a tale of two say anythings, pt. 1: you soothe my wounds and drain my bile

say anythingThis Halloween, I went to where the people were on a Saturday night: the Webster Theater in Hartford, Connecticut, where one of my newly-christened favorite bands, Say Anything, performed to a delighted, rabid crowd.

I’ve liked SA since their debut, …Is a Real Boy, featuring the phenominal “Alive with the Glory of Love,” but it wasn’t until I started dating my boyfriend, an SA superfan, that I fell in love with the band. Since then, their songs have been permanently stuck in my head, and as news spread that they were working on a new album, my excitement grew.

Despite my lingering illness, the BF and I journeyed to Connecticut, eager to see SA rock out. And rock they did. Among multiple costumed concert-goers, we bounced and bopped (well, okay, that was mostly left to me) to tunes new and old, while Max Bemis and co. played — and sweated — their hearts out. Suddenly my runny nose and pressure-filled head didn’t matter.

I was pumped to hear sentimental favorite “Shiksa (Girlfriend),” as well as “Baby Girl, I’m a Blur” and “Woe,” among many, many others. I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed that they didn’t play “A Walk Through Hell,” but I’ll live.

The highlight of the night, though, came during the encore, when Max played an acoustic version of new track “Crush’d,” an ode to his wife, Sherri DuPree, whose band Eisley was one of the openers.

I am absolutely in love with this song. Aside from liking it because I’m a sucker for anything acoustic, “Crush’d” is just adorable, period. And as evidenced by the numerous “awwww”s Max’s dedication of the song to Sherri elicited from the audience, I’m not alone in this feeling. How can lyrics like these not make you smile?

Quite sure you love me, Sherri / Quite sure I love you, too / We should make a verbal agreement to only kiss each other.

While trying to describe Say Anything’s sound to some friends, I found myself unsure of how to categorize them, and I think that’s because they really do defy categorization. All I know is I love their old stuff, I’m really digging their new stuff, and they rocked my face off — and my cold away — this weekend.

Amen, indeed.

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