Say Anything, Toronto

When I was a teenager growing up in this city the most important thing in the world to me was going to rock shows. I saw a lot of arguably shitty bands during those years, but I also saw a lot of really great ones. Thing is, good or bad, it never really mattered, I was just happy as hell to be there, and to feel like I was a part of something.

That seemed to be the feeling inside the Opera House last Friday when L.A. based indie-punk band Say Anything took the stage. It was definitely a mixed crowd but the cool thing was that while most of the old fans had just graduated to paying for their drinks behind the bar, there was a brand new mob of young fans out in front of the stage who were barely old enough to steal from their parents liquor cabinets, and just beginning to know them.

It’s a funny thing to grow up on a rock band and then re-attend their live show as an adult; you notice things that you would have never been able to see from inside a mosh pit. There are tiny things – a kid crowed surfing, a sea of fists in the air, electricity pumping through your body, body jolting just cause it feels good – that somehow become the reasons why we as teenagers live to be in love with rock and roll, and this show had it all.

Opening their set with a brand new single called “Spider” off their latest album Anarchy My dear, the energy on stage was just as high as the kids were. Besides the fact that they had a giant anarchy flag draped from the rafters and there really ain’t nothing about this band that says anarchy, they still burned through a shit-tone of their old songs and a bunch of the new stuff too. Quite honestly I was more than happy to ride the nostalgia train, and besides, when you’re a teenager anarchy is as simple as finding yourself in a band your parents probably hate.

Juliette Jagger is a rock n’ roll journalist and freelancer based in Toronto. She met the Songs & Cigarettes crew at a Starbucks once upon a time and was mildly entertained.