Scenes From Saturday Night's Say Anything Show at Trees.
Before Say Anything took the stage at Trees on Saturday night, the affair felt largely like a Rory Records showcase.
Some background: Last week, when we spoke with Say Anything's Max Bemis, he mentioned to us that he had signed, or was in the process of signing, four bands under his imprint with Equal Vision Records called Rory Records. It's since been announced that one of these bands is Merriment — a duo from Tyler comprised of Eisley younger siblings (and, it should be noted, Bemis' siblings-in-law) Christie DuPree and Collin DuPree.
Performing for the first time under as a part of their new label, Merriment opened the show with their gentle acoustic sound. During their set, Christie DuPree spoke about how happy she and her brother were to join Say Anything on the last two stops of their tour and how pleased they were with being one of the first bands on Bemis' imprint.
“We're all his little babies,” she said. “Bemis babies.”
Second on the bill were Tallhart, the first band signed to Bemis' Rory Records. It's safe to say that not many people in the audience knew much about the band before their set. But it's even safer to say they left the stage with hundreds of fans. After each song, members of the crowd turned to each other, nodding in acceptance. Their aubible compliments — “These guys are good!” and “I like them!” — only further confirmed as much.
Although the quartet's music is emotional a la Manchester Orchestra, front man Matt Segallos kept the mood light between songs, jokingly questioning his decision to wear such tight red pants and breaking into Enrique Iglesias' “Hero” after an audience member yelled out, “You're my hero!”
It should also be noted that there was some confusion about the location of this show for the past couple of weeks. Originally, this bill was supposed to be offered up at the redesigned Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth. But, according to the show's promoters, “lagging ticket sales” caused the show to be moved to Deep Ellum's Trees.
That kinda worked out for Murder By Death's bassist, Matt Armstrong, though. During that band's set, vocalist Adam Turla announced to the crowd that since the show was moved from Ridglea to Trees, Armstrong, an area native, would get to perform at the venue for the first time after seeing lots of shows there. “We found you!” one fan yelled out about the venue change. And Murder By Death indeed seemed pleased with it all. They finished their set with “a mix of rowdy drinking songs and depressing songs,” as they put it.
As Say Anything took the stage, it was quickly obvious why the four members of the band, not including the drummer, were scattered to the corners of the stage: Max Bemis is kind of wild and unpredictable on the stage.
Flinging his microphone around by its cord, he looked something like a mad man. No matter if he was hitting himself or a bandmate — or even if the mic was flying off the cord — he never stopped the swinging. The band's stage assistant deserve some credit here: He impressie kept up with the flying mics and kept the show going.
It was anarchy-driven, rebellious behavior. Fitting, since the band is touring to support their new album, Anarchy, My Dear.
After performing one of their biggest hits, “Alive With the Glory of Love,” Bemis explained that the band is a Los Angeles-based band but, after moving to Texas, he let the crowd know that they're “a fucking Texas band now. I'm so glad to be home.”
During the 18-song set (including an encore), Bemis was in a state unequaled by the other members of the band. There was a bit of erratic behavior throughout the set, ranging from straddling the drummer's bass drum, kicking the drum set and throwing a tambourine into the giant fan on Trees' ceiling. But it was all in good fun.
Standing side-stage throughout the set was Bemis' wife and Eisley guitarist Sherri DuPree Bemis. She joined the band for a few songs, but as she walked onto the stage before singing “Overbiter” with her husband, the crowd greeted her with a roaring cheer as she accentuated her baby bump.
“She has a baby inside her!” the father-to-be proudly said.
Bemis also announced an upcoming box set that will include releases from before …Is a Real Boy.
By the end of the performance, a gassed Bemis simply said, “So that happened.”
And, yeah, that's pretty much the best way to sum up the impressive performance.