This past Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Academy Is tour at their 9:30 Club stop. Despite the hordes of brace-faced fourteen year olds swarming the venue, I have to say it was an amazing show.
What better band to open a show than Hellogoodbye? If you’ve seen either of this band’s videos, you know they’re hilarious and know how to have a good time. I walked in the club to see a stage adorned with full-size cardboard figures of Darth Vader, Paris Hilton, and Beyonce. I think there was a piñata or two also. Kind of weird, but just the thing I’d expect the band to do. My prayers were answered when they came on stage and opened with “Call and Return,” quite possibly the most adorable song ever created. Then the band began to go throuh their set, which included an interesting new song. It’s not what you’d expect of a typical Hellogoodbye. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but it mostly consists of Forrest Kline on guitar, singing a (for lack of a better word) bluesy love song. Unfortunately, due to techincal difficulties, Hellogoodbye’s set had to be cut short, leaving songs like “Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn” unplayed. Regardless, Hellogoodbye was entertaining for the short time they were on the stage.
I don’t really have much to say about Acceptance. By no means is this band horrible; they played a solid set. Also, Vocalist Jason Vena has an amazing voice, giving the band the edge that distinguishes them from others in the same genre. However, musical creativity is the band’s main problem. I’ve heard the guitar riffs used in many of their song played by countless other rock bands in the past. Overall, I’d say Acceptance is a good band to bring on tour, but I wouldn’t listen to them otherwise if you wanted to hear something new and original.
Their bassist also unexpectedly launched himself into the crowd at the end of the set, leaving several middle school girls dead.
Alright, now onto the reason many of the kids went to the show: Panic! at the Disco. I was really excited to see this band, considering the success of their album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. There is nothing negative I can say about any song on the album. I just hoped they would be able to maintain the energy of their album during their live show. Fortunately, Panic! didn’t disappoint anyone. The Las Vegas quartet opened with “Only Difference Between Martrydom and Suicide Is Press Coverage,” to which the crowd went wild. But the great thing about Panic! is that they created an album from which any song would make the crowd go wild. Just about every kid in the room knew the word to every song the band played. The set was near perfect, except they didn’t play what I saw to be favorites such as ‘London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines,” “Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks,” and surprisingly they didn’t play the ever-so popular “Time to Dance.” Nevertheless, I was very pleased with my first Panic! performance ever and I’ll be sure to catch ’em next time they’re in town.
Now time for the main act: The Academy Is… To be honest, I came to the show thinking Panic! would steal the show. The moment TAI took the stage, I knew I was wrong. This being the second time I’ve seen TAI, I thought they would give a similar performance to their last tour. But they played with twice as much the energy and enthusiasm as last time. I couldn’t stop smiling and screaming the words to every song through their entire set. Vocalist William Beckett knew exactly how to connect with the crowd, getting them to sing along with every word of every song. The band also played some new material, including a song called “The Fever” (which will be released on iTunes, along with an acoustic EP, on Feb. 21st) which sounded amazing. Based on this song, I’m quite sure that anything TAI releases in the future will be nothing short of impressive. They also played every song off their full-length Almost Here (one of 2005’s best releases), opening with the steady rock-track “Checkmarks” and ending with another crowd favorite, “Black Mamba.”
For those of you who already have tickets to the rest of the stops on this tour, you are sure to be pleased. If any of you live in a town where for some reason the show isn’t sold out yet, I suggest you buy a ticket immediately! You won’t be disappointed, I promise.
…and for those of you haven’t learned, it still isn’t cool to yell “freebird” at a concert.
Here are a few songs from each band. Enjoy.
Panic! At The Disco:
But It’s Better If You Do [download or die]
The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage