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The Academy Is/Panic! At the Disco
March 10, 2006 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA
by Ashley Graham

I’ve made no secret of my love for The Academy Is, and I’ve taken a lot of shit for it. But so be it, I say! I’ve seen them live four times now, and I consistently leave their concerts feeling more rejuvenated by music than most others I attend. I appreciate the fresh face-ness of it all. I appreciate their fans jumping up and down and squealing. I appreciate the excitement the band still somehow conveys after over a year on the road. The songs are catchy, the personalities are likeable, and I gotta say, I’m really damn proud of the little band I saw playing one of those shitty five-band lineups at El Corazon last May. HEADLINING AT THE SHOWBOX! That’s big. That’s really big. Good work, fellas.

The original idea for this review was to include both the good and the bad of the show (i.e. “NO! Thumbs Down”), but I’ve decided to be resoundingly positive, because positive is just how I feel about this band. So, the highlights of the night follow.

YES! Thumbs Up—To Fueled by Ramen Records, for having actual, dedicated and hard-working street teamers, who not only handed out the goods, but weren’t too embarrassed to take those horrible photos all street teams ask for but never receive.

YES! Thumbs Up—To the young lad with his group of five girl friends who not only knew the words to every single Panic! At the Disco song, but also performed them with more fervor and excitement than anything viewable on stage.

YES! Thumbs Up—To Panic! for adding in that crazy cabaret element to otherwise mediocre music (and by that I mean… their lead singer’s voice). Panic! is what I expect to hear when I look at My Chemical Romance—they are what My Chemical Romance should be, but falls short of ever delivering. But…

YES! Thumbs Up—To The Academy Is for being infinitely (INFINITELY!) more entertaining to watch on stage in every single moment than anything Panic! offers. I could do without some of the obvious rock star moments of William Beckett’s frontman persona, but I know why they are there. The girls go wild for this shit, and it’s not hard to see why—in every moment The Academy Is is worthy of the love and dedication (and accolades!) they’ve received.

And finally… Yes! BIGGEST THUMBS UP EVER—To The Academy Is for dumping that “…” thing from their name. That was never going to stick.


Check the
ARCHIVES to see what we've had to say about The Academy Is in the past.