Joaquin Sabina Fights Stage Fright During Emotional Madrid Show, Skips Encore

Recording artist Joaquin Sabina performs onstage during the 2014 Person of the Year honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Esteemed Spanish artist retreats from audience of 15,000 after emotional performance.

Joaquin Sabina’s first solo concert in five years in his native Spain sold 15,000 tickets in less than an hour, so emotions were high all around at showtime on Saturday (Dec. 13) at Madrid’s Barclaycard Center -- but no higher anywhere than on the stage itself, where one of Spain’s most acclaimed artists broke into tears several times during an intense performance of well-known songs to a home crowd.

Sabina had recently completed a sold-out tour in Latin America, where he gave 26 concerts in 58 days.

“I’m really not feeling very well,” the singer/songwriter, esteemed throughout the Spanish-speaking world for poetic and social critically pop, told the audience during the second half of the show in Madrid.

After performing for two hours, Sabina uncharacteristically did not return to the stage for his planned encores. He later said through his management that he had suffered stage fright and gotten dizzy. He particularly feared falling down in front of the audience.

News about the aborted end-of-show was widely reported, making the front page of Spain’s national newspaper El Pais, which published several articles about Sabina’s state. The paper’s music critic said Sabina had suffered “an overdose of emotion.”

Now 65-years-old, Sabina had a stroke in 2001, followed by a reported depression during which he stopped performing for four years. His most recent album was a collaboration with Joan Manuel Serrat, La Orquesta Del Titanic.

Sabina most recently performed in the United States at the 2014 Latin Grammys Person of the Year dinner for Serrat in November.

According to his management, Sabina had recovered by Sunday and was resting. A second sold-out show, set for Tuesday in Madrid, was expected to go on. Sabina is scheduled to perform in Barcelona during Christmas week, and in other Spanish cities in 2015.