Columbus, OH, The Basement, July 13, 2005

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman


Unless one finds themselves over 14 and under 20, the record label Fueled By Ramen may not mean much. But for that age group, this independent label is probably more important than any of the majors combined. This is the label Jimmy Eat World got started with; Autopilot Off made a record with Fueled and Fallout Boy is not the biggest draw at the Warped Tour. But perhaps the best band in the bunch is five Chicagoans called The Academy Is ...


The Academy Is ... played The Basement in Columbus to a less than large crowd, but those who were in attendance were able to see a band that uses almost sophomoric lyrics in a graduate student level. With lines such as "You kiss me like an overdramatic actor, starving for work with one last chance to make it happen," vocalist William Beckett uses the over dramatization in a very under utilized way. This band is able to be appealing to the teens while still holding a credibility and understanding of human nature to speak to twenty-something's.


Although more than once on their debut record, Almost Here, The Academy Is ... sings the displeasure with music critics and journalists, The Academy Is ... seems to actually be a little more vulnerable than most bands. And it is that vulnerability that helps the band provide such a relatable source or music.

Live, The Academy Is ... packs a wallop of energy-laden pop rock with the vocals of Beckett almost outweighing the groove provided by the band. Before there was the Academy, there was a rivalry between Beckett and guitarist Mike Carden, and that rivalry almost seems to be a friendly competition now of sorts, as both the stage presences are felt through the set. The just about an hour set was performed at a great pace with the tempo helping the crowd to keep bouncing without getting beaten down too quickly. Although Fallout Boy and Yellowcard may be getting much of Fueled By Ramen's attention, The Academy Is ... is quickly going to rise to the forefront of the label, as this seems to be the band that can break out of the teen mold and make it with college kids and even parents. Topics discussed on the record are deep, but are done so with an ease of understanding that doesn't take a degree to figure out. The Academy Is ... is getting ready to head out on the Warped Tour, and after that, who knows. But if the band returns to Columbus, it is a must see show. Already have played Little Brothers and now The Basement, it is time The Academy Is ... breaks out, and catch them if you can.

William Beckett
AJ LaTrace & William Beckett
William Beckett
William Beckett
Mike Carden
AJ LaTrace