“Weekend warriors and our best friends, The writers weren’t kidding but the good things will live in our hearts.” This is more than just a famous lyric from “Down and Out” by The Academy Is… This is what the Almost Here 10 year anniversary tour means to me.
One of my biggest regrets is never seeing TAI before they announced their breakup in October 2011. I grew up in the scene of bands that they reigned in. I grew up on Boys Like Girls, Cute is What We Aim For, The Maine, Cobra Starship, and more. The first tour like that was OP Tour 2009 featuring a Boys Like Girls headliner. I never saw The Academy Is…
Now it is 2015. I am sitting in line outside of The Masquerade in Atlanta, GA on the first Saturday in December. At Riot Fest in September, William Beckett announced the band would continue their celebration of Almost Here with an anniversary tour in the coming months. Fast forward a few months. It is cold, windy, incredibly sunny and smack in the middle of finals for my university. But here I am, sitting in line wrapped in a blanket waiting all day for doors and VIP.
I thought I shed my waiting in line all day/freak out band days at least a year ago. But this is different. My body is on high alert. I am buzzing from head to toe. I am nervous and more excited than I’ve been for a normal concert in so long. I can still vividly picture the Double Door secret show and being barricade at Riot Fest to watch TAI. This is different. This is my home venue.
I’m lucky enough to watch side stage for this show. I am standing right next to Sisky Business and Ian Crawford. The lights shut off, the crowd roars and I hear “Attention” start.
ATTENTION, ATTENTION MAY I HAVE ALL YOUR EYES AND EARS…Beckett sings in a way that only he can. The crowd is singing back every lyric, not just of this song but every song.
As the band continues to play every song off of Almost Here to a room full of fans that waited over four years to experience a moment like this, I am choked with pride, joy, nostalgia and excitement. I may have seen a variation of this set twice in Chicago but tonight is different. Tonight, something inside of me bursts. When Beckett gets to “Down and Out” I literally feel the dark and damp air around me. I feel the crowd when they take over singing “the good things will live in our hearts.” I have never felt an energy like this at a show before.
How is it that I missed out on tour after tour of this back in the day? There are so many what if’s and questions that cannot be answered now. I missed The Academy Is… back in their prime and when they toured at the peak of their success. But here I am ten years after the release of Almost Here. I am side-stage. The crowd is feeding off the energy of the band and vice versa. I see the band smiling and happy. I am overcome with joy to see William smile that way.
The encore is full of other favorites. To this day, hearing the crowd sing back “About a Girl” may be one of the most monumental moments in my show going history. Then the final song of the evening- I hear the opening chords of “After the Last Midtown Show” and I am overcome with every emotion I’ve felt all night. “We were apart of something ours and ours alone. Anywhere was home. We’re almost here again.”
Forgive the use of this and the lyric from Down and Out, but these two lyrics describe the tour as a whole. The good things will live in our hearts after this tour is over. We are all apart of this tour and to many of us, this tour is life changing and monumental. Anywhere is home, home is where this music is. After this tour, it will live inside of us forever. Home will always be the music.
I could continue to talk about William, this tour, and the band for many more thousands of words. But I will leave it at this: I regret nothing after experiencing The Academy Is… the way I did. They broke up and I spent three and a half years forming an incredible bond with William as he worked on solo music. I still listened to TAI all the time. It was always nostalgic for me. I feel so lucky to have been at the secret show and Riot Fest. Those were a different level of experience. But to see them on this tour is life changing for me. The good things truly will live in my heart.