Say Hi performed at Denver’s Lost Lake Lounge on April 16, 2014. Photo courtesy of the artist.
By Stephanie March
Maybe it was the smoke of the wood-burning fireplace, or the un-rated version of “Desperado” playing on the television behind the bar, but the DIY atmosphere of Denver’s Lost Lake Lounge was perfect for the Casio-heavy Say Hi on Wednesday.
Eric Elbogen (the one and only member of Say Hi) began the night on his beautiful Fender jazzmaster, playing with the opening band Big Scary. After the opening set, he quickly switched gears into his solo stuff project Say Hi. Tackling topics from vampires to robots, Say Hi’s music takes on a childlike wonder with the world. Elbogen even wears a tie that he says wards off all evil, which based on last night, seems to work. Simple and charming with his laptop and keyboard, Elbogen told the modest crowd on Wednesday that he hasn’t toured as Say Hi in three years.
With the wait over, Elbogen charged the crowd up with synth-pop gems: “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh. Blah Blah Blah, Devils” and “Take Ya Dancin.” The layered and computerized indie-electro tracks turned the the small room — draped in black sheets — into a dancing mass.
And this party wouldn’t have been capable without the help of Michael Fetrow, who joined Elbogen on stage during “Sweet Sweet Heartkiller.” The crowd had been a little lifeless until Elbogen invited Fetrow — an excitable fan — on stage to match his party attitude and seizure-like dance moves to Say Hi’s bouncing rhythms.
Though he didn’t play much new material, Elbogen had copies of Say Hi’s upcoming album “Endless Wonder” (out June 17) available to purchase at the show. He teased the forthcoming album a big by singing “Such a Drag,” the first single off “Endless Wonder.” The song may not be about vampires or robots, but the strength of the guitars bring a refreshing feel to the next phase of Say Hi. Other new material “Like Apples Like Pears” offers a danceable feel to Elbogen’s music.
Earnest and personal, Say Hi’s music has a comforting feel. His upbeat sound doesn’t really match his “I wanna suck your blood” lyrics, but it still comes together. And the crowd agreed, cheering Elbogen on before an encore that included: “Let’s Talk About Spaceships” and “Super.” Elbogen’s music is proof that sometimes the most relatable thing in the world is a guy who goes to his parents basement, digs out an old keyboard and shares his feelings.
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Stephanie March is a Denver-based writer and new contributor at Reverb.