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Live Review: Say Anything, Ceres, Drawing North

21 October 2014 | 12:59 pm | Danielle O'Donohue

Say Anything satisfy Sydney at Manning Bar.

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Say Anything never quite reached a breakout audience in Australia like those enjoyed by peers such as Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday. But now, ten years after the release of their debut, ...Is A Real Boy, Say Anything are one of the few bands from among their peers still releasing relevant and interesting music.

First band up, Drawing North seemed a rather odd fit for a Say Anything support. Thanks to choruses that aren’t as anthemic and meaningful as the band seems to sincerely believe they are, Drawing North’s sound seems more suited to a So Fresh compilation than first support.

Luckily, Ceres were on hand to set things right. A Melbourne melodic rock outfit that just shimmer and crunch in all the right places, their sound seemed as effortless as their relaxed and just-out-of-the-garage stage style. They captured the crowd with a tight, no mess set.

With the addition of Saves The Day frontman Chris Conley into the Say Anything line-up, the band’s onstage chemistry sizzled with exuberance. And it wasn’t just Conley’s chuffed smile that seared his presence onto the line-up. On songs such as Surgically Removing The Tracking Device, Conley’s guitar work really beefed up the sound.

Frontman Max Bemis spent almost as much time leaning out over the crowd as he did standing onstage alongside his band mates. His awkward dance moves seeming to compensate for his slightly subdued voice, but when your crowd is singing every word back at you, you can probably get away with a little jet lag and a cold.

Though new album, Hebrews, is yet to be released in Australia, songs such as Six Six Six got just as enthusiastic a response as crowd favourites I Can Get Sexual Too and Every Man Has A Molly.

Say Anything might not be their genre’s biggest stars but their live performance always leaves their Australian fans satisfied until the next tour.