Earlier this year, the Academy Is… reunited at Riot Fest in Chicago and announced that they would be going on a final tour for the 10-year anniversary of Almost Here. Fast forward to December 22 in Milwaukee at the Rave and the Academy Is… is on the last few dates of their final tour. Although they weren’t a huge part of my life—aside from discovering them and Almost Here by hearing “Slow Down” on some random kid’s Myspace profile in middle school—it was a bittersweet night for many as the people here had come to see one of their favorite bands reunite to play an exceptional, and arguably pivotal record from beginning to end, but for the last time ever. The Academy Is… brought along opener Partybaby, who definitely entertained the crowd with their fun stage presence and even warranted a few laughs with lyrics like “I feel good when you feel bad/I won’t be happy until you’re dead/If you don’t feel like dying, I can wait a long, long, long time,” but overall had a good set.
The Academy Is… took the stage at 9:45 p.m. to play Almost Here from beginning to end. The stage lit up with blue light and the band came out and took their places. Frontman William Beckett came out last and instantly captured the attention of everyone in the room with a single light on him for the opening lines of “Attention.” The band’s stage presence was dynamic, and Beckett was determined to interact with the fans as much as he could. For a band on their last tour, they definitely made it a point to go out with a bang and make it memorable for everyone involved.