5 Artists That Have Left Fans Staring At An Empty Stage

17 March 2016 | 7:18 pm | Daniel Cribb

Madonna is just the latest of many.

Pop superstar Madonna hasn’t been receiving the best reviews as of late, with headlines around the country reporting extreme tardiness as she fumbles her way through the Rebel Heart tour.

After making fans at her one-off exclusive show wait in the rain for five hours, Brisbane punters went through a similar ordeal, twiddling their thumbs and waiting more than two hours last night.

As an audience member, it’s an interesting situation to find yourself in – surrounded by thousands of other people who can sympathise with you, but who are all mostly there because they ultimately have affection for the artist they forked out cash for.

Whether it’s artists rocking up late or having a mid-set breakdown and walking off early, it can be exciting to be among the action (the sea of phones recording and countless YouTube videos will attest to that).

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Madonna’s not the first and definitely won't be the last.

Green Day

Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong wasn’t too happy when the band’s set was cut short at the iHeartRadio Music Festival back in 2012, and he wasn’t afraid to express his thoughts on the matter. Armstrong is “not Justin Bieber you motherfuckers”.

Axl Rose

Just a quick Google search of the Guns N’ Roses singer will list countless results of the rock legend’s issues with time, and a number of videos of the band’s late starts. In 2010, an audience at Dublin’s O2 were keen to hold him accountable, booing until the band actually left the stage.

Puddle Of Mudd

Singer Wes Scantlin has been known to do crazy things onstage (and off – being arrested in Denver last year for riding on a baggage carousel at the International Airport), most recently in January of this year accusing a fan of stealing his house before sliding a his leather jacket over his Puddle Of Mudd shirt (represent!) and strutting off stage. Seriously guys, it’s not cool to steal houses.

The Ataris

US muso Kris Roe also had an onstage meltdown in 2012, where he stopped mid-song and started hurling equipment at the band’s drummer because he apparently wasn’t playing too well.

He might not have left them staring at an empty stage, but you could have cut the tension in that room with a knife. Not really the ideal atmosphere for the intimate solo performance that followed.

Bonus Round

Beach Boys

Sometimes it’s the audience that disappears in front of the artist. The Beach Boys played an infamously terrible gig in Perth in 1978; those who attended it still tell stories of the horrible show.

There’s not footage of the event (someone’s conveniently uploaded the following night’s gig to YouTube in its entirety when they were on a mission to erase they previous night), but there is an interview the band did the next day, where they blame food poising and booze.