2015 marks the ten year anniversary of a few landmark records in the emo/pop punk genre. One of those records is The Academy Is…’s Almost Here. After breaking up in 2011, The Academy Is… decided to celebrate the album’s 10th anniversary by playing it in it’s entirety at Chicago’s Riot Fest in September. The success of that appearance prompted the launch of a December tour in which the group would bring the anniversary shows to a handful of cities across the US.
On Sunday night the tour made a stop in Boston, MA at the House of Blues. After a stellar opening set by a Los Angeles band called PARTYBABY, it was time for The Academy Is…to make a long awaited return to Boston. As expected, the group played Almost Here in full, from start to finish. Perhaps the loudest cheers came for the third song of the set, “Slow Down” one of the group’s most popular tracks. Following the album set, The Academy Is… returned for a 5 song encore that took fans through their back catalog. “About A Girl” is perhaps the single the group are best known for, and during the encore brought cheers and sing-a-long vocals from almost all in attendance.
Frontman William Beckett’s stage presence was in top form, with high energy all night. Beckett’s voice however showed signs of aging, as some of the higher notes were difficult for him to hit. As could be expected with any band who hasn’t played together in 10 years, there was a bit of rust to shake off, but the group did so as the night wore on, looking more comfortable on the back end of the set. Dealing with the rust from the time off was done with humor and without losing much from the set, the album portion of the night felt a bit hurried, but the fans who have been desperate to hear the material for years didn’t seem to mind.