Live Review: The All-American Rejects — The Troubadour, Los Angeles
Mon, 02 Apr 2012 06:57:25
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"This is kind of like coitus," jested The All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter midway through his band's sold out show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles on Friday.
Ritter's sense of humor permeated the entire performance, adding a sense of fun that's been missing from rock 'n' roll for far too long. The singer remained both clever and charming as he quipped in between songs, and it was an added bonus to what already was a hell of a show.
As a frontman, he walks the line between Scott Weiland's towering charisma and Perry Farrell's playful, Dionysian swagger. Nevertheless, Ritter unflinchingly proves to be his own beast, which is one of many reasons why The All-American Rejects remain one of the best rock bands out there.
Strobes flashed blindingly as the band slid right into "Dirty Little Secret" from Move Along. Nick Wheeler's snappy riff resounded flawlessly in tandem with Ritter's hulking bass line, while Chris Gaylor's pounding percussion emanated massive bombast. Holding his bass tight, Ritter crooned out the track's sugary refrain with inimitable character. The first of many cuts from the band's recently released masterpiece, Kids In the Street, "Beekeeper's Daughter" saw the frontman discard the bass and begin to writhe across the stage lithely while nailing each note perfectly.
"Someday's Gone" snuck a middle finger into a shimmering refrain as Ritter told off an ex-lover. "This song's about a fun little romping sex adventure," he prefaced "Fast & Slow" featuring singer Audra Mae. The duo played off each other with sizzling chemistry. "Fallin' Apart" and "I Wanna" thrived on a musical theatricality propelled by Wheeler and guitarist Mike Kennedy's airtight six-string mastery. "Heartbeat Slowing Down" incorporated slippery electronics into a confessional anthem that saw Ritter reach magnificent vocal heights.
"Swing, Swing" elicited a rumbling sing-a-long that felt worthy of an arena. Ritter and Wheeler pulled back for a moving rendition of Kids in the Street closer "I For You". With nothing more than an acoustic guitar, Wheeler strummed out the faint chords tastefully as Ritter poured every inch of his heart into the refrain. It illuminated the group's diversity and talent.
Elsewhere, "Gonzo" embraced the right amount of psychedelica in its tribute to Hunter S. Thompson while "Kids in the Street" fluttered with nostalgic majesty. Everything culminated on "Gives You Hell" which had everyone in the room moving and chanting along. As Ritter might put it, "Kind of like coitus" but really like a great rock show…
Were you there?
See our exclusive interview with Tyson Ritter and album review of Kids in the Street!