Concert Review: Reggie and the Full Effect, Saves the Day, and Say Anything

December 8, 2014: The Fillmore, Detroit

Despite the fact that I had a wedding to stand up in on Saturday (Congrats Jessica & Jeff!), there was nothing that was going to keep me from seeing two of my favorite bands play live. So although my body was crying out for me to stay home in bed, I braved the cold and went to the Fillmore.

First up was Reggie and the Full Effect who I had only casually listened to before. The venue was pretty full considering it was the first of two opening acts which was a good sign of things to come. James Dewees and crew took the stage donning a Santa suit and elf costumes complete with hats with bells on them to get everyone into the holiday spirit. The guys wasted no time jumping right into “Your Bleedin’ Heart” followed by “Congratulations Smack + Katy”, which are both off their album Under the Tray.

Dewees took a break between songs to introduce the band and promise that anyone experiencing Reggie and the Full Effect for the first time would either “Love us or mother fucking love us, especially once you see Sexy Cop.” Dewees turned out being correct because whether you’re a fan of their music or not, they put on an amazing show. The guys played a couple more tracks from Under the Tray as well as Songs Not To Get Married To, throwing in a new track before bringing out Sexy Cop. Who is Sexy Cop? Simply Dewees wearing a tight spandex cop suit that doesn’t quite fit his ample figure. Dewees gyrated around the stage as he sang “Love Reality” much to the delight of the crowd. All in all a great way to start out the evening.

Up next was Saves the Day who would be playing their sophomore album, Through Being Cool, in celebration of it’s 15th anniversary this year. The crowd went crazy when the banner featuring the couch from the album’s artwork came down as the sound check finished up. The guys kicked off their set with a noise infused riff, getting the crowd’s energy up before jumping into “All-Star Me”. There were few breaks between songs except when Conley took a break to thank the crowd and when they took a minute to say hi to Arun Bali’s mother who was attending her first Saves the Day show.

Because this album has been an important one for me, it was an amazing experience to hear it played live from start to finish. To make the already stellar night even better, the guys decided to play some fan favorites after they finished Through Being Cool. The crowd was a non-stop jumping, singing mass as the guys plowed through “At Your Funeral” (possibly my favorite track from the guys), “A Drag in D Flat”, “Jessie & My Whetsone”, “Anywhere with You” and finally “Sell My Clothes, I’m Off to Heaven”. I could have used another hour or two of Saves the Day but wasn’t disappointed knowing I still had another favorite to go.

Say Anything’s sophomore album, …Is A Real Boy, was also celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary this year and was the reason that the bands were touring together. I wasn’t sure that the crowd could get any more excited than they already were but I was proven wrong when they nearly lost it when Say Anything’s banner dropped announcing that they were about to take the stage. Max Bemis was like a kid in a candy store as he took in the atmosphere around him throughout the evening. The crowd was so loud at times that I could barely hear the singer but honestly it just made the experience better.

You could barely hear Bemis at points as the audience sang along to each song at the top of their lungs, becoming nearly deafening during “Alive with the Glory of Love” and “The Futile”. The Say Anything live experience is one of the best that I’ve ever experienced and is what keeps me going to as many concerts as I can. Their energy is addicting and the dedication and excitement of the crowd makes it even better. Max Bemis gave a nice little speech about why he loves coming to Detroit and expressed his thanks to the fans that showed up for the first time and those that continue to come to shows. Just like Saves the Day, Say Anything closed out their set with some other fan favorites including “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too” and “Little Girls”.

All in all it was an unforgettable night and if it happens to be my last concert of 2014 then I’m definitely finishing the year off on a high note.