LA rock band, Say Anything, stopped through Philadelphia’s Theater of Living Arts on June 22nd along with fellow label-mates Eisley, HRVRD, and Northern Faces as part of the Rarities and More Tour. Over the last 13 years, Say Anything has continued to release music with a rotating cast of members revolving around the only current original member, frontman Max Bemis. The band’s catalog of five full-length records and four EPs have been released on labels of all sizes, including RCA in 2009. In 2011 Say Anything joined Albany-based Equal Vision Records and are currently supporting their latest release, a 3-disc collection of rarities and b-sides titled, All My Friends Are Enemies: Early Rarities. On this particular evening, Say Anything powered through a set of 18 songs, mixing in fan favorites and several songs from this most recent release that had never before been performed in a live setting.
The opening bands, all Equal Vision Records label-mates, are also all supporting new releases.
Northern Faces, a recent addition to the EVR lineup, opened the show with an impressive blend of classic rock, blues and pop-oriented indie rock in support of their debut 6-song EP, Southern Places.
Next up were the Charlotte-based band, HRVRD (previously known as Harvard) who played mostly songs from sophomore album From the Birds Cage. Frontman Jesse Clasen‘s energy on stage rivaled that of Say Anything‘s Max Bemis, as Clasen‘s very theatrical performance brought a whole new life to to the band’s material.
Eisley, an indie rock band from Texas comprised of four siblings and a cousin, took the stage second to last and played many songs from their latest release, Currents, which unlike previous releases, was recorded and produced by the band. The three sisters showed off their unique vocal harmonies throughout the set and replicated the recorded sound to near perfection. Even through singer/guitarist Sherri Dupree Bemis‘s apologies for being “tour sick” and having troubles with her voice, she sounded to be at the top of her game.
While Equal Vision Records got their start with a predominate hardcore roster in the 90s, 23 years later they are still showing their relevance with an impressive catalog of indie rock bands not to be messed with. Enjoy the photos!
Words and photos by BTS’s Jon Van Dine