The Academy Is...
One of the most anticipated tours every year is the Alternative Press tour. This year the fans get more than they asked for – there is a Fall AP Tour on top of the annual Spring one. This fall tour themed “Fall Ball” features The Academy Is…, Mayday Parade, Set Your Goals, The Secret Handshake and You Me At Six.The Toronto stop of the tour took place on the Black Friday of November 13th at The Guvernment.
You Me At Six
The opening act was British pop punk quintet You Me At Six. In spite of the distance, You Me At Six has a lot of fans in Canada. The band played songs from debut album Take Off Your Colours whichincluded “Jealous Minds Think Alike”, “The Truth Is A Terrible Thing”, “Save It For the Bedroom” and “Kiss and Tell” from their latest EP. Surprisingly, lead singer’s Josh Franceschi does not really have an accent when he sings. The band also covered Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, which has a noticeable heavier British accent compare to Gaga’s version. The band closed off the set with hit single “Finders Keepers” that got the crowd jumping. The band is releasing its sophomore album Hold Me Down in January 2010 on Slam Dunk (UK) and Epitaph (North America).
The Secret Handshake
Set Your Goals
The AP Tour has been known to feature a variety of bands. The second act was The Secret Handshake, an electronica/pop project of frontman Luis Dubuc. Having TSH in Toronto is half a hometown show – Luis used to live in Toronto when he was a teenager before moving to Dallas, Texas. He never fails to mention his connection to the Canadian fans. Luis played guitar on the first song “All For You” before completely focusing on getting the crowd dancing through the set with catchy songs like “TGIF”, “Saturday”, “Summer of 98” and the cover of Skee Lo’s “I Wish”. Surprisingly (and disappointingly) TSH did not cover Miley Cyrus’s “Party In The USA” on this date, instead the band covered Cascada’s “Everytime We Touch” which still did its job and got the crowd jumping and clapping along.The stage was definitely too small for the San Francisco punk sextet Set Your Goals. Singer Matt Wilson came out first and danced with a blownup doll while other members in prom attire joined the stage. Opening the set was “Summer Jam”, “The Fallen…” and “Look Closer” from the band’s latest album This Will Be The Death Of Us. In the middle of the set, the band shed their formal attire and sweat the stage. Closing off the set was “Mutiny!”
The second to last band was co-headliner Mayday Parade, who recently released the much anticipated sophomore album Anywhere But Here. When the crew brought in the platforms on stage, there was no doubt it would be a great set. Mayday Parade played “Anywhere But Here”, “Kids In Love” and “The Silence” off their new album, on top of the audience favorites like “Jamie All Over”, “Black Cat”, “When I Get Home, You’re So Dead”, “Jersey” and “Three Cheers For Five Years”. The band also played the slow ballad “Miserable At Best” with lead singer Derek Sanders on keyboards, which received a beautiful singalong from the crowd. Mayday Parade is a very energetic band, especially guitarist Alex Garcia who spends no time standing still and constantly rocking out on the riser doing guitar spins.
The Academy Is...
Finally, sporting a faux-dress shirt tee and suspenders ensemble, The Academy Is… frontman William Beckett took the stage and the band kicked off the last set for the night with “Almost Here”. The setlist concentrated on the band’s older creations from the Almost Here era, which came as a pleasant surprise. On top of the old material, TAI also performed “Sputter”, which is featured on the band’s latest Lost In Pacific Time EP. In addition to being a soulful vocalist, William Beckett is a charmer on stage, flashing smiles everywhere. On the either side of the stage, guitarists Michael Guy Chislett, Mike Carden and bassist Adam Siska mainly focused on their duties with occasional interactions with Willliam. The Butcher was killing it at the back doing backup vocals while drumming. Closing off the night were “Summer Hair = Forever Young” and “Slow Down” where William Beckett dives into the embracing crowd.
Text and photos by Jessie Lau