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Max Bemis, River City Extension @ Maxwell's 2.20.11

Max Bemis solo (Photo by Brianna Pflug)

Max Bemis

By: Kiani Angus-Torres

River City Extension and Max Bemis of Say Anything were stripped down to their strings last night for a sold out acoustic performance at Maxwell’s in Hoboken.  River City Extension’s frontman Joe Michelini (guitar, vocals), was backed by only two of the usual seven members of his ensemble; multi-instrumentalist Jenn Fantaccione with only her cello and guitar in tow, (she’s known to pick up brass as well), and drummer Mike Costaney on a kit.  The pared down trio won the crowd over with several tracks off their most recent album, “….And the unmistakable man” including the infectious “Something Salty, Something Sweet,” and “Friends And Family,” and finished off their high-energy set with their heart-felt unreleased “Ballad Of Oregon.” Although the room was filled to the brim with Bemis fans, there was a buzz of wanting more as the crowd cheered on the Toms River natives.

The main event was Mr. Bemis, whose devoted fans chanted “Jesus Penis,” as he took to the stage.  The Say Anything frontman, and songwriting mastermind, led the crowd in pop-emo sing along for an hour.  The session showcased Bemis’ lyrical talent for vivid imagery and raw emotion, as he wailed and clashed against his acoustic guitar.  Max Bemis’ hold on the audience was tight as he led them in a clever audience-participation version of the song “Ahh, Men” in which the crowd sang the chorus “Can I lie with you in your grave?” while he performed spoken word over their melody.  In a candid moment toward the end of the set, he admitted this solo tour had been one of the best experiences of his life, and finished off the night with a powerful version of “Alive With The Glory Of Love,” which left the crowd reeling as they sang together “Alive with love!”  

Reader Comments (7)

good to see this dude is still coasting off Say Anything's first album
February 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbeebs
Wanted to see this, but it was sold out :(
February 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Why no mention of "Slumming It With Johnny" "Colorblind" or "A Walk Through Hell" ? Best parts of the night !
February 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha
He played "A Walk Through Hell"? FML
February 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave
can a brother get a setlist?
February 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFresh Prince
They chanted "Jesus Bemis."
February 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeagan
February 20,2011.
Set List:
Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too
Baby Girl, I'm A Blur
Slumming It With Johnny
Every Man Has A Molly
Do The Dohnk (Painful Splits 1)
I Want To Know Your Plans (IARB Version)
Skinny, Mean Man
I Never Knew You Were So Lonely (Painful Splits 2)
The Church Channel
Hate Everyone
A Walk Through Hell<3
Ahhh... Men
Alive With The Glory Of Love
February 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

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