Last night I caught The Academy Is show at Roseland for their NYC stop for the Bill & Trav's Bogus Journey Tour. The Academy Is' 80s-themed tour name goes along well with their newest album name, that plays off the 1982 Cameron Crowe film as well, called "Fast Times at Barrington High." Barrington High is where Adam Siska (Bass) and William Beckett (Vocals) went to high school.
Adam and William shared some high school memories with me earlier that day in an exclusive video interview for On The Verge. While they sometimes felt like outsiders in high school, they warmly remember tapping into their love for music and allowing that to help them cruise through their years at Barrington High. Well that, and for Adam, cutting class helped too. I had to agree with him there.
After a long day of interviews with the likes of us, Sirius Radio, MTV and Seventeen, the guys went on to play an adrenaline-rushing hour-plus long set at Roseland. I recalled when I sat with William for On The Verge that day he was collected, insightful and dare I say... sweet. When I finished the interview, my impression of both William and Adam was that they were incredibly down to earth, smart, sweet guys. When I saw them on stage last night, they were rockstars: animated, sexy and fully playing off the crowd. There was but one moment of the show that reminded me of the guys I had met earlier that day: William is gearing up to play Winter Passing on acoustic guitar and gets hit by a full-cup white bra. While a typical rockstar (think 80s metal) might've picked the bra up and checked it out before draping it over his guitar neck, William instead tossed the bra to the back of the stage and said, "What are you gonna do now? You threw your bra on stage..." I laughed.
Back into rockstar-mode, William seemed to have down a perfectly choreographed mic-flipping, swinging and throwing routine that drove the fans crazy. All this while passionately belting out hit after hit - from the new loves like, About A Girl to old favorites (and apparently Butcher's favorite song to play live), Classifieds.
Enjoy the photos below (for you Butch fans, notice his old guitarist Michael sporting one of the new Butch Walker tees from the Sycamore Meadows tour). And of course, get ready, On The Verge is coming soon...