UPDATE 10:11 a.m.: Motorhead’s official Facebook page has released a statement on last night’s incident. Here it is in full:
As you might have heard, Motörhead again had to abbreviate a performance due to Lemmy not feeling well. This is a DIRECT follow-on from the altitude issues in Colorado, and clearly, Lemmy tried to get back at it too quickly. For this reason, Motörhead will not play in San Antonio tonight, but the show will still go on with Saxon headlining. Lemmy will resume duties the moment he is PROPERLY rested and firing on all cylinders again. The legendary Motörheadbanger patience is much appreciated, and the band send their deepest thanks. More details will be released soon.
Last week Motorhead were honored by the city of Los Angeles for four decades of service to rock and roll, but the metal behemoth is starting to show signs of wearing down. Last night in Austin, Texas, the band ended their set after just four songs as legendary frontman Lemmy Kilmister became “fatigued and winded.”
The 69-year-old musician has been battling heath issues in recent years. Motorhead’s August 27 show in Salt Lake City was cut short, and an August 28 show in Denver was canceled altogether because of the high altitude, according to reports. The band is on tour to support new album Bad Magic.
“You are one of the best gigs in America, and I would love to play for you, but I can’t,” Lemmy told the crowd last night. “So please accept my apologies. Next time, all right?”
Unfortunately, Lemmy seemed shaky from the start, as he ambled onto the stage looking noticeably gaunt and tried to sing the first number, “Damage Case,” clearly out of breath and at half speed. Meanwhile, guitarist Phil Campbell was doing everything he could to compensate by running about and engaging the audience much more than is his habit. Drummer Mikkey Dee also seemed to be trying to will Lemmy onward with his more measured but typically powerful attack.
Alas, the situation did not improve as Motorhead struggled to complete another Overkill standard, “Stay Clean,” and then “We Are Motorhead.” After greeting his fans and admitting he was still under the weather, Lemmy lasted barely one minute into their next song, “Metropolis,” before dropping his arms, backing away from his microphone, and conceding defeat in obvious disgust, as his bandmates simultaneously ground to a feedback-screeching halt.
The crowd chanted “Lemmy! Lemmy! Lemmy!” as he returned to the stage and apologized to the crowd. Watch the video below.