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Bayside and Say Anything tickets at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville
Starland Ballroom Sayreville, NJ - 7:00 PM Ages: All Ages to Enter, 21 & Over to Drink

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Starland Ballroom
570 Jernee Mill Road
Sayreville, NJ 08872
(732) 238-5500
Sat, May 13, 2017 - 7:00PM
Ages: All Ages to Enter, 21 & Over to Drink
Doors Open: 7:00 PM
Door Price: $28.00
Onsale: Fri, Jan 13, 2017 - 12:00PM EDT

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Bio: Bayside

BAYSIDE

Vacancy
(Hopeless)


"I can't believe this is my life. I'm pretty vacant all the time."


First things first: Vacancy isn't a breakup album.


Although this collection of songs was born out of the loss of a relationship, that
experience launched Bayside frontman Anthony Raneri on a mission of reflection
and self-examination that makes the band's seventh full-length a case study in
acceptance. "I wanted this record to be more about what's happening to me as
opposed to having it be all about a disintegrating relationship," he explains.
"When I was writing this record I felt like a transient and I think writing Vacancy
really helped me work through an experience that I had never prepared for, let
alone planned on."


Raneri is referring specifically to the fact that he left the security of Queens to
move to Tennessee for two years with his former wife and their child to make
some investments and open a business. However soon afterward he was
informed that she didn't want to return to Raneri's longtime home and mounting
domestic tension eventually lead to the couple splitting up. "I came here thinking
it was a very temporary stopover and eventually decided I had to stay here so I
could be close to my daughter and that hit me really hard," he explains. "I was
living in an apartment in Franklin and I was calling it the Franklin Hotel because I
didn't know how long I was going to be here. I didn't unpack, I didn't hang
anything on the walls. I didn't know what I was supposed to do with myself."
During this uncertain time, Raneri kept himself from going off the deep end by
writing songs. Raneri admits these twelve compositions are especially cathartic
because he was literally "coming to terms with what my life was becoming." From
there Raneri worked out the arrangements with guitarist Jack O'Shea (who also
relocated to Nashville where Raneri settled) as well as drummer Chris Guglielmo
and bassist Nick Ghanbarian to make sure the music was as fully formed as the
concept behind it. Finally, the band enlisted producer Tim O'Heir—whose résumé
includes producing albums by everyone from Sebadoh to Say Anything and was
nominated for a Tony Award for Hedwig And The Angry Inch—who recorded the
album at Kings Of Leon's personal studio.


The result is an album that's undeniably Bayside and is incontestably catchy
without relying on three-chord punk progressions or pandering to their audience.
"It's always been my goal to write songs that are technically complicated but
aren’t off-putting to someone who just wants to sing along," Raneri explains. In
that spirit the album features shredding guitar solos on "Rumspringa (Heartbreak
Road)" and vocal acrobatics on "Not Fair" as well as saccharine pop numbers
like the infectious ballad "Mary" and palm-muted perfection of "The Ghost." "Say
this isn't real, say this was a joke, say there's still space for me in bed because I
can't live alone" Raneri sings on the latter track—and it isn't dramatics but rather
the sound of him searching for his own identity in the face of domestic chaos.
"We were never part of a scene or trend, we never looked or sounded the way
everyone else did and we never partnered up with companies or brands and that
was totally by design," Raneri explains when asked how Bayside have managed
to maintain their relevance for nearly two decades—and in many ways Vacancy
is also his own personal battle cry. This sentiment is especially evident on the
driving, melodic anthem "Enemy Lines" where Raneri compares his emotional
journey to a war where the dust has yet to settle. "I am the last of my kind, just a
Yank in Southern battlefields, behind enemy lines and alone to find out how I
wound up here," he sings with the visceral emotion of a solider steeped in the
trenches yet refusing to surrender. Honesty isn't just a character trait for Raneri,
it's his strategy to stay alive.


Admittedly the emotional stakes here are high but instead of wallowing in selfpity,
Vacancy is evidence that the human spirit can eventually triumph if you want
it bad enough. While the album's final track "It's Not As Depressing As It Sounds"
isn't exactly hopeful, it isn't bleak either. In fact it's as messy and layered as most
human relationships are and embraces that duality instead of running away from
it. "I've messed with confidence and ever understood if you're not afraid than
you're not doing all you could," he intones on the album's inspiring closer before
adding, "I know that there's love because I've seen it myself and I'll be damned if
I can't move because I'm too scared to cross the road."
Sometimes you need adversity to realize that some things are worth fighting for.
Vacancy is the soundtrack to that struggle.

Bio: Say Anything

"Say Anything could conceivably make some of the best records of all time..."
SPIN Magazine

"With great power comes great responsibility." Surely a meaningful quote, but who can take credit for it? Thomas Jefferson? Sigmund Freud? Socrates? Nope. Spider-Man.  It goes to show how something sort of profound can spring from an unlikely source. Any reluctant underachiever can make a difference: nerdy dude who gets bit by a mutant spider or awkward bipolar kid in a vaguely "indie" punk-pop band. That is the premise behind the band and the new self titled record Say Anything - we are in danger and any one of us has the power to save us.  It's a fitting concept for a cult-favorite band who, on November 3rd, will release a definitive artistic statement aimed at the masses.

Like the origin of any unlikely hero, Say Anything was forged from conflict:  a feisty young punk band from Hollywood formed during the birth of "hipster" elitism, always out of place. In that day any group of rich kids with a penchant for the Velvet Underground and enough five o'clock shadow could be paid millions of dollars to be walking billboards for "anti-culture" consumerism. Say Anything shunted pretension, choosing initially to play sincere and nervous rock music and opening locally for the touring bands they closely identified with (The Weakerthans, Rilo Kiley, The Promise Ring). A few years passed and songwriter Max Bemis continued to feel alienated from the collegiate "scene;" He witnessed young rebels devolve into the counter-culture clichés they sought to avoid in the first place, "reverse psychology" victims of homogenized humanity.  By identifying this mass-marketed "hip” lie, Bemis found his  "arch villain" and, imbued with purpose,  Say Anything's music became a new monster - as theatrically pop-based as it was angular and dark. Influenced by bands like Fugazi, The Who, Botch and Smashing Pumpkins, Say Anything dually expressed its irreverence through sing along punk and almost awkwardly confessional Woody Allen-esque lyrics.

The band soon released their rock-musical debut Say Anything…Is a Real Boy on Doghouse Records, garnered a cult fan base, and then entered a partnership with RCA Music Group. They earned a niche of their own, more relatable than sometimes high fallutin' "indie rock" bands but more intelligent than the youth oriented "emo craze." A cathartic live show began to attract thousands of kids a night. Say Anything became unusually critically-lauded for such a pop-based "punk" band. Bemis's openness with his bipolar disorder increased awareness of the disease's affect on musicians and led to him creating a close, respectful relationship with Say Anything fans that has endured their success.  Their sophomore double record In Defense of the Genre affirmed they weren't leaving fans behind despite the "hype machine" they'd been placed in. Say Anything's first two records went on to sell several hundred thousand copies and the band became an underground rock fixture rapidly leaking into the mainstream.

So now what of the good fight?  Had their cause fallen by the wayside of the normal mechanizations of the music business?  After his tumultuous early twenties, overcoming an abusive relationship and a struggle with mental illness, Bemis was finally able to clear his head. He even fell in love and got married. Informed by this spiritual awakening,  he finally sat down to write a record  that would encapsulate Say Anything  while at the same time naturally appeal to a broader audience. Recorded early in 2009 by acclaimed producer Neil Avron (Everclear, Linkin Park, Weezer), Say Anything's self-titled record is almost undeniably the one they'll be known for, highly accessible but  replete with dark, sardonic lyrics and  musical twists.

It feels like the record the band has been destined to make: one that your Jonas Brother worshipping 12 year old sister and your quarter life crisis Arcade Fire fan big brother can both somehow enjoy. The record explodes with the gnarled, chunky chords of its fierce opener "Fed to Death," defining the band's crusade against both nihilism and fundamentalism.  The Clash-meets-Queen single "Hate Everyone" cheekily captures the first stage of personal renewal: waking up on the wrong side of the bed.   "Do Better" is an orchestral do-good-feel-good anthem for the mentally perverse.  "Mara and Me" finds Bemis declaring to fight his alienated nature over a frenetic Mike Patton-eque musical landscape replete with mathcore flourishes, circus music and a "surf" breakdown. "Property" tells the story of the world's worst boyfriend, skewering modern gender politics and serving an evil 50's doo wop love song over a punk rock beat. "Crush'd" satirizes Justin Timberlake and Lil Wayne, while at the same time evoking a sweaty, Jewish Coldplay.  The proverbial hooks keep coming all the way to an epic resolution, the "Hey-Jude" meets Minor Threat hymnal "Ahhhh....Men."   The record tells YOUR story: it's both a strange romantic epic and a call to arms.

Like Spider-Man, Say Anything is a bunch of skinny, weird dudes who have been given a gift; the privilege to speak their minds in the venue of mass culture. They aren't the type of band to take that for granted. Making music, despite being a rather silly preposterous enterprise, CAN actually affect massive change. There are wrongs to fight against:  society eating itself, the influence of a corporate controlling power, the death of TRUE morality or even one person feeling their will to live slip away. This album is a weapon for that fight and clearly Say Anything wants you enlisted, laughing like a lunatic and dancing all the way.

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