Say Hi (formerly Say Hi To Your Mom) was the headliner at the very first show I went to, back in 2006 at the old Paradox. Their sound quality has matured immensely, becoming much more cohesive and balanced. In fact, the band's live set sounds nearly identical to their CD, a talent that can be seen as positive or negative.
The highlight of the show was actually in the audience. A person dressed in an elaborate robot costume had been milling around since the end of PWRFL Power’s set. He wore a large cardboard box, spray painted metallic silver, with another box on his head and a big plastic heart on his chest that lit up when pressed. It was a very impressive costume. The robot seemed like just another festival oddity until Say Hi pointed it out. Lead singer Eric Elbogen said he loved the robot and asked to see the heart light up, with a delighted smile and an affectionate, “Aww.” Then I realized that the robot costume housed a very creative Say Hi fan, who showed his love of the lo-fi band by dressing as one of the many robots that adorn each Say Hi CD cover.
Say Hi just released their latest record, The Wishes and the Glitch, and songs like “Northwestern Girl” already seem to be well-known indie hits. With a set that was heavy on the new songs, as well as many from their previous record Impeccable Blahs and some classics from their breakthrough album, Numbers and Mumbles, Say Hi demonstrated their lasting charm. They sing about spiders and vampires and have giant robots come to their shows, yet their sound was warm and inviting — a quiet before the storm that was Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, who followed Say Hi on the Vera stage.