by Matt Kelchner
This past weekend my girlfriend and I took a trip down I-95, past Washington, DC and past Richmond, VA. We traveled all the way down to Raleigh, NC. The occasion? To visit my dearest little sister. Part of the weekend’s plans included seeing Katy Perry’s Sunday night kick off to her latest tour. To avoid a few thousand screaming fans of the pop icon, I wandered out to Cat’s Cradle in near by Carrboro to catch Say Anything’s tour.
Joining up with Say Anything on this tour were The Front Bottoms, The So So Glos and You Blew It!. With a new album in hand, much was expected the seasoned pop punk band. While they did not disappoint, it was two other acts who stole the show Sunday night. You Blew It! and The Front Bottoms are not newcomers by any means, but they have not been around in the limelight like that of Say Anything. Despite that, they played with such energy and passion that they won crowd song after song.
Things kicked off Sunday night with You Blew It! taking the stage promptly at 7:30PM. With a loaded show bill, things started a bit early compared to most concerts at the venue. While mostly playing hits from their recently released Keep Doing What You’re Doing, You Blew It! also reached into their older material like “Medal of Honor”. With USA! chants to help the USMNT in their game against Portugal to their catchy, well-crafted new age “emo” tunes, You Blew It! set the bar quite high for the remaining bands to play.
The So So Glos took to the stage next. The four piece punk band from Brooklyn have made a name for themselves in Brooklyn’s DIY scene and have been able to use that to catapult themselves on the national touring arena for years now. As they made their way through the night, the crowd began to feed off their rambunctious and energetic tunes and by the end of the night they were singing along as The So So Glos pulled out the bigger hits.
Excitement started to build as The Front Bottoms began setting up once The So So Glos wrapped out. To help things along they brought out a friend, Magic Mike the Magician. He left the crowd in awe and amazement. Once his witchcraft was finished, the music began. And it was from this moment on that the crowd sang along with every song as crowd surfers came rolling in left and right. It was hard to tell which were crowd favorites as each tune sounded louder and stronger than the last one played. The Front Bottoms picked a variety of selections that came from a number of their albums. No matter how deep they pulled from their vast collection, the crowd knew every word. The only disappointment from their performance was how short it felt, though it left everyone yearning for more. It should as be noted that The Front Bottoms should win an award for best stage props as they had giant balloons in their initials inflated as well as two wacky-wavy-inflatable-tube-man. To close their night out, The Front Bottoms teamed up with You Blew It! for an epically huge rendition of “Twin Size Mattress”.
While Say Anything were celebrating the release of their newest album, Hebrews, they did not hesitate to play older material. Their lengthy set list made for a career spanning night. In fact, a few older songs made it onto this tour’s set list for the very first time, “Surgically Removing the Tracking Device” and “A Boston Peace” being two of these. Say Anything ran through the night just as one would expect. The energy and emotion were there. Frontman Max Bemis controlled the crowd’s every move as he belted out tune after tune. Yet, while there were no dull points, there was not any type of wow factor that put Say Anything over the top.
For a night that had me hundreds of miles away from home, in an area completely foreign to me, once I walked through the doors of Cat’s Cradle everything seemingly felt normal. The crowd, the music and the atmosphere all felt very familiar as band after band took to the stage. The adventure alone made the night worth it. But pair that up with the level of musical greatness that my ears feasted upon made it for an unforgettable time!