American rockers Counting Crows turned out to be lame ducks when they cancelled two concerts in as many nights in Wellington this weekend. They today announced that their Auckland show, scheduled for today, wouldn't go ahead either.
An unexpected illness to lead singer Adam Duritz was to blame for the band postponing their show 90 minutes before the doors opened at the Michael Fowler Centre on Saturday night.
The gig was pushed back 24 hours, which disappointed some out-of-town fans who spent hundreds of dollars travelling to Wellington and were unable to stick around.
But they proved to be no better off than those who returned last night after the band pulled the plug right before they were due to go on stage.
Music reviewer Simon Sweetman, who was at the concert, said fans had just finished listening to opening act, The Thomas Oliver Band, and could not believe it when one of the Counting Crows stepped out on stage to deliver the bad news.
''People couldn't even really muster a boo. I think most people thought it was a joke.''
The crowd was told Ticketek would be offering refunds. Ticket prices ranged from $50 to $300.
Entertainment company Live Nation posted a message on its website last night saying the Counting Crows concert at
The Civic in Auckland tonight had also been cancelled due to ''illness''.
''Counting Crows and Live Nation sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and advise all ticket holders to seek a refund at the point of purchase.''
There was no mention of the cancelled shows on the band's Facebook page this morning.
On Saturday night, Counting Crows apologised on Facebook for the postponed concert, followed by Duritz posting a picture of himself at the Michael Fowler Centre about 4pm yesterday with the comment: ''Soundchecking 'Start Again' & now 'Untitled (Love Song)' - hey! My voice works! Sweet.''
Fans replied with messages of excitement, which turned to sadness after the second show was cancelled.
Richard Morton posted, ''I am so gutted!!! So sorry u couldn't play!! But u must understand New Zealand is a expensive country! People here will have saved and don't go out every week! So this has cost me personally about $500, which I didn't mind as I love u guys but to cancel on us twice! Sux!''
Nicky Sargent posted, ''Luckily I had a chilled bottle of wine and a chocolate bar waiting at home. Grrrr.''
But there was also plenty of sympathy for the band. Kevin Smith posted, ''Feel better Adam and please, please, please come back and play.''
Sweetman said the 2200-capacity Michael Fowler Centre was about half full on Sunday and there were noticeable spaces in many of the rows, suggesting quite a few ticket holders from Saturday were unable to return.
''There was a few people understandably looking pissed off [last night] ... it looked like they couldn't believe they had wasted two night of their weekend.''
Nelson woman Lynda Richards told The Dominion Post her husband and daughter travelled from Nelson and her son from Dunedin to see the Counting Crows on Saturday.
They ended up going home disappointed after they were unable to change their flights so they could hang around for the Sunday show, she said.
''It was a very expensive trip with flights accommodation, shuttles etc. It was all the more special as our son has moved away from home to study at Otago Uni this year, it was the first time they had seen each other since Uni began.''
''It was supposed to be a trip and concert to remember as it would be the first concert my daughter would have attended.''
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- The Dominion Post