‘Thank god the shit didn’t hit the fans.'”

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