London Entertainment/Splash News Online
04/09/2009 AT 07:50 AM EDT
The show didn't go on in Vancouver Wednesday night after Britney Spears
pulled the plug on her sold-out Circus
concert 15 minutes and three songs into her performance – departing the stage and leaving the audience in the GM Place in the dark for more than half an hour. Boos ensued.
Cigarette smoke from the crowd was blamed, with a female voice announcing to the crowd, "The building is awfully smoky. It is uncomfortable for everyone on stage, including Ms. Spears. Please extinguish all cigarettes – this is a non-smoking building, and the show will resume when the smoke on the stage is cleared," the Vancouver Sun
Until the agitated crowd settled down, GM Place was filled with piped-in intermission music played at hockey games – which, one concertgoer told PEOPLE, left the fans "really pissed off. The break in the concert ruined it for everyone. The vibe was gone."
When she did return, Spears, 27, delivered a well-received Bollywood take on "Me Against the Music," followed by "Everytime" – during which she asked the crowd "What's up, Vancouver?" before she again left the stage, some 90 seconds before the end of the song.
The concert concluded with Spears singing "Womanizer" and advising the still-restless crowd, "Vancouver, don't smoke weed." Her sign-off was also peppered with a couple of X-rated expletives and a warning to "drive safe."
After the show, a statement was posted on the singer's Web site
: "We want to apologize to all the fans who attended our Vancouver show tonight for the brief pause in Britney's set. Crew members above the stage became ill due to a ventilation issue."
Spears kicked off
tour of the North America and England in New Orleans
on March 3. Her father and attorneys are exploring the possibility of expanding the tour, says AP.
Reporting by CHRISTINE KILPATRICK