The All-American Rejects - Birmingham Academy

Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, My Chemical Romance, etc. etc. All the type of lightweight but fun pop-punk-rock bands that Kerrang readily endorses the moment their first hook-ridden singalong chorus is embraced by angsty teenagers across the land. The All-American Rejects are part of this tradition, their big hit Swing Swing as frothy and catchy as anything delivered by Blink 182 and the like when it was released a couple years back. Since then, they've been quiet, big-time fame eluding them probably due to the fact that they're just not that original. Greenday have taken the template and morphed it into something much more astounding, offering politically thoughtful post-modern punk. The All-American Rejects sing about the usual generic stuff - love, lost love, messy breakups. For this reason, I wasn't expecting much from their live show. However, perhaps I was too quick to write them off.

Opening with Dirty Little Secret, the kind of happy-go-lucky three minutes of pop tailor-made for teen movies, the band rifle through a selection of similar ditties from their two albums. The best track is new single Move Along, an anthemic chorus rousing the audience into a frenzy and getting the numerous teenybopper gals jumping up and down in near-unison. Things slow down for only one track, the obligatory mid-tempo ballad It Ends Tonight. The fast and furious likes of Stab My Back and Night Drive keep things bouncing along however, despite some tracks sounding so similar that they practically bleed into each other. Another annoyance is lead singer Tyson's charmless between-song stage banter, which practically consists of that little word that begins with 'f' every 5 seconds - when the audience largely features pre-teens, this seems very inappropriate.

All in all, though, the band achieve what they have set out to do. They're not an important band whose music is life-changing in any way but, as the enthused reaction to encore Last Song proves, they have a fanbase who wanna get down and dance. There are worse things.

Last updated: 19/04/2018 06:15:11

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