The Academy Is..., Armor For Sleep, The Rocket Summer, & Sherwood at Amos' Southend, NC, 10.20.07.
It's a rare event when I'm super stoked to see every band on a tour bill, and that was the case with the Sleeping With Giants Tour. I love every band on it, and every one of them put on a stellar show last night.
Sherwood were first up, with their mic stands wrapped in fall leaves and their keyboard adorned with sunflowers. While their keyboardist was by far the most energetic, the band played their usual spot on performance. Vocalist Nate Henry hit every note, even the extended high ones. Their setlist included:
Never Ready To Leave
Learn To Sing
The Best In Me
Middle Of The Night
Song In My Head
While it was a bit sad that there was only one track from Sing, But Keep Going, the slowed down version of "Song In My Head" that they performed made up for that.
The Rocket Summer was next, and Bryce Avary got the crowd moving in no time. He played:
Break It Out
Around the Clock
Do You Feel
So Much Love
So, In This Hour...
Avary bounced back and forth between guitar and keys effortlessly, getting the crowd to clap and dance right along with him. There was one point where he left the front of the stage to go play drums to intro a song. It's cool to see him put into practice all his skills. I wish he could have played a longer set; I can't wait to see him perform again.
Armor For Sleep was the direct support for the night. While less mobile than The Rocket Summer, Ben Jorgenson and company delivered an impassioned set that included some of their best tracks, as well as a few new ones:
The Truth About Heaven
Remember To Feel Real
Smile For The Camera (new)
Dream To Make Believe
Stay On The Ground
Awkward Last Words
The Academy Is... took the stage to the sound of a couple hundred screaming girls, and they played like I've never seen them play before. They had an incredible light show, and frontman William Beckett strode around the stage like he owned the place. When I've seen them in previous years, Beckett used to strut more like a diva, but he has grown into his own presence and performs with heart that is not seen in many modern frontmen. They played many more cuts from Almost Here than I was expecting, which was a pleasant surprise. Songs included:
LAX To O'Hare
Sleeping With Giants (Lifetime)
Bulls In Brooklyn
The Phrase The Pays
We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands
Everything We Had
Down And Out
It was easy to envision this band filling up arenas: they already play as if they are facing that big a crowd. And I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a big fan of Santi. However, all the new songs sounded great live - they fit the band's performance style and are pulled off with flair. This band is going to continue to grow for a long time to come.