Shaken R&B singer Patti LaBelle, 78, rushed off stage after ‘bomb threat’ at Milwaukee concert

Reports of an alleged bomb threat left Milwaukee concert-goers stunned the moment iconic singer Patti LaBelle was reluctantly rushed off stage: “Hold up. Wait!”

The American R&B legend was mid-performance Saturday night at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and seemingly thanking her fans while holding onto a bouquet of flowers when she was unexpectedly interrupted on stage. While speaking into the microphone, the 78-year-old diva did not see as two men dressed in all black approached her from behind to whisk her out of the venue.

While another individual could be seen alerting members of the band to what was later reported to be a bomb threat, video shared by HuffPost editor Philip Lewis of LaBelle’s reaction showed her appearing to be upset with the individuals trying to see to her safety. “Hold up,” she said as one man saw to taking the microphone from her leading her to shout, “Wait!”

It is unclear at what point LaBelle became aware of the suspected bomb threat, but in the next moment she could be seen dropping her bouquet and willingly leaving the stage as another individual entered the scene to help guide her away.

Meanwhile, fans milled about in confusion until the message had been conveyed that they too were expected to exit the theater.

Tagging her local news stations, one fan posted video from outside the theater just before 10 pm suggesting that the show, with a reported 9pm start, may have been less than halfway through when the evacuation happened. Capturing the chaotic scene as patrons gathered outside, the woman narrated, “We just learned that there was a bomb threat against Patti LaBelle–the Riverside Theater. The theater had to be cleared, it had to be evacuated, and now all of the participants are waiting outside.”

“We do not know if we can go back inside to the venue,” she continued. “It is up to the Riverside Theater if we can go back inside.”

Ultimately, fans were not permitted reentry into the performance as the Pabst Theater Group, the owners of the Riverside Theater, posted a message to social media hours later that explained the show had been postponed until an as yet undetermined future date.

“Tonight’s [Patti LaBelle] show at the Riverside Theater has been postponed following a bomb threat investigated by the Milwaukee Police Department,” they explained. “We are thankful for the efforts of the Milwaukee Police Department and our customers and staff for their safe and orderly exit.”

The owners went on to state, “We are working with the artist to reschedule the show.”

As to the investigation of the bomb threat, journalist Drake Bentley shared an image believed to be a screen capture of an email from Milwaukee Police Department Capt. Warren E. Allen Jr. that read, “Regarding the bomb threat in the 100 block of W. Wisconsin, all patrons have been safely evacuated. Police are clearing the facility at this time.”

“The investigation,” he added, “is fluid and ongoing.”

While some remained shocked at the apparent order of the evacuation, others were simply grateful to learn that everyone had gotten out safely.

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