Former the Academy Is... frontman WILLIAM BECKETT is currently on his first solo tour of North America in support of the Walk The Talk EP. He'll be sending AltPress.com sporadic updates from the road; the third update can be seen below. For Beckett's tour dates, head here.
We pulled up to Mexicali Live right on time for load-in--or so we thought. A line was already forming out front, which is where we had to bring in all the gear. The front was… locked. Dennis "Tears In The Beard" Keenan, tour manager extraordinaire, gave the venue promoter a call to unlock the front door for us. We unloaded all of the gear and merch bins on the corner in front of the venue and chilled there for about 20 minutes, awkwardly waiting for the man with the master plan to open the damn door. After we were inside, it was smooth-sailing. Great food, great sound, great show. We stayed in town and got some much-needed shuteye for the early morning commute to Manhattan.
New York City, NY
Busy. Ass. Day. We woke at 7:30 a.m. and hit the road in hopes to sit in the traffic for which we left early. Lo and behold, that gridlocked, beauty-teeming traffic did not let us down. Full-fledged fender-fucking. So far, so planned. I had a photo shoot for Alternative Press with my old acquaintance Jayme Thornton, who shot the last cover TAI had. Awesome, talented guy. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him. I changed my clothes in the middle of 6th Avenue and loved it. Afterward, we drove to Brooklyn to meet up with my good friends Steven Smith and Jonah Bayer for a chat for their new podcast. They ran shop out of this amazing industrial shed that housed a full studio, B rooms, and much to Dennis's delight, an X-BOX. We talked for about an hour about a wide range of things, and I'd have to say it was the best interview/conversation I've had in a long, long time. On the way out, Converse gave me some white Jack Purcell shoes which really help round out my "chill wave" ensemble. Another big-time highlight to the Brooklyn trip was meeting Paul Schneider (Mark Brendanowicz from the first two seasons of Parks And Recreation), who was the next guest on Steven's podcast. I fanboyed a little… after that, it was back in the saddle again towards Manhattan. I stopped by CBS Radio and played a few songs acoustic for Last.FM, and then finally headed to the venue. Upon arrival and setup, I noticed a familiar face: it was Kenny Vasoli whose new band, Vacationer, was playing the late show at Webster after my show. Great to see him. All in all, the show was a fabulous success, and New York remains one of my favorite cities on earth to play. And drink. Did I have one too many?
After spending the night with friends in Queens, we embarked upon the rest of our Walk the Talk Tour journey with bagel-filled bellies, Connecticut-bound. I was very eager to get into Hamden, because two of my favorite individuals on earth live in the area: my filmmaker/novelist friend Nathan Wrann and his amazing producer/activist wife Kim Dalton. We met up after soundcheck for some dinner at a really cool place called the Playwright. I had a smoked salmon salad that was delicious and satisfying, along with a Jameson on the rocks. We raced to the show, which was at this really bizarre/awesome place called the Space. The show was fun, but the highlight , besides Christopher Browder from Mansions joining the tour, who I now love, was a Smiths cover band that was playing next door after I finished my set. I literally caught the last half of the last song, but it was so worth it. All in all, great people, great hospitality.
Jammin' Java, at long last. It's one of my favorite tastemaker venues to play, and the sound/crew there is excellent. Tonight was not an exception. It was the first night I was fully able to watch Mansions perform, and I was really impressed--great lyricist, great stage presence and comfort level, and really cool songs. It's a pleasure to have Christopher out with us. After the show, I stuck around for about two hours signing, talking and taking pictures with everyone who was waiting by the merch table. Exhausted.
Chapel Hill, NC.
Let's just say I had a good time, but Dennis had a really good time…
Our friend DD offered us her beach house to stay at for the day near Myrtle Beach, which was so nice for a little R & R. On the way there though, it was raining pretty hard and then started to hail. Hailstorm in South Carolina, you ask? Yes. The size of pinballs. We laughed maniacally through the entire thing. Once at the house, we immediately plopped down on couches to rest our road-weary bones for a hot second. I then played a fun stageit.com show on the interweb, followed by a long distance Netflix date night with my boo. Perfectly necessary day off. Perfectly.
Hootie's hometown tomorrow night: Columbia, SC.