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Live Review: Say Anything, Ceres, The Hard Aches

3 November 2014 | 11:54 am | Will Oakeshott

Say Anything make Adelaide obsessed at Fowler's Live. As if they weren't already...

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There must have been some excellent excuses and prior engagements in Adelaide for the return tour of indie-punk darlings Say Anything, as a substantially small attendance brought upon quite a disheartening atmosphere to what was a rather enjoyable spring evening. Nevertheless, sometimes the music speaks for itself, and that was the case on Thursday night.

Local alternative-punk duo The Hard Aches had the honour of opening the night’s proceedings and did so in fine form. Balancing a sound somewhat inspired by the combination of The Smith Street Band and Japandroids, the honest and heartfelt blue collar anthems these two fine gentleman create are very impressive. Die Young, Die Happy was the main highlight for this scribe and the band’s devoted fans, who were small in number but strong in passion, much like The Hard Aches themselves. With a smaller venue and more intimate setting, this two-piece could host shows that would be very hard to forget.

For Melbourne quartet Ceres, their performance was delayed by a complete failure of Fowler’s main sound board. Respectively working with haste and efficiency, the result was unfortunately the use of the back-up system which lacks in definition comparably, but the show must go on. Taking notes from the genre’s innovators like Braid and Brand New, and providing some brilliant between-song banter, it’s understandable why Ceres are quickly becoming a must see act. Jam Song was delivered in borderline fury amongst some of the sweetest hooks and melodies displayed by an Australian band of this nature and many audience members were quickly converted to fandom. Ceres’ album I Don’t Want To Be Anywhere But Here should be an inclusion in any Australian alternative-rock enthusiast’s collection.

After nearly 15 years of performing and crafting arguably the most addictive indie-punk tunes of the modern era, Say Anything’s Max Bemis knows how to make an entrance and captivate a crowd. The poor vocal mix wasn’t going to stop this quirky mastermind as he launched into Alive With The Glory Of Love and every awkward geek-chic individual in the room sang along to their hearts’ content. Bemis’s odd persona and onstage dancing were to an extent clumsy but also completely charming. Saves The Day’s Chris Conley was handling guitar and backing vocal duties which was an excellent addition as his chemistry with Mr Bemis is unavoidable; Conley’s placid smile throughout was a sure sign of this. Six Six Six, Spidersong, Burn A Miracle, Baby Girl, I’m A Blur, Judas Decapitation, Surgically Removing The Tracking Device, Every Man Has A Molly, Cemetery, Hebrews and This Is Fucking Ecstasy were pinnacles of the main setlist. However a predictable encore was to follow, to the pleasure of everybody in the room, beginning with a solo performance of I Want To Know Your Plans, and closing with Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too.

To subside any doubt, if anyone has the slightest interest in Say Anything, you will become obsessed. Don’t miss next time.