Let’s be clear about one thing. We’d prefer it if emo didn’t make another comeback. But if it did, Alex Chanay would be the one leading the charge.

The frontman for Maybe Not opened up the Replay with a solo set on Saturday night. Normally, we see him with the whole band. But a last minute opportunity to perform came up, and he jumped on the lineup.

Emo had its run-through in Lawrence, and we’re still a little exhausted from hearing about it. But we’d make an exception for Chanay because he has some substantial talent. His guitar work is exceptional and worthy of anyone’s attention, and his voice is equally provocative. The songs (of course) are emotionally rich without being tiresome. But it has to be his nonchalant confidence that really seals the deal for us. Chanay barely raised his gaze while exhibiting his knack for dry humor between songs. That’s a delicate balance, poking fun with the audience and at the same time flooring them with excellent musicianship. Chanay’s got that on lock.

Here’s a sample of what he sounded like on Saturday:

Words and photo by Fally Afani