AP Fall Ball 09 Tour – The Academy Is / Mayday Parade @ Irving Plaza

The Academy Is… / Mayday Parade
The Alternative Press Fall Ball ’09 Tour


On Wednesday night (Nov. 11, 2009) I attended the Fall Ball Tour with co-headliners The Academy Is… and Mayday Parade at The Fillmore, formerly known as Irving Plaza.

I arrived to the show purposely tardy, with the intention to only watch the co-headliners.  But I was able to catch the entire set of Set Your Goals.  Not familiar with their music, I can only say that they have a variety of music styles blended into their fast-paced and energetic songs.  Their live performance was uneven, and I’m not a big fan of the two-singers format.  While they had a decent amount of people singing the words to their songs, I don’t think they have what it takes to graduate from being openers to headliners.

One problem I have with co-headlining tours is that I never know which band is supposed to play first and which band will play last.  But as the buzz in the crowd grew with anticipation, Mayday Parade finally walked out onto the stage and went into their incredibly catchy hit “Jamie All Over.”  This is the first time I’ve seen Mayday Parade perform and I was quite impressed by their energy and extremely poppy hooks.  The lead singer, Derek Sanders, was doing his best Adam Lazzara (Taking Back Sunday) impression by swinging the microphone and moving around the entire stage.

Mayday Parade’s pop-punk excellence was showcased in sing-a-long choruses from tracks like “Kids In Love” and “Anywhere But Here.”  In the middle of the set, Sanders got intimate with the audience and performed “Miserable at Best” while playing the keyboard.  The result was the majority of the crowd singing with Sanders, sometimes drowning him out.  Finally, Mayday Parade performed their closer, “Jersey” which had the crowd jumping and moving around non-stop.

While I wasn’t entirely familiar with Mayday Parade’s songs, there’s no doubt they put on an entertaining show and have a very good following in the pop-punk genre.

I was disappointed to see that during the switch-over from Mayday Parade to The Academy Is, that almost half of the crowd exited the venue.  But that didn’t stop everyone who stayed to give it their all during the set.

The Academy Is with frontman William Beckett were very professional in the way they took the stage and performed their set.  Their sound was tight and Beckett was full of charisma, packing a powerful voice and encouraging the crowd to bounce to every song.  Opening with “Almost Here” and “Neighbors”, The Academy Is displayed their indie-rock sound with a hint of fun as they played their songs with smiles and passion.

Songs like “About a Girl”, “Classifieds” and “Summer Hair=Forever Young” were the crowd favorites, along with their very catchy and angry hit song “Checkmarks.”  When they performed the meaningful “40 Steps”, dedicating the song to all of their fans old and new, the audience showed their appreciation by listening to the ballad with their undivided attention.  And for their finale, The Academy Is played “Slow Down” off their first album.

Overall, the show was full of enjoyable performances by a few of the scene’s best pop-punk acts.  I’m glad that after my high school era with great pop-punk bands like The Starting Line, The Ataris, and Brand New playing “Your Favorite Weapon”, that the genre is still thriving.


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