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Say Anything / Pistolita / Slow Runner

Say Anything / Pistolita / Slow Runner: live in Covingtonlive in Covington (2006)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: BJRBJR
(others by this writer | submit your own)

April 6th was a punk fan's dilemma in Cincinnati. Anti-Flag were playing at Clear Channel venue Bogart's with the Fat Wreck band Smoke or Fire. Comeback Kid was playing a smaller club with hardcore stalwarts Ignite and upstarts This Is Hell. Finally, indie-punk band Say Anything was playing Jillian'.


April 6th was a punk fan's dilemma in Cincinnati. Anti-Flag were playing at Clear Channel venue Bogart's with the Fat Wreck band Smoke or Fire. Comeback Kid was playing a smaller club with hardcore stalwarts Ignite and upstarts This Is Hell. Finally, indie-punk band Say Anything was playing Jillian's with a bunch of unknowns. I have been pondering the decision of which show to go to for 2½ months now. I chose to go see Say Anything at Jillian's. I was hoping for a more intimate and slightly less violent show from one of the catchiest bands in music today.

I'm pretty sure that Jillian's (a venue that is actually an arcade/party bar) in Covington doesn't put on all-ages shows too often. Mistake #1: X's on one hand for the underage and not the other? I could have faked 21 easily (not that I triedâ?¦). But I doubt any of my underage peers would have even attempted to get a beer on account of the extremely high beverage price at Jillian's. Also, some people got the doorman to give them the one X on their palms; all I have to say is, wow. Mistake #2: The concert floor was on the second floor, and the actual stage and floor space was small, yet there was a barricade. This turned out to be a big minus for the kids who crowded the front and proceeded to be hammered against the barricade by people simply wanting to touch the bands. Mistake #3: Part of the floor had some decent carpeting. After waiting around after the show to talk with the bands, I noticed that the carpet now looked like a ghost of its former self. There were some serious tears and pieces of glass rooted in the carpet. Oh wellâ?¦the folks at Jillian's had it coming.

I know that some of you are probably thinking: "When will he get to the show?" Well, I'm gettin' there. I got to the show that was billed to start at 7:30 at 7:35 and apparently I missed the first of three bands, Ela. I was a tad disappointed, but I was so psyched for Say Anything's set that it didn't faze me in the least.

Next up was Slow Runner. Right from the get-go I had a bad predisposition for these guys. Their bassist came on and I could have sworn he was Ben Gibbard's clone. The singer/keyboardist had the Ted Leo look going, but he wasn't as dead on his look-alike as the bassist was. They played upbeat indie rock that was in the vein of Jack's Mannequin, but when the keyboardist started layering they began to prove their originality. But I think that most will agree with me when I say that when the band they sounded best when the songs were structured around their amazing drummer.

Next was Pistolita, and I was sad to see that another band with a sitting singer was playing, but boy was that a misconception. They came off looking like the previous band, but boy was I wrong. If I had to describe their sound it would probably have to be a twist between Vendetta Red and Hot Snakes. When I say Hot Snakes, I mean the fast punky riffs John Reis championed in both Hot Snakes and Rocket from the Crypt. I was expecting the crowd to get moving and maybe position myself closer to the front, but I was wrong. Instead, the crowd seemed to be staking out the best possible spot to capture Say Anything's performance. If any of you are interested in Pistolita check out the songs "Age" and "Oliver Under the Moon." The lead singer of Pistolita then informed the crowd to the crowd's delight that it was Say Anything's charismatic frontman and mastermind Max Bemis' birthday.

For some odd reason Say Anything always seems to take out bands that Saves the Day tours with. On their last tour they took out Circa Survive and Emanuel, who are on the latest STD tour or the one before that. The reason I mention this is because Pistolita (in the hopes of gaining some respect) mentioned it. I don't know if Say Anything has ever done a STD tour, but I would go.

Next up was Say Anything. All the band members set up their gear (minus Mr. Bemis) and the crowd was getting anxious and testy. When everything was ready, the band went to get Max and get things started. As the band got out on stage they did so to a thunderous roar of applause and clapping. Then they eased into "Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too" which showcases Max's brilliant songwriting even with such a comical subject matter. The band roared into a great set that included pretty much their entire album â?¦Is a Real Boy. If you don't have this album, then I seriously suggest getting it. It was just recently reissued with a 7-song EP entitled â?¦Was a Real Boy. The EP was originally recorded for an AIDS charity record, but was put on the reissue instead so that Say Anything can record another EP when their popularity heightens. They played solidly all around, and I can tell that their expanded lineup of three guitarists (one I recognized as the Parker half of JamisonParker, and who focused more on his Moog than his Fender), a bassist, Max Bemis, and a really talented drummer. I could tell that Max was really intent on making this show really energetic. Surprisingly, he even led a few hardcore sing-alongs during "Little Girls" and thrust the microphone into the crowd countless times with the audience shouting back the words on "Admit It!!!" (the "finale" of their set). The crowd was having a great time because it was obvious that none of them had experienced the intensity of such an energetic performance that most emo bands tend to steer clear of (with the obvious exceptions of bands like Thursday and Boysetsfire).

Photo Accredited to Allie Kontier

One can't help but noticing the hypocrisy surrounding a show such as this. Some of the songs Max writes address the problems and clichés of the scene today. One such song is "Admit It!!!." I couldn't help but notice the amount of people who were the people Max describes in this line of the song screaming with all they had:

You adhere to a set of standards and tastes / That appear to be determined by an unseen panel of hipster judges (bullshit!!!) / Giving a thumbs up or thumbs down to incoming and outgoing trends and styles of music and art
Photo accredited to Allie Kontnier

Ditto on "Little Girls:"
I kill, kill, kill little girls / I hate, hate, hate what you are / You're so pretty when you fly right by / I hate, hate, hate what you are / I want to flush out your family line / 'Cuz I'm the punk rock, punk rock star / You're everything I despise / I hate, hate, hate what you are
I would like to stress the importance of Max's recovery from his paranoia. Older live performances I had seen made Max seem devoid of energy and a little testy. The Max in Covington was far from the removed personality he showcased in previous performances.

Photo accredited to Allie Kontier

I think this performance can be epitomized by the actions of one concertgoer. I was waiting afterwards for my ride to show up, and Max Bemis was leaving with his bandmates to celebrate his birthday. Then all of a sudden this little blonde girl yells to Bemis "OMG!!! I LOVE YOU!!!" Mr. Bemis just shook his head and walked away into the seclusion he spent most of the night in. If there is one thing I could say to him, besides excellent show, it would be to interact with his fans more: We don't bite!!!

The set list:
  • Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too
  • The Belt
  • Alive With the Glory of Love
  • The Futile
  • Slowly, Through a Vector
  • Spidersong
  • Yellow Cat / Red Cat
  • Little Girls
  • Woe
  • Every Man Has a Molly
  • The Writhing South
  • Chia-Like, I Shall Grow
  • I Want to Know Your Plans
  • Admit It!!!
Encore (Max solo w/ electric guitar):
  • Total Revenge
  • A Walk Through Hell

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Nancy - The Fear of Missing OutSet Your Goals - Mutiny!Say Anything - ...Is a Real Boy [reissue]The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldModern Life Is War - WitnessKid Dynamite - Kid DynamiteTradition - No HomePolar Bear Club - The Redder, The BetterBlack Tie Bombers - Eternal Happiness and Good HealthMeans - Sending You Strength

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
BJR (April 16, 2006)

This video nor the 2 posted before were taken by me...just found around the net:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGFsFHT5zGg&search=say anything

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

Here's a shitty quality video from the show...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Lox82kcHk

Allular (April 13, 2006)

Just saw this show last night.

Slowrunner and Pistolita weren't my cup but they were still solid bands. Pistolita had a lot of energy.

Say Anything was great besides the drumming seeming a little sloppy but every single part of the songs that were on the album were showcased live. Pretty impressive. I also loved how neurotic Max looked the whole time.

"Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too" was the perfect set opener.

Anonymous (April 13, 2006)

the girl who's myspace is linked looks like a post-op.

Anonymous (April 13, 2006)

Since Max is judging people and making a similar commentary through "Admit It!!!", then by your logic, he too deserves to "fuck off" and is a "piece of shit cunt". I hope you truly realize the irony of what you just said.

No. The thing is, he doesn't because he's not. Or at least not like the reviewer was. If you listen to the song, the things he says are clearly articulated and based upon actual interactions. It's not ironic because they are distinctly different things and the judgments are made quite differently. The reviewer was listening to the song, smugly thinking "ha, all of these fans don't get it, but I'm special, I'm above it all," competing for a moment of self-aggrandizing glory. I have no problem writing people off (such as people who are stupid and lacking in general reading comprehension skills) and clearly Max doesn't either. But the reviewer was saying that based on seeing kids sing along at a show that he also attended. Look at what I said and listen to the song. I hope you truly realize the logistical failings of your post.

Anonymous (April 13, 2006)

[i]I'm sure glad you're able to look around a show and see who is and isn't worthwhile, vapid, sincere, etc. Fuck off, you piece of shit cunt. I hope you choke on your authenticity radar. Your snide appraoch to this whole review shows how far you are from understanding the nuances of the songs and how much you are in love with the idea of appearing superior to others.[/i]

Since Max is judging people and making a similar commentary through "Admit It!!!", then by your logic, he too deserves to "fuck off" and is a "piece of shit cunt". I hope you truly realize the irony of what you just said.

Anonymous (April 13, 2006)

"Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too" which showcases Maxâ??s brilliant songwriting even with such a comical subject matter.

The subject matter isn't comical.

I couldnâ??t help but notice the amount of people who were the people Max describes in this line of the song screaming with all they had

I'm sure glad you're able to look around a show and see who is and isn't worthwhile, vapid, sincere, etc. Fuck off, you piece of shit cunt. I hope you choke on your authenticity radar. Your snide appraoch to this whole review shows how far you are from understanding the nuances of the songs and how much you are in love with the idea of appearing superior to others.

Anonymous (April 12, 2006)

this was a great show, i caught say anything opening for reggie in charlotte and they put RATFE to shame. it was great to see say anything get a chance to headline and play a full set. they put on an incredible live show, very energetic and very accurate given the complexity of their recordings.
i was very impressed with all of the opening bands, particularly Ela, who played first. I thought Slow Runner sounded more Spoon than Jacks Mannequin....actually I don't hear any Jacks Mannequin at all. Pistolita sounded fatastic and very original for a band with a piano-driven sound...probably the most energetic of such bands I've seen or heard.
it was no question to attend this show over the others in cincinnati that night, but then again...i don't listen to most of the hardcore you all seem to make a requirement to have "good taste" in music.

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

Good choice, nice review. Although I am going to see thsi tour, I would much rather see Smoke Or Fire because they impressed the pants off me at the Fat Tour and don't know when I'll get the chance to see them again.

~ Alex P. Keaton

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

hhahahha i love how you point out the hypocrisy with "Admit it!" when clearly you're one of them. omg myspace!

SilentStorms (April 11, 2006)

I wouldn't see this show for free.

Old Dave Man Gloom Norman

BJR (April 11, 2006)

To answer some of your questions:

1. The girl's myspace page is linked because she asked me to when I received the photos from her.

2. Sickboi...Cincinnati is like Smoke or Fire's 2nd home...I saw them 3 times last year...I have seen Anti Flag 4 times and twice with the AKAs...

3. Ignite is really fucking good, but I learned that I might be seeing them with Blacklisted, who I like better than CBK First Blood. This is Hell will most likely be coming back as well.

4. Say Anything is one of my favorite bands of the moment and I believe Bemis is headed for another breakdown, so why pass this up???

jamespastepunk (April 11, 2006)

One canâ??t help but noticing the hypocrisy surrounding a show such as this. Some of the songs Max writes address the problems and clichĂ©s of the scene today. One such song is "Admit It!!!." I couldnâ??t help but notice the amount of people who were the people Max describes in this line of the song screaming with all they had:

Perhaps, Max Bemis is saying what's on these kids minds. It doesn't have to be hypocritical.

darkstarm (April 11, 2006)

I saw this show in Chicago. The first band sucked, don't worry. Pistolita was suprisingly bad ass, and for me definitely stole the show. Unfortunately I purchased their CD and it's not nearly as good as their live performance, which is one of the best I've ever seen. Live their guitarist's voice sounds like Brendan Kelly's but on record he just sounded like another screaming clone.

I think Say Anything is pretty boring live for having six guys on stage. Max stopped singing half way through the set. Then agan he was also having a panic attack around the same time, that guy should probably get some (more) help.

sickboi (April 11, 2006)

Wow. You have bad taste in music. To each their own, but passing up Ignite, Comeback Kid, Smoke or Fire - for this?

OverDefined (April 11, 2006)

Forcing my opinion on you! Forcing my opinion on you! Why don't you agree with me?!?

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

Ignite played and you didn't go? Do you know what you missed for some shitty emo band? Score is for you!

SalsaShark (April 11, 2006)

What's with the links to some girl's MySpace?

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

so if this band and this guy hate the scene and kids so much ... why write and album that is thier dream album. i hate the kids too but i am in no rush to write some emo album they will all love ... makes no sense

this band is lame, as is the singer. they should re-release the album for a 10th time now ... include conversations during recording or something hawt like that omg lolz wtf !!!!!1

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