All-American Rejects - SunFest - May 5
Photo by Christina Mendenhall
Better than: Vans Warped Tour
As the sun set and the full moon rose above the West Palm Beach waterfront festival, the All-American Rejects took the stage. Returning for a second year -- they performed back in 2007 -- the band
delivered a sexually charged, power pop goes rock n' roll set.
Currently touring in support of brand new record, Kids in the Street,
the Oklahoma band has come a long way since the days of "My Paper Heart" and
"Swing Swing" -- although both were played during the hour long
set. However, deciding to open with 2005 single, "Dirty Little Secret" was a surefire way to get the crowd in the mood for the All-American Rejects. And that it certainly did. Just about every audience member could be seen bouncing their head, singing/yelling out the lyrics, or forming mini dance-mosh pits with friends. Despite the sweaty,
shoulder to shoulder arrangement everyone was literally stuck in, the vibrant mix of people made things a
bit more interesting. At one point, the security guards forced the
audience to make a path as they carried out a few crowd members.
"Buenas Noches West Palm Beach. You feeling good tonight?" screeched Ritter. "I'm looking at all you girls. And you all look so good."
Wearing a homemade shirt that sad "Hard Snake" on the back, front-man Tyson Ritter danced the thin line of trying to act like a cool, ladies man but actually ending up coming off more like a creepy, misogynist. But, isn't that the job of a lead singer whose fan base is mostly comprised of under 18 girls? Nevertheless, the female audience ate up every last bit of it, especially during the song "I Wanna" when the singer straddled the stage, writhing around like a coiled up snake.
The Cinco de Mayo party was in full effect both on and off the stage that night at SunFest. The crowd adorned in ironic Mexican
pride wear, fake mustaches, and glittering sombreros. On stage, the
colorful and seemingly tipsy Ritter made mention of the band's beer bar
complete with bartender "Juan" in celebration of Mexico.Throughout the set, he'd occasionally speak in broken Spanglish that came off partly playful and a bit obnoxious.
"This is a catchy song about walking into a room and finding the girl you love fucking everyone you know." Ritter candidly explained before going into "Somebody's Gone".
From "Move Along" to "Gives You Hell" and "Gonzo", AAR never hit a dull moment in its set, delivering a healthy portion from its four album discography. This was both surprising and refreshing, considering the band is on the road supporting its brand new record. But, no complaints here and there certainly wasn't any from Saturday night's crowd. Whether it was all the booze flowing through the crowd's bloodstream, or the upbeat rock sounds from the Rejects, the band's set was definitely one of the festival highlights.
The Crowd: Folks adorned in ironic Mexican pride gear, poppunkers, hipsters, college kids, basically the entire melting pot of SunFest
Overheard: An extremely drunk 20-something trying to hit on a girl behind me who asked the girl who she was and what her name was three times.
Dirty Little Secret
My Paper Heart
Fast and Slow
Walk Over Me
It Ends Tonight
Kids in the Street
Gives You Hell
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