Say Anything, Front Bottoms, So So Glos, You Blew It! | Concord Music Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Say Anything, Front Bottoms, So So Glos, You Blew It! All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., July 11, 5:30 p.m. 2014

Say Anything front man Max Bemis is the rare third-wave emo musician beloved not only by mall punks but also by fans who think they’re too cool for the poppier sound his band helped define in the aughts. That has a lot to do with the broad appeal of Say Anything’s 2003 album . . . Is a Real Boy (Doghouse), a fantastic rock opera that captures the greatness of that decade’s emo and pop punk while transcending the histrionics of both. Bemis is a shrewd songwriter with an ambitious streak—after Real Boy, Say Anything went to bat for emo with a 2007 double album called In Defense of the Genre, an uneven listen thanks to Bemis’s apparent compulsion to address every one of his neuroses in his lyrics. After two more solid but unremarkable albums, Bemis and company returned to the theatrical bombast of Real Boy with last month’s Hebrews (Equal Vision)—it’s hardly perfect, but it’s so audacious that even a strange attempt to meld borderline ranting with sweetly melodic keyboards on “Judas Decapitation” makes for an interesting listen. Hard-core fans of Say Anything might also feel like the band is talking to them: Bemis calls out those “other” listeners who’ve grown apathetic about his music (“Lost My Touch”), and anyone who knows about his Jewish upbringing and conversion to Christianity won’t miss the full power of the overtly religious title track. —Leor Galil

Price: $19.98

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