The Cancellations

depression you can dance to

Home Is Where The Fart Is Tour Recap

Joe and Gary eat dinner in the greenroom. Joe is pouring tzatziki sauce out of a ramekin and Gary is trying to lick it mid-stream. Honestly, it's kind of gross.

June’s run was a wild one that went by way too fast, and I’m only posting about it almost a month late, which is like a new record in timeliness for me!

Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon

The Cancellations play live on stage at the High Noon in Madison. The stage is lit in magenta lights. Depression, the inflatable flailing tube mascot, dances between Ellie and Gary.
The Cancellations live at High Noon Saloon in Madison – photo by Hannah Gruener

Last summer we ended our tour with the hometown show; this summer we decided to kick it off there and HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS SHOWED UP FOR US. I can’t imagine a better start to any tour than being surrounded by 100+ friends and family in one of the best sounding venues in the Midwest, along with our good buddies in The Brash Menagerie who opened up the night with a super fuckin fun punk set.

We debuted a new song that we cowrote with our friend Pat Rolain in Nashville a few years ago. We never expected it to be a Cancellations song, but I busted it out at an open mic in town and it just sort of barreled its way into the set. I sent the demo around to our non-Nashville members and when we all got together to play it live for the first time in Madison, this was what it sounded like!?

I don’t know if y’all understand that Joe, Dan and I don’t get to hear the arrangements until the day before tour. We never get to rehearse as a full band, since we live all across the country, so that first rehearsal — no matter how tired and crabby we are from travel — it always feels so wild and magical. We scream life events at each other to catch up while we plug in gear and then something surreal happens: hearing the violin and keys and guitar leads flutter into our rudimentary bass/drums/rhythm guitar arrangements. Hearing Sarah and Gary’s harmonies for the first time (and accidentally jumping to them a bunch when I’m trying to stay on the lead — ope, sorry)… It’s like that cheesy scene in Coyote Ugly where the shy songwriter girl is playing her weird little song and then all of a sudden the lights come up and there’s this whole fucking band that somehow knows the tune that just rocks it and then we cut to LeAnn Rimes dancing on the bar. I don’t have words for that feeling, so at least we caught it on video. See if you can spot LeAnn:

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Tambourine Lounge

The Cancellations play on a stage so tiny you can only see Ellie and Joe. Depression has collapsed onto a speaker stand and Dance lays in the hall. Joe has one foot on the stage because he doesn't fit up there. Dan is trapped in the back behind a tiny drum kit.

This show was another homecoming stop of sorts, since The Cancellations would never have existed if I didn’t meet Dan at Sturgeon Bay’s Steelbridge Song Fest back in 2008. It was also our co-bill Genevieve Heyward‘s actual homecoming, and she brought out all the local folks to sit through our set of depressing rock before her set of less depressing rock. We got to see lots of our song family and crunch 6 human people and two tube people onto the tiniest stage we’ve played yet!

Milwaukee, WI – Anodyne Coffee

The green room wall at Anyodyne in Milwaukee. Hundreds of artists have taped up their set lists after their show, and their are dried flowers and show posters hanging around them. It is a really pretty arrangement in muted, earthy colors that celebrates all the music that has passed through the venue.

Anodyne was our last minute addition on this tour, and while the show was sparsely attended because of it, it was probably my favorite venue on this run. The staff was incredible and attentive, and the couple dozen folks that hung out for the show were kind and engaged.

No one likes playing a show to a mostly-empty room, but these folks made it worth absolutely worth it. This place is an absolute gem and the coffee is phenomenal, so if you’re ever wandering around Milwaukee, give it a visit. I can’t wait to come back and play a show when we’ve had a little more time to promote!

Extra special props to our opener, Amelia Ford, who is an incredible musician and just the nicest fucking person. Go check her out or I’ll cut you.

Green Bay, WI – Badger State Brewing

A selfie from below. Left to right: Marsden, Ellie, Gary, Dan, and Jason (Genevieve's guitarist and honorary Cancellation).

This is the show where the sleep deprivation and tour delirium set in. I laughed so hard I couldn’t see, and I’m pretty sure I told people I was related to Lemmy. That guy on the right is Jason, Genevieve’s guitarist, honorary Cancellation, and our band-wide newbestfriend. Or you can just pretend Sarah and Joe became one person that looks nothing like either of them, but they were busy doing actual work loading the van so they aren’t in the photo. Suckers.

Chicago, IL – Cole’s

The Cancellations play on a dark stage in Chicago. Depression and Dance are flopping around. The photo is a little blurry in the darkness. The floor is a checkerboard and it it has an ominous vibe to it.

Yet another homecoming show on the Home Is Where The Fart Is tour, since Sarah and I are both from Chicago. Most importantly, we were finally back in the land of Malört.

I think the last time I played Cole’s was around 2010, and the only thing that’s changed is that people actually go there now. It’s tough to beat the Madison show, but I think Chicago was my favorite stop on the whole tour — both bands were tight AF at the end of a consecutive five-day run, and I got to see friends & family that I haven’t seen in ages.

At the end of the set, the guys stepped offstage so Genevieve and her keys player Crangela could join us on vocals, and we played new song for the first time: Loss for Words. I wrote it about losing one of my favorite humans, Katherine, last year right before our spring tour, and Cole’s was the bar where she and I hung out a ton when we first became friends. It was nearly one in the morning by the time we played it, we had never rehearsed it together, and I mucked it up a few times (blame the Malört or the emotion or Katherine’s ghost), but it made me cry and I’m pretty sure it made other people cry, too, which validates my sorrow and makes me feel fucking special.

Sorry if I made you cry, though.

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