Say Anything kick off …Is a Real Boy 20th anniversary tour in Dallas, TX

If you are a live music fan in the year of our lord, 2024, you have probably seen a band perform one of their albums front-to-back. Although the origins of the craze go as far back as Pink Floyd playing The Dark Side of the Moon in the 70s, the modern renaissance of it has seen bands like Pixies and Weezer take on their classic fare for various anniversaries. Say Anything might not be quite as big of a name as those bands but they still managed to pack the House of Blues in Dallas for the first night of their 20th anniversary celebration of …Is a Real Boy.

Max Bemis, the lead singer/songwriter for Say Anything, and his wife, Sherri DuPree-Bemis relocated to Tyler, TX in the late 2010s but from the intro tape scratch of album opener “Belt,” it was clear the crowd wasn’t just Dallasites coming to send off one of their adopted own. The early-30s to mid-40s crowd were clearly there to scream along and generally lose their shit to an album that had deep meaning to them. People grabbed their significant others’ hand to dance to the jaunty “Woe” and others had intense makeout sessions to “Alive with the Glory of Love,” although most of the crowd screamed along with that one.

While the first 11 songs of the setlist were verbatim …Is a Real Boy things took a little detour from there. Saving “I Want to Know Your Plans” for the encore, the band launched into “Most Beautiful Plague” from the …Was a Real Boy (EP) before saying the dreaded words “how about a new song?” Bemis brought out his wife to duet on “I, VIBRATOR” from the band’s upcoming …Is Committed album before closing with fan favorite “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too.”

The encore saw the band get back from their detour with Bemis and his wife dueting “I Want to Know Your Plans” before playing a rousing rendition of …Is a Real Boy‘s closing track “Admit It!!!”

While there weren’t many complaints from Say Anything’s rabid fans who screamed along all night, I couldn’t help but feel if anyone who wasn’t intimately familiar with …Is a Real Boy was in the crowd, they would have felt lost. Bemis mostly acted like a carnival barker rather than a lead singer. He allowed the crowd to do the majority of the lead vocals, occasionally screaming a line or two like a hypeman would at a hip hop show. He would scream ad libs (mostly just the word “fuck”) into the mic at various times and he praised the crowd at every turn when he wasn’t taking drags of his vape which kept firmly in his hand for almost all of the show. It felt less like a concert and more like karaoke where the singer doesn’t remember the words and instead looks at the other patrons to help pick him up.

Leave a Reply