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original site launched April 1, 2004, .com relaunched October 1, 2004
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|The Academy Is…
December 7, 2005 – Showbox – Seattle, WA
by Ashley “Fuck it, I love The Academy Is…” Graham
William Beckett’s tall, slender frame saunters up to the microphone. “It’s that time of night where there’s just one song left,” he says to the heartbreak of his audience. “But before we go, two things are going to happen. One, I’m going to dance my fucking ass off for you. And two, you’re going to dance your fucking ass off for me.”
From just any 20 year old lead singer with a pretty face and that perfect long hair this sort of statement would be cause for mass groaning, but The Academy Is...'s Beckett has just backed up his boisterous, seeming rock star attitude with a 40 minute set that seasoned pros in the field wish they could still pull off. Though they've been on tour for the past year, it's quite clear TAI aren’t showing any signs of exhaustion.
The obvious star of their show is now Beckett, who has created in just a short time a completely inescapable onstage persona. He’s cocky, but not overly so. He swaggers, but it’s not obnoxious. And when he smiles, the girls go fucking wild. Yes, the hair has been pampered, and, yes, the clothes are as tight as they can be, but the 13 year olds would have it no other way. And though they are likely the reason that TAI is now at this level, they are not necessarily the reason they should be.
TAI’s pop roots may be most comparable to acts like Fall Out Boy, and in fact FOB’s Pete Wentz was instrumental in getting them signed to Florida-based record label Fueled by Ramen, but it is this band’s resounding sincerity that allows them to stand out from the rest of the pack of would-be pop/punk pretty boys.
When I first encountered William Beckett last May he was easily the most honest, straightforward and down to earth 20 year old I’ve ever met. He spoke of his band’s dreams and aspirations with a twinkle in his eye and an ever-abundant passion in his heart that made their trek to success seem completely inevitable. He knew where they were, he knew where they wanted to go, and he was confident that they could get there. His ambition matched his integrity and class and it was easy to see that Beckett was headed for amazing things, and even easier to invest in his infectious and inspired outlook. And sure enough, ever since then, my eyes have been on his band as they’ve climbed their way up the music society ladder.
Though they’ve spent the bulk of their touring days in support of mediocre acts like Matchbook Romance and Something Corporate, this most recent tour has TAI paired with two bands that have been able to walk the line between popular and painful since their debut, The All-American Rejects and Rooney (though Rooney dropped out of the tour days before the Seattle date, being replaced by SoCal’s Limbeck, who must be doing something right because the teenagers fucking hated them).TAI’s first headlining tour begins in February with labelmates Panic! At the Disco and increasingly-popular hellogoodbye, and if the response on this tour is any indication, it should launch the band into new territory, and move them even further toward Beckett’s once-far-reaching goals.
The Academy Is… will stop back in Seattle on March 10 at The Showbox. For more info. on the band, hit up http://www.theacademyis.com.
Want to see what we’ve said in the past? Check out our archived The Academy Is… coverage: