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Prototypical Non-Conformist

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Say Anything @ Epicentre, San Diego--4/21/06
Yellow Cat (Slash) Red Cat (Previously...Admit it!!!)

The way I see it, there are only two groups of people at the show: the fans, all with various degrees of obsession with Say Anything, myself included, and the bystanders, who were mostly indifferent. And despite the half empty venue at the start of the night, it soon turned into an roaring experience.

Opener Slow Runner played catchy, melodic electronica-y indie pop sprinkled with keyboards and bells. Their cover of a They Might Be Giants song was rather great, and although most of the crowd were still asleep, their crystal sound set up an atmosphere more fitting for the (R.I.P.) Unicorns than Say Anything.

Local band Pistola stormed the stage, next. And this band was loud. As in, LOUD. Although they had plenty of energy and enthusiasm, their amps cranked up to a 13 covered most of their lyrics and even a discernable melody. Their screaming, pounding pop punky scene music didn't manage to stand out, but it was just as well to conserve our energy for Say Anything...who didn't go on until a little past nine.

"Wow, I Can Be Sexual Too" started them off on a slow note, but soon the songs off ...Is A Real Boy began to show off their talent and the crowd's fan boy/girl tendencies. They played every song off the CD except for "An Orgy of Critics" (which they probably should have switched out "Chia-Like, I Shall Grow" for) and a song off the re-release. The performance were incredible--every line strung with emotion and passion, and the obsessive fans attacked back with full engagement. They sounded just as the record did, but with ten times the intensity and power. While the beams above/in front of the stage is a favorite climbing place, tonight there were more taker than usual, and while many attempted a small mosh, the fans were mild and nice enough to keep it to the fun and atmospheric level.

"I Want to Know Your Plans" began with good natured conversations about love songs and gayness, it became a rather amazing experience. Some highlights included a guy who yelled "fuck me hard!" and the fan's chanted following of every line and chorus, which also happened on pretty much every other song. But the highlight of the night, for me, was "Admit It!!!", and especially the brilliant bridge. The frenzied incantations of a crowd of hipster hating on hipster is something unforgettable. It ended the show in an explosion, and although the encore of the sweet and emotion charged "A Walk Through Hell" mellowed things down, the energy of this show matched few others I've seen, and Say Anything climbs another step in my list of omg-favorite bands.



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Listen, love, buy.
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