When you gather ten thousand people, and jam them all into a hot, crowded, loud place that sells alcohol, someone is bound to do something stupid. For these artists, having to dodge projectiles while performing is an occupational hazard. Most often, it’s a water bottle, or some rolled up toilet paper. Sometimes it’s actually a form of flattery, and a fan will toss up some flowers, or some fancy lace undergarments, if you’re Tom Jones. After Kanye West made a big deal about a fan throwing a nickel on stage during a concert in Dublin last weekend, we thought it might be fun to recall the most infamous and ridiculous moments where collective idiocy reigned true, in the form of a spontaneous hail mary. Here are the top 10 most ridiculous items thrown on stage during concerts.
Kanye West – Nickel (Dublin, 2012)
We might as well start with the most recent incident that sparked our interest in this type of mischief. In what seems to be a pretty harmless act, an Irish fan was publicly shamed by Kanye West after tossing a nickel on stage during the Watch The Throne tour. Yeezy stopped the song (he seems to be doing that a lot, lately), and gave the audience member a rather stern tongue-lashing:
“Don’t throw no hard shit up here while we’re performing, seriously. You fucked it up for everybody. I was having a perfect show, flawless victory. Don’t throw no shit on the stage, please.”
I’m going to refer to all of my successes as “flawless victories” from now on, even when it’s something as minor as successfully putting pants on, or consuming an entire box of Kraft Dinner alone.
David Bowie – Lollipop (Norway, 2004)
I’m sure the Norwegian who threw that lollipop didn’t expect it to get stuck in David Bowie’s eye. What are the odds? That’s like a hole-in-one on a par 5 course, using a broom instead of a golf club.
A$AP Rocky – Cocaine & Marijuana (Coachella, 2012)
During his much-hyped Coachella performance, someone threw a small bag of cocaine and a few joints on stage. Rocky’s hype-man told the crowd they’d taken it too far, but then Rocky started a chant of “Cocaine & White Bitches!” just a few moments later.
I know that A$AP Rocky raps about drugs a lot, but come on, concert goers. Just because Katy Perry sings about “Fireworks” doesn’t mean you should be shooting off roman candles at her head.
Chad Kroeger/Nickelback – Rocks (Ilha do Ermal Festival, Portugal, 2002)
When Nickelback played Portugal’s biggest metal music festival, they probably had no idea that they’d be pelted with rocks during their set. Chad, baby, I really feel like “Are there any Nickelback fans in Portugal?” is a question you maybe should have asked before hopping on that plane.
Tila Tequila – Feces (Gathering Of The Juggalos, 2010)
During her now-infamous appearance at Insane Clown Posse’s unique carnival of horror, the Gathering of the Juggalos, Tila Tequila was welcomed with a veritable hellfire of garbage, rocks, and (she alleges) even human feces. In Tila’s defence, she does what any one of us would have done — she pulls out her breasts. Sorry Tila, even your boobs can’t save you from the unhinged wicked wrath of the Psychopathic Rydas.
Foo Fighters – Mentos (Various Venues, 1996)
Right after the Foo Fighters released their Mentos commercial-parodying video for the song “Big Me,” they were showered by fans throwing Mentos nearly every time they performed the song live. It was so bad that they refused to play the song live for many years, until Mentos left the collective consciousness.
You can’t really blame them, because Mentos are like tiny white rocks, and probably leave bruises if they’ve got enough momentum behind them. Jump to 2:17 of the above video to see a young Dave Grohl dodge an entire pack of Mentos, and then explain the story of how every Foo Fighters concert has been a Mentos-stoning event since “Big Me” came out.
Adam Lambert – Sex Toy (Hamilton, Ontario, 2009)
Just as Lambert is sinking his teeth into an amped-up version of “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, a floppy, skin-tone dildo lands at his feet. Without missing a beat, Lambert winds up and punts the sex toy off stage, right back into the audience. Jump to 2:00 to see the kick that heard ’round the world.
Kings of Leon – Bird Shit (St. Louis, Missouri, 2010)
Apparently this stage in St. Louis was so beleaguered with pigeon problems that bird shit was raining down on Kings Of Leon during this 2010 performance. I know an audience member didn’t throw this on stage, but is it possible to argue that the birds were throwing it from their butts? It’s too funny not to, in my opinion.
If you look close in the video above, at 1:15 or so, the KOL drummer gets shaken up by something that lands on his face. At the end of the song, the lead singer visibly wipes his mouth, and the band would not return to the stage afterwards. Pigeons have really great taste in music, apparently.
Justin Bieber – Eggs (Sydney, Australia, 2011)
In a well-coorindated stealth attack, 6 eggs were hurled onto a stage where Justin Bieber was performing in Sydney last year. The eggs all narrowly miss Bieber and his backup dancers, but I’m pretty sure that if the eggs hit him in the head, it would have made his hair even shinier, and he’d be way more popular today. So plan better, egg hurler — that one could have backfired big time.
Ozzy Osbourne – A Live Bat (Des Moines, Iowa, 1982)
This tale is legendary. When a fan threw a live (but unconscious) bat on stage, Ozzy (in what I can only assume was a drug-fueled haze) thought it was plastic, and bit its head off. The stunt did well for his wild-man image, but after two weeks of rabies shots, I’m sure Ozzy regretted the gaffe.
In a strange twist, the bat had its head sewed back on by a medic backstage, and it miraculously survived Ozzy’s chomps. After Ozzy got to know it, he took a real shine to the bat. Her name was Sharon, and they were married later that year. BA-ZING!