April 20, 2006

All-American Redux

We had the pleasure of seeing the All-American Rejects again last night, this time at the UIC Pavilion. The band played a killer 35 minute set. I'm telling you, 35 minutes is just about perfect. You play for that long and it's nothing but great songs beginning to end, as was the case with the AAR last night. It wasn't just me - Pixie had a blast and she is a huge AAR fan as well.

One bizarre sight seen: When the band went from former mega-hit "Swing Swing" into current mega-hit "Move Along" all ten thousand people went nuts and about half of them held up their lit-up cell phones and swung them around above their heads. I guess that's what kids do at concerts these days instead of using lighters. Welcome to the 21st century.

The band and crew were really good to us as well. These guys are selling more records than I can even conceive and they don't have any kind of attitude or ego about it at all. Down here in the small pond - or mud puddle, really - where I make my living I've seen bands that sell 20,000 records running around acting like something out of Sunset Boulevard but the AAR cats have their heads on straight. These guys are smart, plus they have the advantage over all the flavors of the moment on MTV because they can consistently write great tunes. I think they're just going to keep getting more popular; we're definitely pulling for them over here at Weasel Manor.

On top of everything else, AAR guitarist Mike Kennerty played me a great demo he'd done for one of my new songs. Mike will be producing my new record whenever I can manage to find somebody to fund it, and he's been doing these amazing demos of my new stuff while on tour. I can't tell you how cool it is to be working with somebody who is putting this much time and effort into ideas for arrangements and production.

So it was a real pleasure getting to see their set and hang out with them, and like the giddy fan I am, I had to take a photo with them. There's a story to this one involving a guy from Australia who likes to have his photo taken with punk musicians while giving the thumbs up sign (he also does a pretty good weblog here) (scroll down to the end of one of the reviews to see his patented thumbs-up rating system with photos featuring my former Screeching Weasel co-hort and all-around prince of a guy Mass Giorgini). So this is my contribution, featuring the wacky "Hey, they're giving me the thumbs up" twist. Yeah, I know it's stupid. So what. Photo by the ever-patient Pixie, who never fails to humor me when I get another bright idea.


Posted by benweasel at 08:36 AM