- Lora Olive
Ten years is a long time to be in a band. Rarely does a band even make that far. It's hard to be a band in these times of stars that shoot up quick, only to burn out just as fast, never to be seen or heard from again. The fact that The All American Rejects have been together for ten years and can still pull off the kind of show I witnessed on Tuesday is a testament to how really great they are as a band.
Tyson Ritter has his reputation as someone that takes the piss out on himself, his band and pretty much everyone else, but he does it only out of love. He is a frontman to remember. He came out looking like the sleazy, sexy '70s dropped him on his head -- that perfect balance of ragged, but still well-put together. In short, he was every inch a rock star.
The All American Rejects' biggest singles have the unique accomplishment of never sounding overplayed. "Swing, Swing," "Move Along," "Dirty Little Secret," "It Ends Tonight," "Gives You Hell," all still sound incredibly fresh to the ear, and can still get everyone in the crowd to lose themselves. They played new singles off of Kids In the Street, their March 2012 release. The new songs sounded really great, and the seemed to point that The All American Rejects were in no way shape of form losing their touch, or slowing down in the years to come. Some bands take ten years as their entire career. To The All American Rejects, ten years was just a warm up.
Parachute was the opening act, and thanked the crowd for coming early. Well, if you came late to the show, you missed a pretty fantastic set. This band is really, really great. I can definitely see Parachute becoming huge. Judging from the screams coming from the crowd, Parachute have some pretty fanatical fans here in Indy. They have a bluesy, pop rock sound that blew me away. Why are these guys openers? They can really hold their own, and I hope to see them headlining a tour soon. After their set, Parachute had a meet and greet at the merch table, and you can best believe I was out there. Drummer Johnny Stubblefield was kind enough to give me an impromptu interview.
I remember when Boys Like Girls were everywhere. I couldn't hang out with my friends without hearing, "Oh my gosh, have you heard of this new band called Boys Like Girls? Their album is so amazing!" I stopped hearing about them after a few years, so forgive me for not realizing they still command a pretty large fan base. I was actually disappointed when I saw that The All American Rejects were performing first. I know what they are capable of, and I know they can headline and close a show like no one else. Boys Like Girls? Not so much. Their set was a bit of a letdown.
Boys Like Girls have recently come off of a yearlong hiatus. They've only been a band for six years, including that hiatus. If you're a middle-card band, and you need a year long hiatus from your band after only four years, maybe you need to re-prioritize your life. Though, by the antics of front man Martin Johnson, I can see why someone would want a yearlong break away from him. He seems to think he is a lot more important than he is. Frankly, he was annoying to watch. I like Boys Like Girls; I like their music and their style, but I wouldn't call myself a big fan of theirs, so maybe that's why I noticed how cheesy this guy was, when everyone else was falling all over themselves.
Let's put it this way: The All American Rejects got a bra thrown at them, Boys Like Girls did not. Which front man do you think did his job better based on that? Tyson noticed a sign that said, "Dance With Me Tyson!" and asked the girl to come up and, well, dance with him. It was sweet; it was funny, and it was cool. Martin Johnson asked the crowd who could sing Taylor Swift's part in the gag worthy ballad "Two Is Better Than One," and actually told a girl to shut up because he apparently didn't like her singing. Then, when he did pick a girl to come sing, he guilt-tripped her by telling her that his cousin was behind her and so she better sing well, or he was going to feel bad about picking her and not his cousin.
In my opinion, this guy has major Lead-Singer Disease. Also, he REALLY cannot sing falsetto, but that didn't stop him from repeatedly trying, much to the consternation of my ears. At the end of their set, Martin proclaimed that they were not going to be doing an encore. Unless I'm mistaken, we didn't ask for one, buddy. Also he told the crowd of a sparsely gathered 100 people to crowd surf. Is he stupid? Security seemed to think the way I did and also seemed to be having a coronary trying to keep everyone from falling; the crowd wasn't doing a very good job.I do want to say that the rest of Boys Like Girls seemed like great guys. They played really well, and were great showmen.
While exiting the venue, I was stopped by an attractive guy holding flyers for his band, Jocelyn. Ever on the look-out for good bands, I heard him out. He seemed really sweet, so I gave him five bucks for Jocelyn's EP, To You and Yours. I popped the CD in on the drive home, and was pleasantly surprised. Jocelyn are a really fantastic pop-punk band. They don't sound like a fledgling band, they sound like a group of seasoned musicians. Actually, Jocelyn would have fit quite nicely on the bill for that night.
In a wrap, Parachute: Awesome; The All American Rejects: Show-stopping; Boys Like Girls: Left a bit to be desired; and Jocelyn: A surprising, but great find.