Say Anything Concert Review
By: Lacee Shepard
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich- This past Saturday the band, Say Anything, as well as others held a concert at The Intersection in Grand Rapids. The ‘venue’ hasn’t changed much over the years, but still brings in hordes of teens and the 21-and-up crowd for small setting shows.
The concert started like many others have at this venue in the past, which is set at the corner of Cherry St. and Grandville Ave. The first band up, Tallhart, did a decent job of grabbing the attention of those standing next to the stage, but couldn’t capture concert-goers in the back. People coming in late to see the headliner, Say Anything, caused quite a distraction for everyone. However, bass guitarist Glenn Espinoza, stole the stage and the sound. The heavy chords he was hitting made it hard to hear the vocals, but they were so awesome it was hard to care.
After a long set up, The Sidekicks were on next and also struggled to catch everyone’s attention. These guys were noticeably livelier than Tallhart and managed to get a larger reaction from the crowd. When the lead singer is willing to nearly bash his teeth into his microphone, it’s easy to see that they are into their music. The theme of the night seemed to be their music was great, but the lyrics were nearly impossible to hear or understand.
Up third was the band Murder By Death, who appeared to have more of a following. The crowd spent the majority of the night milling about, greeting friends and ordering drinks, but when Murder By Death came on stage all eyes followed the Indian based band. The group of six evoked multiple arm pumping rants and eruption of heavy applause after each track. Those unfamiliar with the band might not have noticed a couple uncommon instruments like a cello and accordion playing along. The addition of the instruments made the band stand out against the others who featured the typical pop/punk music. The folk sound was similar to that of the Decembrists or Panic! At The Disco’s second album, “Pretty Odd.” With their unusual but interesting instruments and lyrics, it was impossible not to get at least one of their songs stuck in your head.
As the Los Angeles based band Say Anything prepared to headline the night, the dimming of lights signaled applause so loud it was impossible to hear your own screams. With an enthusiastic “here we go” from lead singer Max Bemis, a wave of enthusiasm washed over the crowd with a sea of hands in the air.
Few lead singers have the stage presence that Bemis does as he moves the crowd with every flick of his hand and every head nod amping up an attentive crowd. Fans couldn’t deny the excitement exuding from the rock band as Bemis strutted across the stage threatening every member of the band with a swinging microphone. The thrill is understandable as Say Anything sounds as good live as they do on their albums.
Say Anything is the total package with the eccentric band members and songs that cause mosh pits to form and sudden crowd surfing to occur.
The band was full of many surprises, bringing on stage Bemis’s wife Sherri Dupree, who is best known for her work with band Eisley. Dupree was featured on songs, “Night Song” and “Overbiter,” which are both tracks on Say Anything’s new album, “Anarchy, My Dear”.
I have attended a number of concerts, but this experience is one that will stick with me. Say Anything is one of the few bands that can keep you intrigued for the entire set without becoming dull. If the chance comes up to see this band live, drop whatever you are doing to see a band that reminds you why you love live concerts more than your iPod.