The All-American Rejects
Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
April 15, 2009
As of April 15, 2009 it had been more than two years since I had last seen The All-American Rejects live in concert. I didn’t realize how much I missed them and their music until watching them perform at the Aragon Ballroom the other week. Man, their songs are so catchy and happy! I was immediately put in a giddy mood as soon as the foursome from Oklahoma launched into the first song of their set. Coincidently, the last time I had seen their show was also at the Aragon Ballroom way back on December 16, 2006.
Not much has changed with the boys, besides their songwriting and sound. Not sure about you, but when I first heard “Gives You Hell,” the lead single from AAR’s latest album When The World Comes Down, I had no idea it was the new song from The All-American Rejects! The band’s new sound, which I describe as more acoustic singer-songwriter and less power-pop, took me by surprise when I heard “Gives You Hell” on Chicago’s top AAA radio station 101.9 FM The Mix. The only confirmation that eradicated any doubts I had about whether or not that song was by AAR was lead singer Tyson Ritter’s voice.
More photos of The All-American Rejects after the jump!
It appears that Ritter’s nasally vocals have not changed one bit. However, the songwriting duo of Ritter and lead guitarist Nick Wheeler have taken their band’s sound and shifted it into another genre. When The World Comes Down has The All-American Rejects shying slightly away from their ominous power chords that put them on the map of the pop-rock world of bands such as Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, blink-182, The Academy Is…, etc. The quartet’s new album features some pretty mellow slow jams driven by acoustic guitar and raw vocals, making AAR more comparable to Jason Mraz or Ryan Cabrera. Take a listen for yourself and let me know what you think. Below are some of the songs I remember from AAR’s show the other week (in no particular order)…
My Paper Heart
Dirty Little Secret
It Ends Tonight
Top Of The World
Gives You Hell
Mona Lisa (When The World Comes Down)
The Wind Blows
The Last Song (acoustic encore)
Nick Wheeler (lead guitar, backing vocals)
*Not photographed: Chris Gaylor (drums)
Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos: