Live: Scream Anything At Say Anything At Highline Ballroom


Say Anything
Highline Ballroom
Wednesday, November 4

A partial list of emphatic statements sung in joyous unison by the predominantly teenaged, surprisingly female-centric crowd at tonight’s narcissistic mall-punk extravaganza:

“I called her on the phone and she touched herself!”

“If they catch us, and dispatch us to those separate work camps!”

“It’s a metaphor, fool!”

“I have a girlfriend now! I have a girlfriend now!”

“You’re in my body! You’re in my body!”

“This is fucking ecstasy!”

“I can’t get laid in this town without these pointy fucking shoes!”

“Can I lie with you in your grave?”

I love this band and feel ridiculous about it. And despite some wayward recent decisions (that double album, that “Got Your Money” cover), they’re still capable of ludicrous, shameless, mega-emo transcendence: See righteous power ballad “Eloise,” off their just-released self-titled third album, which otherwise is pretty wayward. But frontman/megalomaniac Max Bemis, fronting a five-man band of dark-haired, rosy-cheeked, creepily doppelganger-ish Bob’s Big Boy waiter types, patches over the rough spots with rakish charisma. At one point he brings out his new wife, Sherri DuPree, she of Eisley, to sing on a song called “Cemetery.” “She’s pretty beautiful,” he gushes afterward. “She really likes me. It’s pretty weird.”

Disingenuousness of this type is his speciality — he seems shocked that people know all the words to the five-year-old and one-day-old songs, and marvels at the eventual avalanche of stage-divers and general mayhem that nearly turns the final encore, “Admit It!”, into a total debacle. “When we first came out you guys were like a bunch of housewives,” he teases. “Now you’re like a bunch of dirty debutantes. Like prostitutes.”