At the end of July Say Anything concluded a massive North American tour where the band brought a string quartet with them throughout the entire run. The string quartet was brought on the road to allow the band to play songs from their most recent album, “Hebrews”, the way they were meant to heard as well performing some of their classic songs with a fresh new take. Joining them on this 5 week run was the rather impressive package of Hard Girls, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and Modern Baseball; a package that easily could have gone on a successful tour of their own. At the cusp of the tail end of dates I had the distinct pleasure of catching the Santa Ana show at the Observatory with my noted sidekick and photographer, Brittany. The two of us had a set plan of attack but unfortunately due to some incorrect information and a slight mishap at the box office our evening got off to a rough start. Thankfully we were able to figure things out even if we unfortunately ended up missing the always phenomenal Hard Girls. Sad times but such is life.
With some time to spare before Cymbals Eat Guitars I was able to score some food from the venue’s kitchen which to my surprise was really good, the vegan friendly tacos and chili were incredibly delicious. I would totally eat them again in a heartbeat. As Cymbals Eat Guitars went on they put on an interesting set. Their music was all over the place but in a good way. Definitely a bit intimidating to get into if your taste in music isn’t too broad but if you’re willing to give something new a shot I would recommend seeing them if they happen to roll through your town.
After them came Modern Baseball who opened up with a Killers cover of all things. While unexpected they definitely committed to their slightly unorthodox opening song choice and had the crowd in the palm of their hands. From there they plowed on through their 45 minute set playing all “the hits” and even threw in a nice nod to Sublime in the mix while they were at it. This was easily one of the tightest performances I’ve seen from the band which has me really excited about their future; every time they roll through California their fanbase gets bigger and bigger. I could easily see them headlining this same venue this time next year.
Once Modern Baseball wrapped up and a lengthy set change happened Say Anything took the stage to woo the masses. As someone who has seen Say Anything multiple times, close to 60 times at this point, I have to say this was one of the better sets I’ve seen from them. The energy and atmosphere of the crowd was perfect, the band were on point the entire night, and the set list was killer. However, what really made the biggest impact was definitely the addition of the strings section. As mentioned before in the beginning of the article, the band was able to play several songs from the album “Hebrews” with a full string section. Those same songs, when played in the past sounded good but not quite whole, sounded absolutely amazing this time around. Also, hearing classic Say Anything songs with this extra touch was a delight to as well. It was a much appreciated addition to the show and I hope it’s something the band will do again in the future. Or just any idea that happens to pop into the band’s collective mind. If it sounds interesting I’ll go.
Until the next one!
Check out our photo gallery below! Pictures were taken by and are property of Brittany Woolsey