On a dark and rainy Halloweekend eve, I headed over to the West side to check out The All American Rejects and Boys Like Girls at the Crystal Ballroom. The band ascended up the stairs from the green room and over to the stage in full fledged costumes and makeup. Red lights flooded the stage giving The All-American Rejects an eerie glow as they started out with “Dirty Little Secret” and continued with a scattered mix of everything from their Self-Titled album from 2002, such as “Swing, Swing” and “My Paper Heart”, which everyone was singing along to, all the way up to their latest release Kids In The Street. Halfway through the set the skeletal Tyson Ritter jokingly reprimanded the crowd for not dressing up for Halloween, and asked if everyone was scared when they came out on stage. Despite the crowd not being dressed in a festive manner they still rocked out and jumped up and down furiously on the ballroom floor. Near the end of the set Tyson asked the crowd to open up the curtains to see our beautiful city, and made his way over to the windows and sang while overlooking the city. The Rejects closed out their set with “Gives You Hell” with the whole crowd singing along perfectly.
Next up Boys Like Girls started up their set with power pop punk filled energy with one of their hit songs “The Great Escape” from their debut Album in 2006 as well as playing “Hero/Heroine” soon after. The crowd went absolutely insane and fans were jumping at the chance to catch one of the many guitar picks Morgan Dorr and Martin Johnson were throwing out like candy. That devotion and dedication is still somewhat surprising because their last full release Love Drunk was three years ago in 2009, especially after going on a short hiatus a year ago. Despite the short break, new songs from their latest EP were sprinkled in the set and really showed the maturation of the band with their latest single “Be Your Everything” which sounds more alt-country rock than pop punk as well as “Life Of The Party” which really garnered a positive response from the crowd.
All in all theshow was a mix of getting to hear songs from bands that some fans have grown up listening to as well as watching these artists progress into their latest releases.
Words and Photos by Kimberly Lawson. More photos on Flickr.