The night was warm, the air conditioning was oddly chilly, and the crowd was modestly loud. Wednesday’s nights aren’t always party nights, but ‘Say Anything’ alerted the fans to a wide collection of their music spanning all five of their studio LP’s for their most recent tour for their latest LP, Anarchy, My Dear.
Say Anything are equally emo-core, hard rock, pop and punk as they wield the mighty sword of modern music with their bizarre blended formula.
The show began with a performance of “Spidersong,” with Bemis arousing the crowd with the repetitious chorus ‘I’m the spider!” The guitar riff moved the crowd who was largely stationary for all three opening acts.
The old classic ran into a string of newer songs from “Anarchy, My Dear.” The record wasn’t quite as critically acclaimed as the band may have hoped, but fans seemed intrigued by the newer songs. It also goes to say that ‘Say Anything’ played the best songs from their new album, as opposed to trying to push some weaker songs to play some variety. The group is openly aware that their latest album isn’t particularly a fan-favorite, so they blended various tracks through all their material, even delving into an obscure b-side from 2004 that, amazingly, the crowd sang along too as well.
The band did play one of their most popular songs; “Belt” off of 2004’s album Is a Real Boy quite early. The track justified an excellent reason to bring out members of the opening acts to sing along to its chorus “with all my friends!” towards the end.
Bemis’ wife Sherri Dupree was on stage to sing along to “So Good,” and though the song is mediocre at best, it did offer a unique opportunity for both artists to sing along, as Dupree sang on the original recording, an addition that is often missing from live shows.
The group truly played an electric set. Though it sounds cliché to say, it was phenomenal to witness the energy sustained through the entire 85 minutes of their performance. Max Bemis whisked across the stage and belted every line despite the crowd almost drowning him out entirely during peak performances.
Their showing of arguably their most popular single ‘”Alive with the Glory of Love” ended their initial set, just before playing three successive songs as an encore.
It is rather unquestionable that their 2004 album Is a Real Boy is, still, their crowning achievement, and the band never strayed away from that. They played songs through all their material, with a focus on their respective latest album and their most critically acclaimed and respected one. At this point in their career, Say Anything have enough hits and songs behind them to really offer a fantastic and enthralling set which can offer a little bit of everything for fans. The sound was excellent, the energy was vital and consistent, and they hit all the soft spots to appease a satiating fan base.
Image Source, Say Anything Max Bemis 2011
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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