STURGIS - A huge number of fans packed the field in front of the Buffalo Chip Campground main stage to see Aerosmith, but Wednesday's concert was cut short when lead singer Steven Tyler fell off the stage.
Tyler was singing the Top 10 hit "Love In An Elevator" when the sound system went out. He continued to dance around, entertaining the crowd, when he fell off the Chip stage, according to reports.
d Aurand, a security supervisor at the campground who saw the fall, said Tyler stepped backward off the stage's catwalk.
"He does a lot of dancing on the stage and he does a lot of stuff with his mike stand. He put his stand down and twirled around and stepped backwards off the stage," Sanborn said.
Halfway through the performance, Tyler fell onto a couple of fans in the middle of what was a record crowd, Sanborn said. Security rushed to help him and the crowd cheered when Tyler got back up.
"He was good natured about it," Sanborn said. "He was in good spirits when he got in the helicopter. He was talking and joking with the physician."
"It was an unfortunate end to an extraordinary evening," he said.
Tyler suffered minor head and neck injuries and a shoulder injury, but it wasn't immediately clear how serious that was, Sanborn said.
After he fell, which was halfway through the performance, Tyler was eventually taken backstage, Sanborn said. Around 12:15 a.m., Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry came out to tell the audience Tyler was being taken to the hospital and that the show would not go on.
A physician at the concert venue attended to Tyler and the frontman was flown to Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Jennifer Horton, the hospital's vice president of public relations and marketing, said early Thursday that Tyler wasn't in the hospital directory. Under the privacy laws, that means the person is either not there or chose not to be included in the directory, according to the hospital's Web site.
This was the first time Aerosmith had performed in Sturgis, but it was Tyler's second appearance at the rally.
Fans were sure to be disappointed. They had gathered earlier in the day, excited for the big event. Danielle Hudspeth of Pine Ridge said the week Aerosmith was announced as part of the Chip's 2009 line-up, she decided to go.
"I said, 'I'm so going,'" Hudspeth said as she clutched her brand new Aerosmith T-shirt. "Oh my God, I'm so excited, I'm so here."
Sanborn said the pre-concert ticket sales for Aerosmith were enough for management at the Chip to predict that they'd have the biggest concert crowd in South Dakota history.
Fans were disappointed the concert was cut short but hoped Tyler wasn't seriously hurt.
Lance Yellow Robe, who said he was 8 eight feet from the stage when Tyler fell off, said "you could kind of see it coming because he was dancing all over the stage.
"I hope he's OK," Yellow Robe said. "I could care less about the concert being canceled."