Cash Savage’s Most Memorable Concert: ‘Our Violinist Was Vomiting Into a Mug of McDonald’s’ | pop and rock

It was August 2015, we were doing our first tour in Europe, and it was our last gig, so we were all completely devastated.

We were playing in this little town called Znojmo in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic, which is incredibly beautiful. We were playing in the courtyard of a 12th century cathedral and it was right in the center of the old town. We had to call a security escort just to park the van, which was a Volkswagen.

We had had a massive night the night before. Everything was a bit out of control. There were these punters who were playing this game where they were spitting water in their face, and they were spitting water in the face of one of the group members. So he took his drink and spat it in his face, but his drink was orange juice and vodka, which burned his eyes, and she made him bananas – “Why did I- are you doing this?!”

The next day we woke up and were late for this last show in Znojmo. Kat [Mear], our fiddler, was in the front of the van puking into a large cup of McDonald’s, pouring it out the passenger side window as we drove down the freeway. Later we arrived at a gas station and the drummer, René [Mancuso]approached me and said, “I have to show you something” – a huge gash in the sidewall of the tire on the front passenger side of the van.

It was so dangerous that it could have exploded at any moment. We looked under, there was no spare tire and we had to go to this concert.

We had told the car rental company in Germany that we were not going to the Czech Republic. For some reason they specifically asked if we were going there, so of course we outright lied and went to the Czech Republic. So we couldn’t really call them from the Czech Republic, could we? It was already the second van we got off from them, because the air conditioning in the first one was broken.

Looking back, I don’t think we had to lie, but damn, we didn’t know what we were doing – we just thought, if anyone asks, don’t give any information at all!

Cash Savage and the Last Drinks in the courtyard of Znojmo Cathedral before the final concert of their 2015 European tour. (L to R) Rene Mancuso, Kris Lichti, Kat Mear, Brett Marshall and Cash Savage.

So, we arrived at the concert, and everyone fell out of the van. Kat the fiddler was lying there in a heap, her head in her hands. The festival booker thought there was no way we could do it together. But the show was amazing! The town church bells rang halfway through, and it turned out that the church bells were in C, and when they rang, they were actually in tune with the music. It was magical.

The next day we had to drive the van back to Frankfurt, which was hours away, and the van was not safe to drive. It was a Sunday, everything was closed and half the group was flying out the next morning. A friend of one of the guys managed to get to the only tire store in town, and they didn’t have the right tire, but the guy who made the call suggested we take the tire off the his mother’s van, which was a Renault.

It turned out to be the wrong size – it was a completely different tire – but it did fit the rim. So we swapped them, paid this guy some money so he could buy a new tire for his mom, and drove our van to Frankfurt pulling to one side the whole time because the tire didn’t was the wrong size. We returned the van without saying a word, got on the plane and left the country. We never heard anything else about it.

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