Got the opportunity to go to WBRU’s Birthday Bash last night at Lupo’s featuring Saves The Day and Say Anything, with Motion City Soundtrack headlining .

It would be an understatement for me to say the main reason I was going was for Say Anything, but the fact that Saves The Day was playing too became icing on the cake. I hadn’t listened to any of the recent STD (haha) records, but I most definitely have a fondness for their old work.

When it comes to Say Anything however, I am a huge fan having devoured their last three records, listening to them on a consistent basis. I’m not sure why I gravitate towards Max Bemis and crew so much, but I love their stuff with a passion with this being my third concert of theirs in the last four years.

Saves The Day was awesome, although I only recognized the majority of their old songs (as previously mentioned). The atmosphere was diverse, with a lot of twenty-somethings and teeny bopper tweens (for Motion City) mingling within Lupo’s/The Roxy/The Strand/etc. On the main stage a giant, over sized Say Anything logo (the logo from their most recent album) loomed overhead like an enormous bed sheet, giving the entire scene a low budget “indie” vibe.

I finally got inside after fighting through Providence traffic around 6:40pm, just as Saves The Day dug into their set. While I hate paying for any parking downtown, I had to concede there was no way I was parking anywhere on the street thanks to events at the Civic AND Convention Center at the same time. Victory was mine as I found a $6 parking lot at the edge of Washington Street, the cheapest in Downcity. I paid the guy with a $20, and made my way toward Lupo’s while bundling up. When I got inside and went to grab my ticket, I realized the old man had given me $24 back for change. I actually MADE money by parking! Whoo!

After enjoying a moderately priced Bud Light for nearly $5 (!), I decided I might as well stick to the hard liquor since it was only an extra $2. After mixing it up between old and new, STD closed their set with “At Your Funeral” popping the crowd huge. Once they left it was pretty clear the majority of people there were waiting for Say Anything.

There was ten minute lull between sets, giving me an opportunity to hit the head. With a line nearly out the door for the Ladies Room, girls began piling into the Mens Room looking for the cleanest stall. It felt like some twisted game in “The Amazing Race”, with the winning party getting to pee in peace.

Say Anything was amazing, with Bemis having the crowd eat out of his hand from the get go. They played a mix of their three most recent records, throwing in “Color Blind” for fun. At the midway point Bemis brought out Saves The Day’s Chris Conley for the duo to combine for their side project Two Tongues. Following that Say Anything built to their finale closing things out with “Belt”.

Motion City Soundtrack was the Main Event, and to me expectations were high. I’ve only listened to the bands most recent effort and frankly I wasn’t convinced. With Saves The Day and especially Say Anything already bringing down the house, this crew had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately for me they just couldn’t cut it, all things considered.

Their lead singer was sick and losing his voice, prompting him to engage the crowd in “sing-a-long” for most of their set. This would be fine if it wasn’t a giant concert that I just paid $30 for. Honestly if you knew you weren’t feeling well, you should have bowed out so one of the other bands could go on last, keeping the crowd hot throughout. I left with about 20 minutes left in the show, mainly to avoid traffic but mostly because the band just didn’t impress.

Overall a very good time, and I look forward to the next time I can see Saves The Day, as they return to the area to do an acoustic session December 8th in Cambridge!