By Matt Goodhue
Summer for a college student consists of endless work and a constant yearning for the weekend, the perfect time for the beach, parties and shows. You buy the tickets well in advance and plan the day accordingly: when to start drinking, when to stop drinking, when to find the ticket you were looking for that was in your pocket the whole time. For me, August 19 was going to be the fifth time seeing my favorite band, Kings of Leon, get onstage and rock out.
That was until the band announced the cancellation of their entire U.S. tour, after only three shows (actually, more like two and a half). The announcement didn’t come as a complete shock to me, after news of singer Caleb Followill’s early departure from the Dallas show surfaced due to “heat exhaustion.” That was followed by his little brother/bassist Jared tweeting, “There are internal sicknesses & problems that have needed to be addressed. No words.” So, is Caleb too hot to continue or should Kings’ fans be worried about the band’s (or its members’) future?
Each time I’ve seen the Followills perform, they have put on a great show, full of energy, talent and appreciation for their fans. While their latest songs are all fun to watch and sing-along to live, it’s their earliest work, tracks like “Trani,” “Spiral Staircase” and “Taper Jean Girl,” that truly make their shows worth seeing. This summer’s tour looked promising for die-hard Kings’ fans, as drummer Nathan tweeted earlier last month, “At a bar and they just played ’Wicker Chair’ and ’Wasted Time.’ Quite the trip down memory lane. Can’t wait to break those out on the next tour.” I was looking forward to hearing those songs for sure and seeing how the matured Tennessee band took to their earlier material. For now, old music videos and online performances clips will have to suffice.
I’ve seen Kings of Leon at a variety of different venues, from arena-rock venues to old, slightly faded locations like the Orpheum in Boston (beautiful spot and the best performance I’ve seen!). While the smaller shows were a more intimate, face-melting experience, the Kings’ packed arena shows are explosive, powerful and much, much louder. It gives me chills just thinking about hearing the sliding bass intro from “Joe’s Head” as loud as a fighter jet, but it looks like I have some time to prepare for that experience.
Instead of seeing KOL live this month, I’ll probably end up eating ice cream and listening to their five albums in a row. I’m sure the majority of their fans are totally irked by the news too, and want a better explanation. But if their performance would have suffered, I suppose we need to respect the decision to cancel and hope they’re ready to get back on the road soon. For now, I’m going to surf the Internet for another concert to take the Kings’ place on my own summer schedule.
Are you bummed about KOL’s tour cancellation? Worried about Caleb’s health? Sound off in the comments!