The Bill and Trav’s Bogus Journey Tour was a tour a lot of people were definitely stoked on. With opening spots given to Hey Monday, Carolina Liar, We The Kings, and headlining going to The Academy Is…, there was a good sampling of good old pop alternative at this show. Coming in, I had only thoroughly listened to was The Academy Is… but I was excited anyway because they are definitely one of my favorites.
My show-buddy and I pull up to the House of Blues, Sunset Strip just in time for the doors to open. There was a pretty impressive line but things seemed pretty calm until someone yelled “Cassadee!” and there was some screaming and carrying on. It wasn’t until later that I realized this was the singer from Hey Monday.
I couldn’t have been more excited for Hey Monday to come on because it’s pretty rare that you hear a rock band with a female singer. As they started their first song, Josey, I realized I had seen a band like this before…I felt like I was staring at the brunette version of Haley Williams from Paramore. Even her mannerisms on stage were similar. Let me just clarify, there is nothing wrong with looking or sounding like Haley Williams. I am a huge fan of Paramore, but I felt like it was nothing new. One treat during the set was when William Beckett came out and performed during Hey Monday’s “Homecoming”. It seemed as if they were really enjoying themselves and I, in turn, enjoyed myself. Just goes to show that if you look like you’re having fun up there with your band mates, the crowd will have fun too.
Cassadee whipped out an acoustic guitar for the beginning of “Candles” and the crowd was impressed with her abilities for sure—the guys next to me trying to act cool in the back even perked up a little.
While I feel like Hey Monday on stage resembles Paramore a lot, I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with that. Both are perfectly respectable bands. I enjoyed watching Hey Monday on stage and I would definitely seem them again.
Considering the other bands on the tour, Carolina Liar was absolutely not what I expected as far as image. They were long-haired, cowboy boot-wearing, guys who reminded me of Kid Rock. I didn’t know what to expect from the performance. I was actually pleasantly surprised. I was impressed when the vocals were super clear too, actually reminding me of Brandon Flowers from the Killers at some points. Usually I can’t tell what a band is singing unless I already know the words, and this was a different story.
One song they played, “Show Me What I’m Looking For” was introduced as a song for anyone who is confused. I was also impressed with “Coming to Terms”, a tragic song about lost love. The fact that not all their music sounded the same is something I admired immensely. They gave me something to be surprised about. They finished their set off with “I’m Not Over”, a song that more people knew due to it’s exposure on MTV and Vh1. It is definitely a fun song with a very catchy chorus that people can sing along to and a great way to end the set.
Although I must admit I wasn’t looking forward to We The Kings due to their what seemed like overly-fanatical fan base at Warped Tour this year, they put on a pretty good show. No matter how hard I tried to contain myself, I found my head bobbing during most songs and doing a little dancing of my own. You could definitely tell this band was well-liked by the crowd due to the amount of teenage girls swooning and asking the band members to marry them…very entertaining but not for the faint of heart.
They opened with “Stay Young” which was a fun, poppy song that really got the crowd going. They also included a cover of the Gorillaz “Feel Good, Inc.” to a crowd of mostly confused individuals. I, on the other hand, was quite excited. Some other well-known songs they played were “Skyway Avenue” and the closing song, “Check Yes Juliet”. I must admit, We The Kings put on an entertaining show, jumping around the stage and being crazy.
By the time The Academy Is… came on, I was pumped. The way that William Beckett, the lead singer, struts around the stage gets me every time. They started off the set with “Summer Hair = Forever Young”, a release off their newest album Fast Times at Barrington High to get the crowd going.
I was very impressed with the way they mixed up old and new songs. It was a fear of mine that we wouldn’t get to hear anything from their first release Almost Here but I my fears were calmed with “Slow Down”, “Checkmarks”, “Classifieds”, “The Phrase That Pays”, and more. In addition to the faster, dance-y songs they played, William played an acoustic guitar for “The Test”, which was absolutely amazing, as I think it’s one of the less-known songs off the new album.
Several times during the set, William decided it would be a good idea to get on the barricade and let all the fans grope him. Whether that’s your bag or not, try to avoid getting caught up in the current if you go see them. Chaos will ensue. Even so, the amount of talent these guys have is even amazing live. If you haven’t ever seen them live, do it now; the tour continues until late November.
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