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Say Anything " a Real Boy" 20 year anniversary sells out the Eastern in Atlanta, GA

On August 3rd, 2004 Punk/emo/alternative band Say Anything released their (soon to be legendary) debut studio album ' a Real Boy.' What all can I say about this record? To say it personally inspired myself and was a huge influence to my musical journey would be an understatement. Me and my weird ass friends used to listen to this album on repeat daily throughout gradeschool. Music was in a different space back then, and this album was really a "I really love it" or an "ehhh, not for me" record. The demographic of people that it did touch was massive, on top of the replay value, making this album stick out amongst many of it's peers' albums(as well as within the scope of the band's overall discography) and, survived the test of time. This was one of those records that nearly defined your music taste, if you were an OG Say Anything fan, people knew what you were about. But could a random Jewish boy from New York actually shape the (at the time) future of what alternative emo music would come to be?

Max Bemis, the main vocalist, songwriter & driving force behind Say Anything, was what really captivated people on this record. The vocal delivery, the lyrics in contrast to the "less than commercial" type instrumentation, the personality...everything. In a genre where it was the thing to do to be "cool," this display of complete self-introspection, level of vulnerability, and overall topics Bemis wasn't afraid to explore was what made this record stand the test of time. I am obviously favorably biased toward this band and record, so when I saw the announcement for the 20 year anniversary tour, I knew, not only that I had to go, but the turnout would properly and unbiasedly reflect actually how well this record help up, and how many people still resonate with it some 20 years later.

Before Say Anything even went on, the Fire Marshall had to limit the amount of people entering the multi-leveled venue. They started a line that even press had to wait in(unfortunately unallowing opportunity for coverage of the opening 2 acts, but aside from the 2nd acts very very odd lyrical choices, I was unable to get to the pit, or even downstairs for their respective sets). This is just another testament to how many people still are touched by this album. Before entering the line of hell, I went upstairs to the rooftop and interviewed a slew of random show attendees in regards to the band, the album, their personal experiences and how they think it holds up today:

The overall consenus (by a mile) was a similar sentiment that I personally feel. Most expressed how much this album and band effected them throughout the years, how touched they were by it, and how this tour felt like one big family reunion for a time (perhaps more simple) where singular albums had the level of impact to be seemingly life changing for an entire group of people who didn't fit in the direct scene; creating a niche concept into a staggering commercial success. Yes, IARB has many songs that didn't become commercially popular, but with the popularity of "Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too" lended that commercial success the album may have needed to pop off a much as it did. & lets be honest, even the non-die-hard Say Anything fans and casual emo night attendees know what the fuck is going down when they hear that infamous phone ring intro. Its a staple that will never go away from the list of music that shaped this particular era of "emo/alternative music."

In conculsion, "how influential was this album to everyone else in that time and space? "Extremely, and "life changing" for many. "Does Bemis still have it?" Absolutely.

"Are thousands of people going to attend & probably sell out many dates of this tour?" I'd bet my money on it(Baby, i've got your money)(sorry, I had to). I'd put this album in terms of influence, alongside (similarly impactful) Taking Back Sunday's 'Tell all Your Friends,' A Day To Remember's "Homesick," Paramore's 'Riot,' or even My Chemical Romance's 'Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.' ' a Real Boy' will live forever in the history books of the alternative scene, shaping so many people and having such a big impact, even to this day.

If you were considering going to this tour, fucking do it. Like right now, stop reading this and go see if there are tickets left. A Saucewithspoons rated "MUST SEE" tour happening right now; all details on remaining tour dates HERE.

"My car & my guitar"

All words & photos by William Caleb Brown(AKA SPOONS)



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