Review: The Say So at The Hi-Dive, 6/9/12

Tom Murphy
The Say So at The Hi-Dive. Slide show: The Say So at the Hi-Dive.

THE SAY SO @ HI-DIVE | 6/9/12

The Say So ended its release for show for The Romantic last night at the hi-dive with one of the best songs from its previous release, Something Like Wild. "Fools" was replete with the melodic, triumphal tone that is part of the band's overall sound, but also with what separates this band from some of its more obvious peers in indie rock and that's with inventive rhythms. For this song, Chris Beeble's slides and stops on the bass proved to be a kind of springboard/backbone for the melody. And in the end, all four musicians brought their sounds crashing together for a chaotic sound of escalating intensity that splintered apart back into the song proper.

Tom Murphy
The Say So at The Hi-Dive. Slide show: The Say So at the Hi-Dive.
The Denver band's set started off with a black cloth draped down across the entire front of the stage and a sample from a movie and then part of someone's head was back projected so that there was a silhouette that seemed to sing. When the introductory vocals faded out, the drape slid down and The Say So went into "American Girl." Banks of lights were set on the back wall of the stage to the left and right of Rob Spradling's drum set. Toward the front of his kit, on either side, were square-ish, illuminated columns to match those at the front of the stage, which reached to the ceiling. Coupled with spotlights set in the middle of the room at the stage and floodlights at the floor, it looked like a lower budget version of something Cut Copy might do.

Tom Murphy
The Say So at the Hi-Dive. Slide show: The Say So at the Hi-Dive.
Performing most of its new album, The Romantic, The Say So put on a strong stage show with songs that didn't stick to one specific set of sonic tricks, as is too often the case with a lot of pop bands.

The bass tone and heavy beat in "Oh God" felt like something you'd experience at an electronic music show and even more so when abstract bass swell introduced "Letters to a Cynic." During "Modern Revolver" it sounded like Sean Palmer made some, to us, indiscernible mistake because he let out an "Oops" but really didn't miss the beat.

Perhaps the band took this as a cue to step things up a bit because the song, reminiscent in the middle part of The Police's "Roxanne," was the strongest performance of the night. Partly because at one point, the pace slowed down, Beeble and Spradling went to either side of the stage and hit the drums on stands as each drum pulsed with an inner light as Palmer sang out a chorus of "Just like the ocean."

Tom Murphy
Eldren at The Hi-Dive. Slide show: The Say So at the Hi-Dive.
The show started off with Eldren. Apparently Josh Lee, the band's multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, had some immigration issues that prevented him from being there, and with the band generally, into some unknown time in the future. But the remaining four members made the best of it.

Performing a cover of Pink Floyd's "Time" could have been a misguided gesture but Eldren pulled it off convincingly, even the evocative guitar solo in the middle. The band's original material sounded like an odd mixture of Supertramp, Styx and Todd Rundgren. Certainly some amalgam of '70s rock with modern sensibilities.

Toward the end of the set, Eldren brought up its friend Tara to fill in some of the vocals Josh would have done, and she said, "I know I'm not Josh but at least we're five now." She added well to what was already a solid vocal interchange and harmony between Nasir Malik and Tyler Imbrogno.

Review and more photos are on the next page.

Location Info



7 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Music

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