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Kings Of Leon Cancel Tour; 5 Ways Caleb Followill Can Get His Voice Back

Band cancels rest of U.S. tour including Texas make-up dates, TMZ says

UPDATE (4:40 p.m.): It's official, as per Live Nation press release: It ain't happenin'. Refunds available either automatically (for online/smartphone tickets) or at point of purchase.

Caleb Followill in happier vocal times - Toyota Center, October 2009
Caleb Followill in happier vocal times - Toyota Center, October 2009
Groovehouse

Kings of Leon's big breakdown in Big D is still burning up the blogosphere, Twitterverse and less up-to-the-minute media. Rocks Off happened to be up at the crack of dawn today, and it was one of the three stories Channel 39's morning-news-with-an-attitude EyeOpener teased at the top of their broadcast.

Honestly, Rocks Off was not in the least bit surprised to hear what happened. As a good Southerner through and through, we admire the Followill boys' work-hard-play-hard lifestyle, but as someone over the age of 30, we are also fully aware of the toll it can reap on even the healthiest young buck's constitution.

The band had been more or less on the road nonstop since the release of 2008's Only By the Night, so by our estimation, Kings of Leon should have shut down their touring machine after the whole Final Four "Big Dance" rigamarole, if not sooner. Of course, try telling them that. Some people just have to learn the hard way, like opening their mouth to discover no more sound is coming out.

With a couple of days' hindsight, Kings of Leon are... coping. Whatever their "internal sicknesses" may be, at least they're not talking about breaking up or anything permanent. By Sunday, Jared (@youngfollowilll) was joking about hippies' "carbon footprints" on Twitter, and Nathan (@doctorfollowill) was chilling on the couch with his lady, saying "don't be getting all worried on me."

For his part, Caleb tweeted, "the heat got the best of me but we'll be back if you want us" Sunday and hasn't said much of anything since. Nevertheless, despite what was posted in the immediate aftermath of the Dallas walkoff and Woodlands postponement - that all was well, and the Woodlands show would be made up September 22 - TMZ reported Monday afternoon that the band has now canceled the rest of its U.S. dates, and will resume touring in Canada September 28.

"The band is devastated, but in order to give their fans the shows they deserve, they need to take this break," TMZ quotes a band rep. "Unfortunately, the U.S. dates cannot be rescheduled due to the band's international tour schedule."

For appearances' sake, Caleb might want to change his Twitter handle to something besides @drunk_followill, but maybe that's just us.

Rocks Off actually has some experience in this area - for an Austin Chronicle article about a decade ago, we talked to several Austin musicians, speech therapists and health professionals about the effects a lifetime of singing can have on the vocal chords. We're not sure how much we buy Caleb's complaint about the heat, because a well-hydrated, well-rested pair of vocal chords should be able to function in just about any temperature. Obviously, his weren't.

Regardless, here are five ways Followill can get them back in tip-top "Sex on Fire" shape for Canada, and whenever - if ever - they do make it back to Texas.

 

Caleb at Verizon Wireless Theater, October 2008
Caleb at Verizon Wireless Theater, October 2008
Mark C. Austin

5. Hire a Good Sound Crew. No disrespect to the Kings' current engineers, but singers can put quite a bit of undue stress on their vocal chords simply trying to hear their vocals above the rest of the band if the sound isn't mixed right in the monitors.

4. Quit smoking. In 2004, Caleb told the BBC he had reluctantly given up cigarettes. Whether or not he's had a relapse, the entire band's fondness for the sticky-icky-icky is well-documented. Sadly, weed is no less harsh on the throat (or lungs, for that matter), and due to the abundance of chemicals the average joint or bong rip contains - no matter how "kind" the bud - may even be worse.

3. Hydrate. And not with tequila, kid. Watch the morning-after coffee, too - caffeine can dry out the vocal chords just as badly as alcohol.

2. See a doctor. Whenever Kings of Leon do resume their tour, we suspect a chastened Caleb will probably take it easy on the booze for at least a little while. If his vocal problems persist, he should have his throat examined by an ear, nose & throat specialist to check for possible growths on his vocal chords, including callous-like nodes or fleshier polyps, both of which must be removed surgically.

1. Rest. Provided everything else checks out, the easiest way for Caleb to regain his vocal chords' full strength is to use them as little as possible. Rocks Off suspects his bandmates will have no problem with that.

From the Archives: Screeching Weasel, Scott Weiland & other notable onstage flameouts


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