Say Anything leaves Mr. Smalls speechless in Pittsburgh
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:04
Max Bemis and company may have gone into Wednesday night thinking that Pittsburgh would be just another show on their nationwide tour. But in the words of Bemis, Wednesday night at Mr. Small’s in Millvale was “one of the best shows we’ve played.”
Pittsburgh’s love for Say Anything came coupled with the sold-out show and every set of lungs in the crowd harmonizing with Bemis and the gang.
The six piece Los Angeles indie-punk outfit, led by singer Max Bemis, Jake Turner on guitar, Parker Case on keyboards and guitar, Jeff Turner on guitar, Coby Linder on drums, who all lend back-up vocals, and newest member ex-The Academy Is…. bassist Adam Siska, kept fans wrapped around their fist for a 19-song set that lasted near an hour and a half, including a three-song encore.
Say Anything covered their entire discography with their set, only leaving out Baseball: An Album by Sayanything (2001), while playing songs off Menorah/Majora Ep (2002), ….Is a Real Boy (2004), In Defense of the Genre (2007), Say Anything (2009) and their newest Anarchy, My Dear (2012).
From the opening notes of “Spidersong,” the first song of their set, fans and the band alike knew it would be a show that neither would soon forget. During the chorus of “I Hate Everyone” and “Belt,” as lines “What say you? / And all your friends?” were literally belted back at Bemis as he sang to the crowd and interacted with fans on most every song.
Say Anything kept up the pace of their feverish set, with “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too” off of …Is a Real Boy, “Eloise” off of Say Anything, “Every Man Has A Molly” and “The Church Channel.” “So Good” off of Anarchy, My Dear even features guest vocals by surprise guest Sherri DuPree-Bemis, Max’s wife, while “Slumming It With Johnny,” an old B-side, was played for the first time by the band while on their current tour.
As is to be expected with Bemis, their set had its share of comedic relief. After “Property,” Bemis noted the scent of old church-turned-concert venue, pointing out that Say Anything shows usually smell like weed, but this particular one “smells like a Thanksgiving feast in here. WTF?,” taking note of Mr. Small’s kitchen.
After “A Walk Through Hell” and the ever so glorious “Alive With the Glory of Love,” the band bid fans a faux farewell, only to return for a much anticipated encore.
“Ahh…Men” started out the shows epilogue, before the band went into “Admit It!!!” from 2004’s …Is a Real Boy followed by the Anarchy, My Dear’s new spin “Admit It Again.”
Say Anything came, saw and most definitely conquered. Fans and the band will have to wait until the next meeting of L.A. and Pittsburgh.