Metalsucks reports that despite Mastodon canceling their show on Tuesday, April 27 in Rochester due to Bill Kelliher’s illness, yesterday’s show in Grand Rapids, MI went on as scheduled despite Kelliher’s absence with a little help from opening band and fellow Georgians Baroness.
MS readers Matt Gaipa and Jared Lucas reported that both Peter Adams and John Baizley from Baroness each performed two songs with the band — “Oblivion” and “Divinations,” then “Quintessence” and “The Czar,” respectively — after which Mastodon finished out Crack the Skye without the assistance of a second guitar player.
It appears that Kelliher suffered a flare-up of the pancreatitis that sidelined him in November of 2008 while on tour with Slayer in Europe. He told Metal Insider via text message that he’s in the hospital still, but hopefully getting out later today. The fact that the band were able to play yesterday is both a testament to Mastodon’s work ethic and Baroness’ musicianship. Kelliher recently spoke to Kerrang! about the temptation to drink following his earlier bout with pancreatitis and the possibility of leaving the band.
The doctor told me I can’t drink alcohol anymore. The partying has calmed down a lot. It really needs to totally stop but it’s not that easy when everybody around you is drinking, partying and having a good time. It’s definitely a disease, alcoholism, and I’m not cured of it yet. I’m still in the phase of trying to deal with it myself and get out of that phase but I don’t know if that means I’d have to leave the band or what. It never really crossed my mind (to the leave the band) ’til recently but talking to my wife back home, she’s really upset that’d I’d risk my life just for beer or alcohol. When I’m home it’s a lot easier to regulate it. Just recently I’ve been feeling like I don’t know what I’m going to do.
Mastodon is way too great a band and Kelliher too talented a guitarist for us to consider the fact that this could happen. He’s really the glue that holds the band together as far as we’re concerned. But the band has certainly been known for their on the road excesses, and it could be a tough road ahead for him. It goes without saying that we with him the best.