On Wednesday night (06.26.13), House of Blues Cleveland was packed with fans welcoming Los Angeles rock band Say Anything to town. The band is on week three of their six week “Rarities and More” tour.
After his bandmates had lined up on stage, front man (and only remaining original member), Max Bemis joined them to begin the night with a song from their 2001 debut album, ‘Baseball: An Album By Say Anything’ titled “Colorblind,” the first of many tunes to be performed that drew from the earlier part of the band’s catalog.
The energy from Bemis spread through the crowd, leaving them chanting every word of every song, overpowering the frontman’s voice at times. It is hard to say which songs were crowd favorites because the audience was so involved from start to finish, however, a noticeably greater reaction came to the songs “Every Man Has a Molly” and “Alive with the Glory of Love,” both from Say Anything’s 2004 album ‘…Is a Real Boy.’
About halfway through the set, the crowd began chanting “Baby!” at Bemis, who had just recently become a father. He responded with “What baby? Oh…that baby,” as he pointed backstage at his wife, Sherri Dupree-Bemis, who walked proudly out on to the stage to show off their five month old daughter, Lucy. This marked the third time Sherri had graced the stage that night, after performing a set prior to Say Anything’s with her band, Eisley, as well as joining her husband on stage to lend vocals to “Cemetery” earlier in the set.
After Max finished swooning over the baby, Say Anything finished their main set before coming back for a three-song encore, a mixture of old and new tracks. As the band closed out with “A Walk Through Hell,” Bemis thanked the crowd for their overwhelming involvement and made everyone “pinky promise” to return the next time they play in Cleveland.
Almost as radiant as her husband, Sherri Dupree-Bemis rocked the stage with her cut off denim vest and pink hair (that matched her pink guitar) as Eisley, a band she formed with her three siblings and a cousin in Tyler, Texas back in 1997, performed their 35-minute set. The quintet played ten songs, including “Laugh it Off” from their 2012 EP ‘Deep Space,’ as well as “Save My Soul” from their newest album ‘Currents,’ which was released in May, 2013 via Equal Vision Records. Towards the end of the band’s set, Sherri put her punk-rock persona on hold as she dedicated the love song, “Deep Space” to her husband. Even through the more mellow tracks, Eisley managed to keep the crowd entertained while fans anxiously awaited the headliner.