Although I have no doubt in my mind that touring takes a lot out of an artist/band, cancelling tours is so lame. Luckily, I’ve personally only had one concert cancelled – Aerosmith in 2005 – but I had seen them before and have seen them since. Some of these other acts don’t tour as often and you may not have the chance to see them again. While I’m not a U2 fan, a lot of my friends paid big money to see them last summer only to be severely disappointed when Bono hurt his back and would have to reschedule for a year later. To their credit, U2 did return to Denver as promised and, apparently, put on one hell of a show.
More recently, very in-demand acts such as the ubiquitous Adele (whose album is currently saving the record business from dying a slow and painful death), Sevendust and Duran Duran have all cancelled tours mostly citing illness and laryngitis as the reasons. Last summer there were acts such as Christina Aguilera who cancelled tours because they simply weren’t selling the number of tickets projected and subsequently not making enough money. This summer, it’s because our stars aren’t healthy.
The most tragic cancellation of all, of course, is Amy Winehouse who after a horrific performance in Serbia, cancelled what would be the last tour she ever performed. What was disappointing is now heartbreaking.
The latest group to terminate a tour is Kings of Leon who announced today that they are cancelling the remainder of their summer shows. A spokesman for Live Nation said singer Caleb Followill is “suffering from vocal issues and exhaustion.” But that appears to be only part of the story. The band cut short a concert Friday in Dallas after Followill exited the stage saying, “I have no voice … I have no idea what’s going on … I’m gonna go backstage and I’m gonna vomit.” He never returned and the rest of the band apologized as some fans booed: “I know you guys hate us … (but) we will be back as soon as possible.”
Bassist Jared Followill, Caleb’s brother, suggested after the show that there were deeper concerns: “There are internal sicknesses and problems that have needed to be addressed.” The next day he wrote, “There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.”
Live Nation said the U.S. dates will not be rescheduled because of the band’s international tour schedule. Kings of Leon will resume touring September 28 in Vancouver.
So what’s the deal with the summer slump? Is it the heat? Too much booze? Learn from Amy Winehouse and get your shit together – what would summer be without an array of live music?