The All American Rejects - Manchester Academy 2 - 28.01.09

‘The All American Rejects’ on cd sound like a pop punk band that mix emotional lyrics with fast paced guitar riffs and the occasional solo to mix it up. However on stage, the mood is something different altogether. ‘The Rejects’ (as the crowd would so often shout) ran up and down the stage like a hyperactive rock band from the 70’s. Their guitar rock stances and impressive guitar solos suggest their influences lie not just in contemporary rock pop, as their own brand of rock seems to convey but the music of heavier rock acts from the last 30 years. The opening two acts of the night seemed to confirm this.

 ‘The Upwelling’ seemed to confuse the crowd more than anything. Playing a brand of music that would be more suited at a ‘Killers’ gig, the lead singer would prance in front of the audience wearing sunglasses, in doors, at night and in the winter. All of my prejudgments behind, they played steady rock music with interesting piano lines and combined this with strong vocal melodies. The crowd would barely react however, as they were waiting for something a bit more upbeat and a bit more ‘All American Rejects’.

There is no feeling better than the one that makes hair stand up on the back of your neck, there is no way better to give you this feeling than hear a sell out crowd sing a long on their own as loud as they can. The show tonight gave so many opportunities for this to happen, and the crowd loved it.

Opening with ‘Swing Swing’, one of the bands most famous singles ‘The All American Rejects’ literally shook the room. The sell out crowd would sing a long to almost every word that came from front man ‘Tyson Ritter’ tonight and ‘the rejects’ would show their appreciation through a fantastic performance. Playing a mixed set of songs from the first and second album such as ‘Move Along’, ‘Dirty Little Secret’ and ‘The Last Song’ (an aptly named closer for the show) ‘The All American Rejects’ would display a happiness unseen by many bands on stage today. Front man ‘Tyson Ritter’ seemed incapable of pulling a straight face for the sell out crowd. Even as the band performed a new heart wrenching acoustic song titled ‘Mona Lisa’ from the soon to be released album ‘When the World Comes Down’, he carried on joking and toying with the crowd. Lyrics fueled by personal experiences, entwined with sexual innuendo are the subject of the evening, ‘Tyson Ritter’s Charismatic personality and jokes about ‘5 foot girls with 6 foot mouths’ fit the mood perfectly. The excitement ‘The All American Rejects’ displayed on stage was only made even stronger when the band performed tracks from the upcoming album. The latest single ‘Gives you hell’ went down a storm, its chorus shaping up to be one of the most catchy and sing a long songs of the year, the type of song ‘The All American Rejects’ show no difficulty in creating.

Words: Edward Lewis
Photos: Mark Forrer -

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