The All-American Rejects
The Refectory, Leeds
September 24, 2006
It's been a landmark year for A-AR, with their "Move Along" album having garnered enough popularity to sanction a second round of UK touring, this time of more cities and bigger venues - all of which have sold out.
Arriving on stage to the orchestral dramatics of "Can't Take It", they burst into last single "Dirty Little Secret", but it's almost an anti-climax with Tyson Ritter's microphone not allowing the vocalist to be heard. Probably averted, they play an old favourite in the shape of "My Paper Heart", which is soon followed by a rocking "Top Of The World". Though the sound is somewhat muffled, it doesn't stop the enjoyment of an audience who bounce and sing their way through every track. Ritter, sounding a little like an evangelist from the American south, also proves to be comfortable talking to his fans. Taking a blown up condom floating around the crowd, he jokes to the girls that they should never believe a guy if he claims that his 'protection' doesn't fit. Noticing the sweat dripping off everyone in the room, he and the rest of the band then decide to spend the next few minutes throwing a considerable number of bottles of water to those in attendance.
With refreshments administered, they continue to blast through highlights of their latest record, including "Stab My Back" and a fantastic "Dance Inside", on which Witter proves he has no problem reaching higher notes. Latest release "It Ends Tonight" needs no introduction and is the sing-a-long moment of the set, before the pace is picked up again in "Swing, Swing". The only minor gripe is that the encore lasts just two songs, "Night Drive" and "Move Along", but both are performed to the high standard witnessed all evening and prove the band to be an encapsulating and enjoyable live experience.
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