Foxygen show ends early after singer injured at First Avenue

Here's Foxygen's Sam France just moments before his injury.
Here's Foxygen's Sam France just moments before his injury.
Photo by Erik Hess

The fragile existence of polarizing indie rockers Foxygen reached a new breaking point Monday night at First Avenue. The band's headlining set at the Minneapolis club lasted only about five minutes when singer Sam France -- known for his full-bodied onstage antics -- jumped and fell into the barricade in front of the stage.

The band was playing its first song of the night, "On Blue Mountain," when France toppled off of a monitor. According to the band's Twitter account, "Sam is OK - he might have broken his leg." Other accounts from the show suggest that he may have hit his head pretty hard on the barricade on his way down too. Update: The band tweeted that France sustained "complete fractures of the tibia and fibula."

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Update: They have just cancelled an appearance at the 2013 FYF Fest. Full band statement from Twitter (8/16/13):

The cancellation is directly related to injuries sustained by Sam in July. Sam sustained complete fractures of the tibia and fibula-- severe enough to require surgery. He is currently unable to walk unassisted. Being from the LA area, it's a true heartbreaker for us to be unable to appear at FYF. Thanks so much to our fans for your understanding. We look forward to seeing you soon! Physical therapy is under way! Thank you thank you thank you for your time, attention, and understanding.

From Gimme Noise's Nicole Oran:

It was a short set. The band had only just started the first song, "On Blue Mountain," when outrageous Sam France started his aggressive set that turned out poorly, too quick. While engaging with the audience, seemingly overtaken by performance, France leaned on the front monitor, which seemed to tip forward. He fell toward the crowd was apparently injured as a result of hitting the front barricade railings.

At first it wasn't clear if he was hurt or where he was because an audience member that resembled him grabbed the microphone. The band continued to play for a few moments and then security became present. Jonathan Rado regretfully informed the crowd, "If we have to cancel, we'll come back and make it up to you, okay? We love you. Sorry."

France was stationary on the floor between the barricades on the stage while security and who appeared to be paramedics placed him on a stretcher. He was moving, appeared conscious, but had a bandage around his left calf. His hands were placed on his forehead. As he became visible to the crowd again when the stretcher was lifted to leave the area, "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" played overhead and the crowd cheered, as if to applaud a recovery. But the show ended before a full song was played. And it's currently not clear how he was really hurt and how bad it was.

Foxygen show ends early after singer injured at First Avenue
Photo by Erik Hess

After France fell, an ambulance was called, and paramedics had to carry France out on a stretcher.

 Anyone who has seen the band play, notably at Pitchfork Music Festival on July 21, knows that the band's antics can be quite physical in nature. Here's France climbing the stage's support beam during their set.

Foxygen show ends early after singer injured at First Avenue
Photo by Erik Hess

This incident follows a series of tumultuous moments in the band's recent past. In March, France had a bit of a meltdown at SXSW, and summer dates in Europe were shelved when Foxygen's "creative health" was called into serious question. Touring member Elizabeth Fey wrote a lengthy Tumblr post earlier this week stating that there were many personal problems within the group. In spite of rumors of the band's impending breakup, the story according to their publicist is that they're not splitting. Let's hope this latest setback is just that -- a setback.

Update: More tweets Tuesday say that shows in Vancouver and Seattle have been canceled, and that France must have surgery. In true Foxygen style, this latest update is delivered with some humor.

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