Once upon a time in years long ago there lived a band called The Academy Is… who existed in harmony with other Fueled By Ramen bands such as Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and Cobra Starship. Sadly, those are times of old and The Academy Is… has since broken up leaving frontman and lyricist William Beckett on his own.
After flying to Chicago to watch William Beckett play a holiday show two years ago, I was due for another William Beckett show. After having gone out to support Hellogoodbye and Relient K in July of last year, William finally made it back as a headlining artist this year on his What Will Be Tour and brought Jillette Johnson along for the ride.
I wasn’t aware that the House of Blues in San Diego had a side stage. I’d been to the one in LA but never the one in San Diego until I came to see William Beckett. I hung outside in the patio area while the opener played and I waited. The front of the tiny stage was already packed with fans staking their claim for when Mr. Beckett came to the stage. I actually caught William who had come outside to watch the show and said hello. I was super excited to see that he brought back the bandana in his outfit that night. If you ever watch old The Academy Is.. videos, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.
After the amazing Jillette Johnson finished her set, he took the stage. It was a great mix of new songs, old songs, and stories. William is an excellent storyteller and had the audience laughing after regaling us with a story from his youth in which he was the new kid who came to school fully dressed in his favorite athletic team’s sports apparel and was challenged to a basketball game by the resident school big shot. I’m sad to say the story ends with him losing after scoring a three point shot. However, it’s the wonderful blend of stories, humor, nerdyness, and songs that make him such a great entertainer. While I do miss him having a band and free to do his mic stand antics, I suppose this will do for now. As Kristen said of his show at The Hotel Cafe, he’s “the next Butch Walker” and I couldn’t agree more. No more compromises. What you see, is what you get.
Check out some of his tunes below!