During “On My Own,” the first and only song the Used played for a radio station concert in Cincinnati on May 27, vocalist Bert McCracken slumped to the ground, where he lay unable to sing. Then he apologized to the crowd and staggered offstage.
McCracken was rushed to a hospital and treated for intense chest pains, nausea and vomiting. He was later diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, a severe inflammation of the pancreas caused by autodigestion of pancreatic tissue by its own enzymes. The condition most often stems from alcohol abuse or gallstones, according to the University of Maryland Endocrinology Health Guide.
The band’s publicist claims to have never seen the singer consume alcohol excessively.
McCracken’s health had been gradually deteriorating for the past two weeks but declined dramatically right before the Cincinnati show.
“He said when he’d try to eat it felt like [the food] would get lodged in his chest and nothing would sit with him,” drummer Branden Steineckert said. “He was vomiting and had no energy at all, and he must have had a really high temperature because we’d be on our bus and it was totally warm and he’d be wrapped in a blanket with a hoodie over his head shivering.”
The singer was prescribed antibiotics and rested at his parents’ house for several days. The band canceled a show last Saturday in Detroit and the next day in Cleveland but plans to play Tuesday night (June 3) for a taping in Atlanta at the Hard Rock Cafe. Following the show, the Used have three days off before they’re scheduled to resume their tour on Saturday at a radio show in Chicago.
“Hopefully he’s gonna be feeling better by then,” Steineckert said. “This isn’t like him. He’ll go out no matter how he’s feeling so we rarely will cancel shows like this. He’s gotta be really sick.”