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UnRated Magazine Review: The Metro – Chicago, IL, United States – April 3, 2007
Band Concert Review
The Academy Is...And The Award Goes To...

The Academy Is...And The Award Goes To...

The Metro – Chicago, IL, United States – April 3, 2007

By Dan Hargesheimer

All Chicago music fans are able to brag a little bit more about their homegrown talent as of late. In the last couple of years some major acts have come out of Chicago and the surrounding area. Mostly taking small suburbanite followings and growing those into worldly recognition. The Academy Is has taken a catchy first release and their suburbanite pals and proven to masses around the world that good music can indeed come from somewhere other than California. The last few years have seen the likes of The Academy Is and their label-mates Fall Out Boy grow to such heights that at times even they have to be surprised at the levels to which they've grown. Thanks fellas for showing people all around the world that Chicago has more to offer than just deep dish pizza and the Cubs!

On the same day of their latest, and much anticipated second release Santi, TAI took what was originally supposed to be a night off from touring, and turned it into an amazing, intimate concert before heading out on a much bigger tour. Their new album explores a bit from what they previously released but still shows that The Academy Is can produce some unyielding tunes of the indie rock kind. There has been so much buzz in the music industry regarding their new disc that it seems like more people everyday know that The Academy Is refers to one-of-a-kind band and doesn't only pertain to a bunch of fancy actors and their friend Oscar.

As for the show I saw a great deal of crowd involvement... as much if not more than what most shows have. With their friends and neighbors blurting out every single word to each chorus, lead singer William Beckett let the crowd take the lead many times during the show. This all started during the chorus of the first song of the set, 'The Phrase That Pays,' when the masses took over the singing duties momentarily and bellowed out the words "Oh Doctor, Doctor, I must have gotten this sick somehow..." From that point on the crowd was addicted to helping William sing every chorus from their first CD. While the new disc was well received, the crowd hadn't had time to memorize all the words to the new tunes considering the new record was released earlier in the day.

While the crowd chimed in all night with their undeniably in-tune singing, they stretched their vocal chords to the limit when they screamed their lungs out for 'Black Mamba.' TAI gave the masses a jolt before giving them a breather and going into a few new songs back-to-back. I'm sure some of the people in attendance were on the fence as to whether they wanted to go pick up the new CD, but after hearing the song 'Neighbors' live, they were persuaded to go out after the show and pick up Santi. That song would receive the best ovation for a song off the new disc all night.

Chicago is proud to have a band of The Academy Is' class and caliber come out of their fine city, and they showed that Tuesday night. Some good Midwest cooking can go a long way, so get out and see The Academy Is to subside that hunger until next time they are in your town.

TAI are currently traveling the country on the Honda Civic Tour with some other huge acts including fellow hometown heroes Fall Out Boy, two-thirds of what Blink 182 used to be with +44 (featuring Mark & Travis), Paul Wall and Cobra Starship.

Setlist:

  • The Phrase That Pays
  • LAX to O'Hare
  • Classifieds
  • Slow Down
  • Same Blood
  • Down and Out
  • Black Mamba
  • Seed
  • Neighbors
  • Skeptics and True Believers
  • Almost Here
  • You Might Have Noticed
  • We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands
  • Everything We Had
  • Checkmarks
  • Attention

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