I had the pleasure of seeing my all-time favorite band, Saves The Day co-headline with The Get Up Kids on June 8 at The Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale, Long Island. For some reason along the years, I never saw STD, probably because I was either too young to attend certain shows or I had some sort of conflict on the date they were playing. So I amped myself up to finally see them live even though I kept hearing from previous attenders that “Saves The Day is just so old now” and the show can’t be compared to their Through Being Cool days. This I could understand but I continuously reminded myself that it would be a blast and my excitement never ceased.
The Crazy Donkey was packed but my friends and I were able to get a spot standing right in front. Just several minutes later, the curtains opened (what, curtains?) and Saves The Day stood before us. They opened up with high energy “Firefly” off of Stay What You Are and following was “Shoulder to the Wheel,” a classic song from Through Being Cool. A great start to what would be over an hour set. So many albums and songs to choose from, what was coming next?! I was pumped.
I had a great time singing along with my friends and Chris Conley, the lead singer and only original member left in the band. The newbies played the old songs like they were their own, my favorites consisting of “Anywhere With You” off of the album In Reverie which currently stands in the #1 position of STD albums for me, “The End” from the dark, angry, more punk album Sound the Alarm, “Sell My Old Clothes, I’m Off to Heaven” on Ups & Downs, a beautifully mixed album with songs ranging in genre from punk to acoustic that reminds me specifically of my days in 8th grade belting out these songs in the car while parents drove me and my friends to the mall, and also of attending a school function, Acoustic Café, where students can pick songs to perform for attendees, and “Sell My Old Clothes” always being one of them. Much nostalgia. Other favorites included “Cars & Calories,” “This Is Not an Exit,” “Can’t Stay the Same,” “Freakish,” “Eulogy,” “Nightingale,” “Sound the Alarm,” an old acoustic song “3 Miles Down” from their very first album Can’t Slow Down, one of my absolute all time favorite songs by STD “Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots,” the underrated “A Drag in D Flat,” and an appropriate closing with “At Your Funeral” which prompted a large number of kids to crowd surf.
Well that’s right, they played 26 songs ranging from their first album to their new unreleased Daybreak album, coming out September 13, 2011. From my knowledge, this album has been done for at least a year and the band has been trying to find a label to release the album on. Yet alas, the label Vagrant has set the date! Granted, the newer albums by Saves The Day don’t come close to Through Being Cool, which was the first album I heard by them back in the day that got me hooked, but I have to admit, I think Daybreak is going to be better than I originally expected. Their last album, Under The Boards is straight up too depressing for me to listen to sometimes with the exception of a few songs including “Can’t Stay the Same” and “Get Fucked Up.” However, the tone of this new one is supposed to be quite different and the final album of a trilogy starting with Sound the Alarm, followed by Under The Boards, and concluding with Daybreak. (You can read more about this here where Chris explains the meaning behind his songs and the trilogy. It’s beautifully written and I highly recommend reading it, even if you’re not a fan.)
Keep Albany Boring writer, Andrew Franciosa, thinks the show the previous night in Clifton Park at Northern Lights was boring and that Saves The Day’s performances should stick to the earlier albums only, a notion I can’t say is a terrible idea but I love songs that are all over their discography. After at least 10 years of touring, I’m sure anyone would be worn out and have some difficulty delivering like they used to, but what about the crowd? Co-headlining band The Get Up Kids didn’t seem to radiate nearly enough energy for the audience to come alive again with the exception of a friendly pit during their last songs. I was there more for Saves The Day, who surprised me and kept me moving the whole time. (I later found out my friends and I were practically the only people dancing.) Are we just blind and in denial that one of our favorite bands is on its way out, or is everyone else just aged, unable to let loose and channel their teen years to have a fun time with a great band. (I’d love to declare I’ll still be enjoying shows as much as I do now in 5 years, but who knows?! Maybe I’m just still a baby, living up my last few months as a real teenager.) Of course everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and review of a show, but I’d have to disagree with anyone who said Saves The Day didn’t put on an exciting show with a good setlist at The Crazy Donkey. No, not every song I wanted to hear was played, not even close. But I’m very pleased with what I heard, it all sounded great, I had a damn blast, and I haven’t sweat that much at a show in a long time. At the end of the day I’d still say, “Woo!”