by Vasilis, contributing writer
Where does a band go after releasing three emotionally tormented albums, a conceptual trilogy packed with alienation, fear, turmoil, painful self-discovery, and eventual acceptance? For Saves the Day, the challenge provided just the fresh start they needed. Front man Chris Conley, the band’s only remaining original member, described the completion of the trilogy to Punknews.org as the moment the band “finally found peace”. Daybreak, the trilogy’s final piece, faced many problems with members leaving and re-recordings, but the finished product received solid reviews and re-introduced the world to the band. The trilogy spanned 7 years and countless line-up changes but in the end showed that the band had a lot more left in the tank.
Saves the Day – Self Titled Album
With the trilogy behind them, Saves the Day asked fans to help fund their upcoming, self-titled album, which resulted in a hugely successful Pledge campaign. This allowed the band to write the album they wanted to while giving fans the opportunity to witness cool, intimate shows where played their classic early albums in return. The resulting album felt like a dream fulfilled for Saves the Day, who finally have a solid core line-up. The tracks are short and punchy with poppy melodies mixed with the old, aggressive feel of earlier Saves the Day music and a noticeably brighter outlook on life. The album combines the eclectic variety of In Reverie with the classic Saves the Day sound of Stay What You Are, with songs like “Remember”, “The Tide of Our Times” and “Ain’t No Kind of Love” feeling like a breath of fresh air for the band. With a new album in tow, the group embarked on a long-awaited headlining tour where they asked fans to weigh in on what songs they wanted to hear.
Hostage Calm – Music Hall of Williamsburg
So on September 26, when the tour came to Brooklyn, the anticipation was sky-high as The Music Hall of Williamsburg was the earliest show to sell out. Connecticut-based punk band Hostage Calm opened, quickly marching through tracks from their latest full-length, Please Remain Calm,along with old fan favorite “War on a Feeling”. The band has been touring tirelessly in support of the 2012 album, and while their crowd was small, the dedicated group still showed up to sing along to every verse. Evan Weiss’s acoustic/punk project Into It. Over It. followed, sporting a full-band look that contrasted nicely to Evan’s usual solo acoustic set-up. While Evan’s witty, insightful and self-aware lyrics can often get a bit swallowed up in the full band setting, his stage presence and unmatched energy were still front-and-center. Evan and his backing band were on point during the 14-song set that spanned the entirety of the band’s catalog with some solid choice cuts, including “Humboldt”, “Heartificial”, and “Discretion and Depressing People”.
Into It. Over It. – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Saves the Day finally stormed the stage at 10pm, sporting a setlist that featured 30 (yes, 30) songs that touched on the band’s entire career. After opening with “Remember”, the first track off their new release, fans were whipped into a frenzy when the band launched into old pop punk favorite “Shoulder to the Wheel”, and there was no shortage of somersaulting stage divers and crowd surfers in the audience. The reaction to each song off Through Being Cool or Stay What You Are was nothing short of pure bedlam, but the band only became more invigorated to see the response they were getting. At times the crowd’s singing overtook Chris Conley’s nasally vocals as the show became a celebration of the band’s entire career. Fans showed some of the newer songs some love as well, displaying the devotion and appreciation to their entire catalog.
Saves the Day – Music Hall of Williamsburg
The great thing about Saves the Day is they always change their setlist up, so no two are the same. While the band would never leave off classics like “Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots”, “Firefly”, or “The End”, every show is an opportunity to hear songs like “Through Being Cool”, “Jukebox Breakdown”, “Get Fucked Up”, “Undress Me”, and “Bones”, some lesser known tracks that show off the band’s impressive range. By the time they ended with popular b-side “Sell My Old Clothes, I’m Off to Heaven”, fans were not ready to go, and neither was the band. Returning to the stage to play the hauntingly catchy “At Your Funeral”, the band busted out two more rare tracks to end the night with “Banned From the Back Porch” and “Jodie”. Finishing with the closer from their 1997 debut album Can’t Slow Down felt fitting, as the band paid tribute to their past while the fans rewarded them with the energy and passion they have earned. In the end, the set proved to be one of the most memorable I have ever witnessed.
Saves the Day – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Never ones to rest, the band also played a secret after-show at St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn at 1am, playing through their 1999 pop punk magnum opus Through Being Cool. The band’s tireless work ethic, passion, and love for their fans and their own work is something to be admired and praised, and with so many people packing their shows on tour it was a just reward for another solid album and a fantastic live show. It appears stepping into the time machine has been the best thing Saves the Day could have done.