Say Anything, with The Front Bottoms, The So So Glos & You Blew It!
June 21 @ 8pm
Amos' Southend, Charlotte, NC
I've been a less than perfect Say Anything fan lately. Their newest album, Hebrews (recorded entirely without guitars), came out on June 10th, and I ended up buying it on iTunes a week after it came out. It completely passed me by. And even now, I've only listened to half the album. Oops. I'm kind of anxious about listening to the whole thing--it has a solid rating on Metacritic, but the fact of the matter is, I'm always anxious when my favourite artists put out new albums. What if it sucks? And then you have to live with the disappointment that your favourite band threw in the towel.
But anyway. Needless to say, off I went with my boyfriend (you read that right) to Charlotte for my sixth Say Anything concert, which was truly delightful. We got there just in time for the final opening band, which...was generically fine. When Say Anything came out though, my face kind of melted off. I was in a happy place, like the lead singer, Max Bemis, which is a marked improvement from tours of old. Say Anything used to be a very angry band, but the anger has progressed into self-reflection. We were in the balcony, and had a great view of the band without being physically crushed. Although a couple of the songs that were performed were from the new album and thus mostly unrecognizable to me, almost all of the music was gleaned from the band's six previous albums, along with an acoustic version of Got Your Money by ODB. I'm not kidding. That was a moment that I will probably remember forever.
More than anything, I've always wanted to see the people on the stage be happy and healthy. I was pretty torn up when Kesha announced she was entering rehab to deal with an eating disorder; I'm a huge fan, and knowing that when I saw her earlier in the year she wasn't feeling or being well was heartbreaking. Max spent a long time being angry and unhappy and miserable and unhealthy, and even though it led to some great creative output, it came at a heavy cost. He's a great artist, and I have a lot of respect for anyone who can lay bare the minutiae of his life and the shitty things he's done in the past. He has a wife and a baby now, and it's clear that they've had a positive effect on his life. Although the music isn't the same--it's no longer self-loathing punk rock--it's clearly grown and morphed into something beautiful and brilliant, and as a fan, I couldn't ask for more.