If anything was made clear at the Say Anything and Bayside concert at the House of Blues in San Diego on April 22, it was that emo was still very much alive and, despite the bands’ popularity over the years, fame has not gotten to their heads. As each co-headlining band played to the packed crowd, they constantly interacted with the crowd, often standing on the barricade and screaming into fans’ faces and sharing the mic with them during their sets.
The bands seemed like a perfect fit together. Say Anything singer Max Bemis also expressed his excitement for sharing the stage with Bayside. “We’ve never shared a space together, and I think it works,” he said.
After Reggie and the Full Effect kicked things off for the evening, Say Anything jolted into a 10-song set that spanned their seven-disc repertoire. During “Belt,” off 2004’s “Is a Real Boy,” Bemis jumped onto the barricade to interact with the crowd, making his way from one side to the other. And he constantly urged the crowd to sing along, as he bounced around the stage, showing off an eregy that is still consistent and lively for a band that has been around for nearly two decades. “If you can sing the words, we don’t give a damn what they say!” Bemis declared before playing “Give a Damn” off last year’s “I Don’t Think It Is” release.
But perhaps the biggest sing-along came toward the end of the set when the band played “Every Man Has a Molly” and seemingly everyone in the room complained about a bitch named Molly Connolly who “just broke up with me over the revealing nature of the songs.”
Bayside continued the crowd interaction as soon as they got on stage… or rather, just in front of the audience. As the lights went up, the other three members were on the stage, but vocalist/guitarist Anthony Raneri wasn’t. Instead, he started the set in the barricade, singing “They Looked Like Strong Hands” directly in front of the crowd. This was a unique opener to a set that included songs like “The Whitest Lie” and “Devotion and Desire.”
Be sure to check out our photos from the show!