Ever since breaking into the mainstream in 2003 with their single, “Swing Swing”, the All American Rejects, four small-town boys from Stillwater, Oklahoma, have had consistent success. They've sold over six million of their singles, “Dirty Little Secret," “Move Along,” and “Gives You Hell." They're currently touring performing songs off their latest album, Kids in the Street, which brought them to the 9:30 Club Sunday.
AAR has been off the radar for a few years, but only because they choose to give themselves time to write and grow in between records.
“A lot of bands don’t do that, and a lot of bands aren’t around anymore,” lead singer Tyson Ritter said. “Being four Oklahomans really has a lot to do with the fact that we were humble enough not to chase after our last song on the radio. We collect ourselves and make sure we grow naturally and don’t say in some sort of trapped adolescence.”
The band was especially captivating on stage; Ritter's constant bouncing evoked Mick Jagger.
”I feel like it should be a visual show; you shouldn’t just come to the concert and see guys staring at their shoes," he said.
After the show, the band signed autographs for those who bought their album at the venue and treated all of their fans with the charm of southern gentlemen. The band attributes their humbleness to a lack of cool.
“I think the fact that we’re not cool makes us not assholes,” Ritter said. “We haven’t been doing this for ten years because we’ve been in the back banging chicks and railing coke. We’re the guys that come off stage and we criticize each other openly because all we care about is nerding out on music and the show.”
It definitely showed. Looking around the venue, I saw fans of all ages wearing old and new concert T-shirts. Some parents were there with their teenage children, and there were even some women there hoping to pounce on Tyson at the end of the show. (It didn’t surprise me when they all asked for hugs at the meet and greet.)
All in all, the All American Rejects were very charismatic and appear to not take their success for granted.
“We are a band that chose to show our music from the beginning, and sharing it has only helped us. As long as that continues, we’re always going to be playing D.C.” Well said, Tyson.