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Show Review: Say Anything — ‘Hebrews’ Tour

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Say Anything — Hebrews Tour Show Review
The Ballroom at Warehouse Live, Houston
June 15, 2014
Words and Photos by Janelle Abad
Website: http://www.sayanythingmusic.com/
 

Three days after the release of their fifth album “Hebrews,” alternative rock band Say Anything hit the road for the “Hebrews Tour.” The third stop of their headlining tour was in Houston, taking the stage inside The Ballroom at Warehouse Live. Supporting them on their 37-day trek across North America are bands You Blew It!, The So So Glos and an artist you’ve heard on KTSW’s airwaves — The Front Bottoms.

The six-piece Say Anything kicked off their live set with the first single off “Hebrews,” “Six Six Six.” The bad made sure to please old-time fans by packing their set list with favorites off previous albums, including “Baby Girl, I’m a Blur”, “Do Better” and finishing with “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too.” With the band closing in on 14 years since their formation, fans were overcome with the nostalgia that is associated with frontman Max Bemis’ bombastic lyrics. I found myself in a ballroom full of die-hard Say Anything fans screaming every syllable alongside Bemis and crowd-surfing as if there was no tomorrow.

Bemis’ stage presence was equally as dynamic and animated as the songs themselves, leaving his footprint on every inch of the Warehouse Live stage. Despite a few minor microphone issues throughout the show — he refused to let technical errors stop him — he kept the show going at full speed and humbly rolled with the punches. The live band included Taking Back Sunday’s Fred Mascherino, Moneen’s Kenny Bridges, Garron DuPree of Eisley, Reed Murray and Greg Dunn from Moving Mountains.

Say Anything’s frontman had no problem working the crowd. Toward the middle of the concert, fans started cheering “take it off! take it off!,” asking Bemis to take off his shirt. He slyly replied to their request by saying, “Well, you know what has to happen first, right? Whoever started this has to take his off first!” He brought the fan up on stage and the crowd watched as the initiator took off his shirt, twirled it above his head as if he were lassoing cattle and give his idol a heartwarming hug before returning to the sweaty pit of screaming Say Anything fans.

Despite the 16 guest vocalists on their newest album, Sherri DuPree-Bemis of Eisley providing her voice on four of those tracks, and traveling alongside husband Bemis, Brian Sella of the Front Bottoms was the only guest to perform on stage. The Front Bottoms lead singer appropriately joined Bemis to sing back-up vocals for the song “Hebrews” as his vocals made their cameo on the album. Another precious little guest that wobbled her way on stage on Father’s Day was Bemis’ daughter, Lucy Jean.

To satisfy the crowd’s chanted request for “one more song!,” Bemis made his way back onto the Warehouse Live stage with an acoustic guitar and played “Spores.” He continued the acoustic portion of the encore with his rendition of the classic late-’90’s rap song “Got Your Money.” The full band joined Bemis on stage for the final two songs of the encore: “Boyd” a heavier, headbanging-worthy track from “Hebrews” and “Belt” from “… Is a Real Boy.”

There was not a single person in that room that left without sweat dripping down the side of their face and their voices hoarse. Say Anything nails the energy and hype department of live shows right on the head. They are a nostalgic reminder that a little rebellion can keep life on its toes.

If you haven’t seen Say Anything perform live I highly recommend it and, if you already have, myself and many of the returning fans that packed Houston’s Warehouse Live would encourage you to join them the next time they come through a city near you.

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