Show Roundup: Say Anything and World/Inferno Friendship Society on Halloween
It appears I’ve gotten pretty far behind in posting my show reviews, so I’ve decided that instead of letting these two shows go forgotten, it would be a good idea to compile a few short reviews in one post, so here it goes:
Say Anything with Eisley, Moneen, Moving Mountains
House of Blues Boston, October 30th 2009
My third time seeing Say Anything was certainly the least enjoyable for a number of reasons. For one, the openers were quite disappointing. Moving Mountains slogged through a sleep-educing set, while Eisley was as ear-splitingly bad. Sandwiched in between these two crowd killers was Moneen, an underrated Canadian act who always put on a great show. They once again held up their end of the bargain with an energy packed 25 minute set.
Say Anything took the stage and started the show with a number of familiar tracks, including “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too” and “Alive with the Glory of Love.” The crowd absolutely ate it up. Nearly every song received a huge reaction, including material from the band’s new self-titled album, which at that point was still a week away from being released.
While Bax Bemis and Co. chose a decent set list and did everything they could to work the crowd into a frenzy, I felt they lacked the enthusiasm
that had marked previous shows. The between song banter seemed scripted, and the band sounded sloppy at times. While it is clear that Say Anything is as popular as they’ve ever been, I hope their Boston show was simply an off night and not a sign of things to come.
World/Inferno Friendship Society with O’Death
Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center, October 31st 2009
While Say Anthing may have been a bit dull, World/Inferno Friendship Society’s annual “Hollow Mass” the next night was anything but. The New York City cult favorites put on a show that was memorable on a number of different levels. The band played on the 7th floor of the Manhattan Center Complex, directly above a sold-out Halloween night Weezer performance. While security was tight at the door, it sure wasn’t up in what equated to the building’s attic. Stage divers filled the air as the crowd merrily danced along to every song.
In between tracks, frontman Jack Terricloth led the crowd in a celebration of the Great Pumpkin, revealing the Ten Commandments of Halloween, including “Thou Shalt Not Be A Whining Jerk” and “Thou Shall Covet Thy Neighbor’s Candy.” Yes, it was as strange as it sounds, just like all of the band’s shows. As the night progressed, any semblance of normalcy went out the window, as Terricloth held a prized pumpkin aloft while crowd surfers crashed to the stage around him.
The band would close the show with “Pumpkin Time” and finally “Ich Errinere Mich an Weimar.” During the final song, the crowd would rush the stage, leading to a scene that was complete bedlam. Terricloth finished the song while being crowd surfed by his adoring fans, as scores of others gathered around the rest of the band. I’ve seen a few World/Inferno shows, and I’ve always walked out amazed by the spirit of the band and their fans. This show perfectly illustrated everything that makes the band unique: their theatrical flair for the dramatic, their crazed cult following, and most importantly, their ability to play great live music.