The Academy Is...
The Regency Ballroom
San Francisco, CA
December 29, 2015
When I first started to become pulled into the music scene, one of the first bands I was ever introduced to after the standard "here, listen to From Under The Cork Tree twenty times" sessions was Almost Here by The Academy Is.... Ironically, I wasn't a huge fan. It took the release of Santi, the band's second studio album, to really get me hooked. By the time they rolled through the Bay Area when I was fourteen, opening up the Honda Civic Tour in Concord for Fall Out Boy, I fell hard for Almost Here.
It's very hard to believe that it's been ten years since that iconic album was released and devoured by fans over time. A short few years ago, The Academy Is... announced that they would be bringing the chapter that is their band to a close, after three incredibly successful albums. The saddest part about the whole ordeal, however, was that there was not even one "goodbye" show to close out the entire chapter.
Until just a few short months ago, when whispers of a one-off reunion show buzzed around the Internet. The band reunited at Riot Fest to perform for "one last time". After that performance, I received a tip from someone that the band would be coming back to perform a full tour, and would be making one their coveted stops in the Bay Area.
Fast forward to December 2015, two days before the year is set to end, and we are able to close it out with a bang. The Academy Is... made their glorious (and sadly, last) stop in the Bay Area to perform Almost Here in its entirety. Front to back, no questions asked.
To kick off the entire evening, the sole opening act, PartyBaby kicked things off. I was actually rather happy that TAI decided to bring out only one opener. I think the band was pretty aware that this was going to be a big tour, but it also put all of the attention on just that one opening band, rather than on two or three others. No one was competing, if that makes sense.
Having heard next to nothing from PartyBaby beforehand, I was very impressed with their set. There were a lot of Weezer-like overtones throughout their songs. It was 90s-type rock-and-roll with a 21st century twist. I spoke with one of the guys in the band after the set (really nice dude) and he told me that they would be making their way back through the Bay Area in the future. I'm hoping next year, as I'd love to come and check these guys out again.
When TAI finished performing Almost Here, the band stepped off stage only to return moments later and play a five song encore composed of tracks from their other two albums, Santi ("Bulls In Brooklyn", "LAX", "We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands) and Fast Times at Barrington High ("About A Girl", "After The Last Midtown Show"). As vocalist William Beckett jumped in the crowd at the finale, screaming the words "We're almost here again/right here right now", you could sense the sincerity. You could feel the band holding onto every last word, taking in the entire moment with the crowd. This truly was a momentous occasion, and a perfect way to end the chapter that (was) The Academy Is... Thank you for the memories, gentlemen. We'll see you next time.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.