When Jukebox the Ghost embarked on their ‘Cheers! To More Tour!’ tour, the band planned to have fun on the road. While the shows were performed during another wave of the COVID pandemic, COVID waylaid tour opener Chaz Cardigan, who missed a couple of dates before joining the band at Toad’s Place in Connecticut. The band combined elements of past tours into one, notably the audience-participation spin-the-wheel part, and debuted new songs ahead of the May release of their new record, Cheers!.
As Jukebox’s stop at Toad’s Place in New Haven landed on April Fools, it gave the group an excuse to engage in an extra element of silliness. Before the band took the stage, “Shania Twain” introduced herself as Jukebox the Ghost’s biggest fan. Then, Tommy Siegel, Jesse Kristin, and Ben Thornewill came out and returned the “tribute” with a cover of Twain’s song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”.
From that point on, Jukebox weren’t beholden to any one of their records, they performed songs covering their entire career, from their 2008 debut Let Live & Let Ghosts all the way into Cheers!, including wild piano-driven favorites like “Schizophrenia” to pop-jams like “Fred Astaire” and new singles like the zany “Million Dollar Bills” to the outstanding “Wasted”. The audience cheered (no pun intended) as the band hit every high note (metaphorically).
But it was the hilarity that resulted from the spin-the-wheel performance that made the night most memorable. The wheel included song “requests” and some other random things including a reverse “prize”; specifically one “unlucky” fan’s spin landed on a $1 payment to the band and she paid it (I think it was returned but I wasn’t watching too closely). Another audience member landed on “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Jukebox puts on an annual HalloQueen cover tour), which the band somewhat begrudgingly played. They joked that the song was so high energy, they would have preferred it to be later in the show rather than in the middle.
The audience’s favorite wheel option was one Thornewill pointed out, but it the wheel never landed on it. If “Steve’s Choice” was landed on, someone in the audience named Steve (it was confirmed there was one) would pick the next song. When the wheel never landed on that, the hype for Steve’s choice kept rising, so much so that, during the encore break, the audience didn’t call for Tommy, Jesse, or Ben, they cheered for Steve. It was so silly and unexpected and so delightfully Jukebox the Ghost. Hopefully, they’ll be back on the road again (with the wheel) with more Cheers!