If you read any music news this week, you probably saw a YouTube video titled “Ben Gibbard with Death Cab for Cutie has a breakdown” making the rounds. It showed the beloved alt-rock band closing a set with “Soul Meets Body” in Charleston, South Carolina, when the frontman abruptly rips out his earpiece, drops his guitar, and knocks over his mic stand. The rest of the band quits playing as Gibbard strides off stage, though they later returned for an encore.
Naturally, fans wondered what fit of pique precipitated the walk-off. Now, bassist Nick Harmer has said it wasn’t as bad as all that: Gibbard was “frustrated” by equipment failure, and, simultaneously, a fight broke out at the front of the crowd.
“We would’ve finished the song, but we’re all feeling a little skittish after Orlando and things were just — we weren’t sure what was happening,” Harmer told Billboard in an interview at this weekend’s Firefly Music Festival. “So we stop as a band, thinking someone’s hurt or something’s happening, but that just happened to coincide with the other thing that was happening with Ben, which was all of this gear problem. We just left the stage, did a re-set, and then we came back out and played the encore we were gonna play anyway.”
All is well in Death Cab land, then. Watch video of the incident and Harmer’s explanation below.