While Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher’s pancreatitis forced the band to postpone a date and play one with Baroness members filling in for him last month, the show has, for the most part, gone on. The guitarist has been healthy enough to finish out the remainder of the tour, with reports from concertgoers saying the band sounds great. However, pancreatitis, even if treated, can have severe consequences, and as a result, the band has decided to take the Summer off, canceling their festival appearances at Europe’s Sonisphere shows. Warner Bros. has released a statement officially cancelling the tour:
Mastodon regret to inform their fans that their upcoming Summer tour of Europe originally set to begin June 5, in Germany and ending July 3, in Finland has been cancelled. Guitarist Bill Kelliher who has been diagnosed with Pancreatitis has been advised by doctors to continue further medical treatment. Bill’s medical team are optimistic and expect a full recovery in the weeks ahead as the band looks forward to being part of BlackDiamondSkye also featuring Alice In Chains, Deftones, slated to begin Sep. 16, in Chicago.
Whether it’s Kelliher’s medical problem or something else a little darker, it’s a good thing the band is taking a little time off to recharge their batteries. They’ve been touring nonstop for over a year, playing the same album in its entirety over and over again. If Kelliher’s condition is indeed caused (like pancreatitis can be) by drinking, then time off with his family might be exactly what he needs. I think we can all agree that there’s been enough illness and death in the metal community this past month. And while everyone in metal knows who Mastodon are at this point in time, the Deftones/Alice In Chains tour could bring them to a completely new audience, so to say that the Fall tour is important is an understatement. We wish the band the best.