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Say Anything, mewithoutYou, Teen Suicide and Museum Mouth @ The TLA.

May 16, 2016


Text and images by Jordyn Cordner.

It’s no surprise that prolific pop punk legends Say Anything and Philadelphia natives and favorites mewithoutYou sold out the TLA last Thursday. It was an intense show full of crowd engagement.

North Carolina natives Museum Mouth opened the show with their candid brand of indie pop-rock, reminding the crowd that their new record, Popcorn Fish Guinea Pig, was released on April 29th, via, as they told the audience, “some guy named Max Bemis’ record label.”

Maryland’s noisy fan favorites Teen Suicide played next, showcasing their gloomy brand of ambient noise rock. The overall fuzz and punch of their set was interrupted by their cover of hip-hop-rock-fusion band Flobots’s hit single, “Handlebars.” From the opening bars of the cover, cell phones were whipped out of pockets and fans recorded the spectacle as the crowd cheers and raps along.

MewithoutYou followed.

“We’ve been a band for a long time,” vocalist Aaron Weiss told the crowd after the band performed a handful of post-rock hits. “Thanks for still coming out to see us.”

Weiss spent the set cradling the microphone between both hands, whipping around to the very back of the stage and hightailing back to the front. Adoring fans leaned into the barrier, entranced with Weiss’s emotive antics. Voices loudly joined his as the band played one of their fan favorite songs, “Allah, Allah, Allah.” The room bellowed, “If your old man did you wrong / Well maybe his old man did him wrong.” The band walked off stage to chanted pleas of “One more song, one more song!”

As the lights dimmed, the crowd began the first stages of what would be an eruption. Pop punk rock superhero Max Bemis walked across the stage to a whirlwind of cheers and jittery hands reaching toward him. Wails of “Max! Max!” came from voices all over the room.

Bemis smirked, and Say Anything jumped into “Give A Damn,” off of their new album, I Don’t Think It Is.

Bemis was theatrical in his vocals and in his movements, sashaying all over the stage, arms waving, body twisting. He planted one foot on the barrier, leaning into shocked and enthralled fans before jumping back into place. The high intensity set continued, with their guitarist jumping from the stage into the crowd, guitar still strapped on, and kids from the crowd surfing to the front.

One lucky fan got to share Bemis’s microphone before security guard ripped him from the top of the barrier. Bemis’s wife, Sherri DuPree-Bemis, walked across the stage to massive cheers and performed a duet “So Good”with him.

Bemis wound down completely by the end of the set, playing three hit singles solo on an electric guitar. The crowd swooned and sang with him on what are arguably the band’s three biggest hits to date, “Wow, I Can Get Sexual, Too,” “Alive With The Glory Of Love,” and, to end the show, “I Want To Know Your Plans.”

Bemis smiled, moved away from the microphone and told the echoing crowd, “This is beautiful.”

They finished the song and the show was over but Bemis jumped in front of the barrier to shake hands with fans.

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