The Academy Is… @ Vans Warped Tour
First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Tinley Park, IL
Apparently, The Academy Is… has a brand new album coming out August 19th entitled Fast Times at Barrington High. Not sure about you, but I had NO IDEA they even were anywhere close to releasing a new record. I literally found out about it from seeing all the posters plastered everywhere at the Chicago stop of the 2008 Vans Warped Tour. Also, the band – who hails from Chicago (well, the suburbs) – has a new single out there called About A Girl. Who knew? It is definitely NOT being played on terrestrial radio, which is how I usually hear a band’s new song. I was dumbfounded by how unaware I was of the new music that is already out there from one of my favorite bands. Oh well, now I know – and so do you! Keep reading to see more photos from TAI’s Warped Tour set last weekend…
I proceeded to ask two friends of mine (Katie and Yvette) holding their spots on the barricade what About A Girl sounded like since I had not heard it yet. They looked at me with questionable faces and admitted they just weren’t that into the new track. “They sound just like Boys Like Girls now,” my friend Katie told me, obviously disappointed in the song. And when TAI performed it halfway through their set, I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “Yup, Katie was right. Just like Boys Like Girls.” Don’t get me wrong, I have attended many a Boys Like Girls concert and had fun. But man, oh man, besides their big hit The Great Escape, all of their songs are so BORING – BLAHH. I was not too keen on the band’s last album either (Santi). The songwriting is just so different and the songs are not nearly as catchy. Almost Here is golden – I LOVE every song and can listen to the entire record without skipping over songs, which hardly happens these days.
I couldn’t help but feel somewhat let down with the band’s new material. I own the previous two studio albums, but I’m not even sure if this new one is going to be something I invest in. Lead singer William Beckett’s voice cracked a few times during the chorus and I found myself waiting for the song to be over almost as soon as it started! That rarely EVER happens to me when I am watching a favorite band of mine perform. Whatever though, I still had a blast rocking out to their older songs that I still LOVE to sing along to!
Adam T. Siska – Bass
Obviously, The Academy Is… would not be on the Warped Tour if the tour was not happening in the first place this summer. We can thank Guitar Center for making sure that the Vans Warped Tour is just about to conclude its 14th year of being one of the most successful summer tours yet again. Guitar Center hit the road with the Vans Warped Tour, activating two programs designed to provide the artists on the tour with support-based tools that improve their chances for success as pro musicians: the GC Web Lab and the GC Axe Smith. Here is some information about the GC Web Lab and the GC Axe Smith helping to keep the Warped Tour up and running…
The Guitar Center Web Lab, a custom 32? climate controlled internet trailer, provides bands and their crew exclusive access to a backstage wireless web center. Complete with top of the line Apple computers, a satellite-based broadband internet connections, design based software and a knowledgeable rep, Guitar Center’s mission is to provide Warped Tour artists/bands with the tools they need to maintain their online worlds when they are on the road : a service that is especially needed since web access is severely restricted in many of the rural areas where the Warped Tour touches down.
Guitar Center is also proud to provide all bands on the Vans Warped Tour with an onsite professional guitar tech, a.k.a. the “GC Axe Smith”. The GC Axe Smith is where Vans Warped Tour guitarists and bassists come to get their instruments tuned, repaired and ready to rock. From complete set-ups and minor repairs to intonation and truss-rod adjustments, this service is 100% FREE to the artists, underscoring Guitar Center’s commitment to helping Warped bands make the best music possible.
In addition, Guitar Center will serve as the exclusive, presenting sponsor of the Vans Warped Tour video blog. Utilizing the Web Lab as the blogging home base, a GC video reporter will use and include the Web Lab in video content as well as conduct artist interviews within the lab’s “testimonial” set-up. Our onsite Warped rep will also produce weekly video content with artists, conducting musician-centric interviews, how-to videos and more.
Check out the GC Axe Smith and Web Lab @ Warped Tour: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nkx7oI_DQ7A
Check out the GC Axe Smith on Austin TV: http://www.news8austin.com/content/sxsw/stories/?SecID=292&ArID=202608
Even with the let down of new single About A Girl from the band’s upcoming album, Fast Times At Barrington High, I still enjoyed The Academy Is… and their headlining set. I was hoping that TAI’s new material would show progress in the band’s songwriting, but I can’t help feeling like it only got worse…take a listen and decided for yourself. Here are some of the songs they performed at Chicago’s Warped stop:
About A Girl
We’ve Got A Big Mess On Our Hands