When Circa Survive guitarist Brendan Ekstrom saw a woman seemingly trying to reject the advances of a man in the crowd at one of his concerts, his first thought was “flirting doesn’t look like that”.
Enraged, thinking what if it was his daughter in that situation, he stopped playing, and walked off stage.
Concertgoers at the July 21 performance in St. Louis were mystified at his sudden exit, especially when he returned minutes later and resumed playing.
The guitarist has since taken to Twitter to explain his actions, and the disturbing scene he saw from stage which led up to his sudden departure.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never walked off stage during a song before,” he said on Twitter.
For almost a whole song I watched a guy stand a row behind a girl flirting and then trying to kiss her. It was hard to tell what was really happening. At times she seemed okay with his advances but after the second time of watching her push is face and hands away and try to turn back to watch the show I asked the security guard to go check on them.
“He couldn’t see what I was pointing to and it was still happening.
“I left the stage and walked straight for them, my mind an emotional blur. Security followed me. “The man seemed dumbfounded when I showed up as if nothing was wrong.
“I don’t know what happened after. I went back to stage to finish the show. Security took it from there.”
Ekstrom said he didn’t see the man and woman after he resumed his set: “Maybe they were removed or just moved. Maybe they were in a relationship. Maybe they weren’t”.
“Regardless, what I saw from stage was disturbing to me and completely removed me from the mindset I need to be on stage,” he said.
“It wasn’t cute. It was alarming. I’m almost forty and flirting doesn’t look like that. Maybe it’s that I have a daughter or that I’m older.”
He said he “couldn’t shake” a video he had seen on Twitter before the concert, in which a young man tries to kiss an unwilling girl.
“I really don’t know but it made me furious to watch a girl forcibly remove someone’s hands from her body multiple times. I still don’t feel great about how I handled the situation. I borderline blacked out in some weird rage mode.
“It makes me nervous to think about how I would handle situations like this in the future, especially if it was with someone I knew or cared about, especially if it is my daughter.
“I don’t really know what to say about it all.
“I’m sorry to my band for not communicating the situation better and leaving them standing on stage confused.
“And I’m sorry to fans who were equally confused and saw a bit of an unusual show.”
It seems his apology was overwhelmingly accepted, with Ekstrom widely praised for his actions.