The Sadies Unveil Poignant Performance Film 'Stop and Start'

Directed by Ron Mann, it captures what the band thought might be their final performance

BY Alex HudsonPublished Dec 22, 2022

This summer, it looked like the Sadies might never play together again. Singer-guitarist Dallas Good had died tragically a few months earlier, and drummer Mike Belitsky was set to have emergency wrist surgery, forcing them to cancel live dates. Knowing that they might never play together again, they staged an intimate show for family and friends, and they reached out to documentarian Ron Mann to film it.

Exclaim! has the premiere of the resulting film, The Sadies Stop and Start — a life-affirming performance film that captures a band in a moment of urgency, playing together as if it might be for the very last time.

In Stop and Start, the Sadies play gorgeous cuts from this year's Colder Streams (an album Exclaim! awarded a perfect 10/10 and named one of the best albums of 2022). Performing as a trio, the songs are sparse and beautiful, the stripped-down arrangements highlighting Travis Good's lightning-fingered guitar solos and plaintive cries. "Are you still there? / Tell me when you get the message," he howls on "So Far So Few" before tearing into a fuzzy, feedback-soaked surf solo, Belitsky and bassist Sean Dean holding down the rapturous rhythm. A shrine to Dallas, located at the side of the stage, is a poignant reminder of who's missing.

Stop and Start was beautifully captured by Ron Mann, who was only given one day's notice to assemble a crew — and the results feel as if you're right there with the Sadies in the cellar, moving amongst them as they perform and sharing the emotional intensity of the moment. The crystal clear audio was expertly captured by James McKenty in his mobile recording trailer, In Record Time Studio.

Watch the premiere of the 23-minute film below, along with a statement from the band. Their 2023 tour dates are below that.

The Sadies Stop and Start captures a moment in time. That time was uncertain and dark. Still reeling from losing Dallas, we found out that Mike needed to have emergency wrist surgery. We needed to play these songs, not knowing if we would ever have the opportunity again. 

With one day's notice, documentary filmmaker Ron Mann and a stellar crew pulled together to help us capture these songs. Friends and family gathered to help out and show their support. James McKenty engineered in his mobile recording trailer, In Record Time Studio. The resulting film looked and sounded better than we could have hoped.

We are thankful to share that Mike's surgery was successful and we are back out on the road and coming to a city near you.

The Sadies 2022–2023 Tour Dates:

12/30 Toronto, ON - The Horseshoe Tavern ^
12/31 Toronto, ON - The Horseshoe Tavern ^
01/14 Whitehorse, YT - Yukon Arts Centre
01/25 London, UK - UK Americana Music Week 2023
01/27 Chester, UK - St. Mary's A Creative Space
01/28 Nottingham, UK - The Old Cold Store
01/29 Leeds, UK - Leeds Brudenell Social Club
02/02 Windsor, ON - Meteor *
02/03 London, ON - Palasad Socialbowl *
02/04 Guelph, ON - Hillside Inside *
02/9 Oshawa, ON - Biltmore Theatre *
02/10 Ottawa, ON - The 27 Club * 
02/11 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa (Taverne Tour)
02/19 St Louis, MO - Off Broadway 02/20 Oklahoma City, OK - Factory Obscura
02/21 Dallas, TX - Sundown at Granada
02/23 Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
02/24 Phoenix, AZ - Mim
02/25 Pioneertown, CA - Pappy & Harriet's
02/26 Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon
02/28 San Diego, CA - Casbah
03/01 Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
03/03 San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
03/04 Bend, OR - Volcanic Theatre
03/05 Portland, OR - Polaris Hall
03/07 Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
TBC April - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
TBC April - Rochester, NY - Skylark Lounge

^ with Jon Langford, Sally Timms
* with Daniel Romano's Outfit

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