If there was one band that kept me sane through the angstyiest years of my life, it was Say Anything. So when I heard they would be in Albuquerque I nearly had a heart attack due to my excitement. Say Anything was on my list of bands I had wanted to see live for some time, in fact since the first time I heard “Alive With the Glory of Love.”
Max Bemis is a God among men and seeing him in person was exactly as magnificent as I thought it would be. His voice perfectly resembled his screeching on record and he acted just like I thought someone of his mind set would on stage, wrapping the microphone chord around his neck, running around stage, turning his back to us, and simply acting ridiculous. I even was granted the luck to touch his arm as he jumped off the stage and ran around in the little alley like thing in front of the stage at Sunshine. I like to think I looked right into his wild eyes, but in all honesty, all I did was briefly brush against his arm as he raced back and forth whipping the crowd into even more of a frenzy.
When he wasn’t embodying insanity, he was proving beyond a doubt that being a punk rocker gets one girls. Bemis brought his wife out to help him sing a song, and even though she was about 7 months pregnant, she was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. I can’t remember the song they sang, but I knew it was off the new album and she did it wonderfully. Her voice is sweet and a perfect contrast to Bemis’ growl. The best part of her time on stage had to be when Bemis insisted to the crowd that the baby could hear every thing the crowd said, so as result, we all started chanting “Molly” which is what the baby’s name will be. It was a touching moment as Bemis proudly looked at his wife and she returned the look, simply happy to be on stage with him.
The number of songs he played I knew was fewer than I anticipated, because I assumed knowing “…Is a Real Boy” would be enough. But as all touring bands do, there usually is a new album that needs promoting and Say Anything was no different. I dutifully listened to the new album at least twice before the show and I kind of recognized a few songs but not on the level that most of the crowd did. Because boy did this crowd know it’s shit. Every song, no matter what album, or from what era, the mass of people that had formed center stage new every single lyric. I was very impressed with Albuquerque that night and pretty disappointed with myself honestly. Holding my own on the early songs was where I shined though. “Belt,” “Shiksa,” and “Alive With the Glory of Love” were some of my most favorite concert going moments ever. The use of raw to describe how my throat felt after yell/singing those lyrics has never been more accurate. I had the world’s worst cottonmouth and sore throat combined yet I had never felt more alive. I was letting all of my emotions exit during my screaming and it reminded me of how Say Anything was the most therapeutic band for me earlier in life. I felt at peace with the world as the punk guitar assaulted my ears and the weird punk kids pushed me around screaming their heads off to. I knew I was in the most accepting place I could be and I felt as safe as I have ever had.