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The Academic – The Troubadour – Los Angeles (A Concert Review)

The Academic – The Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA – April 29, 2023 – Photo by Larisa Jiao © 2023

The Academic – The Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA – April 29, 2023

Irish indie rock band The Academic delivered an electrifying show to a packed house who eagerly cheered them on with open arms at The Troubadour in LA.

The quartet (consisting of front man Craig Fitzgerald, Matthew Murtagh on the guitar, Stephen Murtagh on the bass, and Dean Gavin on the drums) highlighted their range with masterful garage rock anthems and introspective mellow ballads from their sophomore album, Sitting Pretty.

The Academic – The Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA – April 29, 2023 – Photo by Larisa Jiao © 2023

Released in February 2023, five years after their successful debut album, Tales From The Backseat, it’s clear that the band has given a lot of thought to entering adulthood and navigating their 20s, looking for direction in times of uncertainty, and gaining a stronger sense of self—especially in our rapidly changing world. They bare that vulnerability in Sitting Pretty with pensive songwriting and experimental sounds, including 60s pop, 80s rock, synths, and punk. It makes them truly excel at encapsulating a nostalgic, yet modern and mature sound that never forgets their roots.

The Academic quickly got the audience swaying to the beat with their catchy song “Let Go Of My Heart” as well as “Don’t Take It Personally” with the retro tones shining through—before effortlessly transitioning into hits from Tales From The Backseat, including “I Feel It Too” and the upbeat “Television.”

One of the most memorable parts of the set was when the entire room was chanting “blame it on the sun, blame it on the sunlight” from The Academic’s hit song “Girlfriends” with hands up in the air—as the aptly positioned disco ball at the center of the venue spun around in a shimmering yellow light. The warmth and enthusiasm of that performance was surely felt by every member of the audience.

Whether it’s Craig’s signature leg dancing or the band’s energetic interactions with the crowd, The Academic has a unique grandeur in their performances that come alive on stage. You can’t help but join in on the fun.

Larisa Jiao

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: May 1, 2023.

Photos by Larisa Jiao © 2023. All rights reserved.


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