Monday, November 9, 2009

Showboating with the All-American Rejects

Last night the bf and I went to see Anberlin, the All-American Rejects, and Taking Back Sunday at the House of Blues (HOB) at Showboat. As we were rushing to the theater (as always, we were late), an elderly woman in a wheelchair and her husband stopped us to ask who was playing that night. The bf and I exchanged glances before he said, "Three bands, the All-American Rejects, Taking Back . . ." The woman stopped him. "What kind of music is that?" Looking pained, he muttered, "Well, it's modern . . ." Even then she still seemed to be considering it (she must have had compted tickets), so I burst out with, "It's punk." "Oh," she said, realization dawning as her husband quickly wheeled her away. I didn't mean to be so abrupt, but I guess sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

When we finally arrived at the entrance, I was carded. I was flattered and insulted all at once. I used to just get insulted, so I guess the flattery part means I'm getting sort of old. The HOB layout is cool; you can sit, above the stage looking down, or stand on level with the stage in a sort of clubby atmosphere. We stood, which was hard on the feet but more fun. We came in at the end of Anberlin's set but got to hear a Smiths cover and "Feel Good Drag," which was all I cared about anyway.

The All-American Rejects were up next, which was weird because I thought Taking Back Sunday would be opening for them, not the other way around. They came out to a recording of Grand Funk Railroad's "American Band," which was clever and set the tone for a high-energy performance. They opened with "Move Along" and went on playing everything we knew and some stuff we didn't. The guitarist sported an entertaining 80's Brit-rock mullet. The front man, Tyson Ritter (only know his name because I just Googled the band; apparently he was in The House Bunny with Ana Faris also.), was running around, all shirtless and sweaty, and people were moshing and body surfing. Then Tyson announced that Anberlin had had all their gear stolen in an AC parking lot and could we please take up a collection? I have no idea if this was true or not, but they passed a bucket and raised more than $500. More craziness followed, and just when I thought it was all over, Tyson said, "I wake up every evening. With a big smile on my face. And it never, ever feels of place . . . " before launching into their current hit single and therefore most anticipated song. I've never been a huge Rejects fan, but that was probably the best show I've ever been to. All the songs sounded great, and (at the risk of sounding like a cheeseball), they really knew how to get the crowd going.

As for Taking Back Sunday, not so much. We didn't know any of their songs, and the lead singer was this schlubby guy who thought it was cool to repeat everything like a robot. It wasn't. All in all, though, it was still a great night.

I'm thinking another concert may be the way to go for New Year's Eve. I love living just over the bridge and having the option to do fun stuff that I may not do if I lived somewhere else. But I wouldn't want to live in AC. Too dangerous. Much better to be in quaint, sleepy Brigantine so I can hide from the bright lights when I want to, which is most of the time :)

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