All photos: Emily Cohen
The night started out with Illinois native William Beckett playing to a significantly smaller crowd than he was used to back in the days when he fronted The Academy Is. Nevertheless, the crowd was no less impressed with the new tunes he graced the venue with. Standing alone on the stage accompanied only by his guitar and trusty MacBook, Beckett sang as many songs as he could off his new EPs in the short time that was allotted to him for his set. Every once in a while, he stopped and interacted with the growing crowd as fans entered the venue.
William Beckett was quickly followed by Seattle rock band, The Classic Crime. Their stage presence was made known as soon as the lights went on, breaking out in a rock and roll start to their set. While some of the crowd had never heard of this new age rock band, there were plenty of fans present to sing loud enough for the band to step back from the mic and the song still be sung, and quite beautifully in fact. After some of their hardest rock songs, the band decided to slow it down for the rest of the set; they successfully pleased their old and new fans alike.
As the road crew for The Rocket Summer set up the sparse stage, the crowd eagerly awaited for lead singer Bryce Avary to take the stage. The stage lights dimmed as Avary took the stage. He started out on stage alone, looping the drums into the beginning song of his set, leading to the bass, keyboard, and a theremin, finally switching to his guitar as his tour band took the stage to join him in his opening song. The set was filled to the brim with enthusiasm, not only from Bryce, but also equally from the adoring crowd.
Trying, and succeeding, to make the show as personable as possible, Avary came into the middle of the crowd to sing his upbeat power beats multiple times. Combining tracks from his entire collection, including his new record, Life Will Write the Words, which he recorded entirely himself, Bryce lit up the stage, even taking requests from the audience. Although not always being able to fulfill the desires stating with slight embarrassment, “You know, just because I write and record these songs doesn’t mean I always know them” which was met by laughter and understanding. After leaving the stage for a short water break towards the end, Bryce came back, impressively chugged a much-needed bottle of water to the crowds’ chants of, “chug, chug, chug.” Avary was able to end his long set with just as much passion and gusto as he began, ending on a beloved song from one of his first albums, Calendar Days.
The stage was packed up and some of the crowd had left, each of the three bands came out and met with their fans. Giving each fan their own time and conversation, the bands breathed a fresh new life into the typical thought of seemingly distant musicians, proving they were grounded and truly grateful for the fans that have stuck with them throughout their years of performing.
The Classic Crime
- William Beckett: