All-American Rejects / Wakefield / Limbeck - live in Detroit (Cover Artwork)

All-American Rejects / Wakefield / Limbeck

live in Detroit (2003)

live show

Originally the All-American Rejects show was scheduled for the Shelter in Detroit.  I was excited to see a band that I thought had a good amount of talent in such a small venue.  A local radio station picked up the show and began promoting it and moved it upstairs to Saint Andrew's Hall, which is about 5 times bigger.  Needless to say, I was a little disappointed, but I kept my tickets and checked it out anyways.  I guess that was a mistake.

First up was a band called Limbeck.  After they kicked into their first song, I was thinking that this was going to be a good night for music.  I enjoyed their set, it was no-nonsense pop-rock that didn't rely on gimmicks or whining to get the point across.  It was a little too poopy to be considered good rock and roll, slightly reminiscent of music that would play on a sitcom or something of the sort.  Nevertheless, I thought they were a decent opener and set the stage well for the evening, or so I thought.

Any momentum that the night had musically by Limbeck's solid set was shot to hell by what would take place for the remainder of the evening.  Wakefield took the stage and started into a pop-punk blitz that eventually left me nauseous. Supposedly, their drummer was in Good Charlotte at one time, and it showed.  This band smelled like any of those other MTV pop-punk bands, Simple Plan, NFG, etc.  Not what I was hoping for.  With that being said, Wakefield was very good at what they do.  They took a quiet, sullen crowd, and had the majority of them into the music by the end of the 3rd song.  This energy continued throughout their set, and most of the crowd ate it up, but wasn't my thing at all.  Needless to say, if you are a fan of MTV-style manufactured pop-punk, you would probably enjoy Wakefield.  As they left the stage I was hoping that AAR could restore my evening with a good set.

That didn't even come close to happening.  AAR took the stage and right away I knew it was going to be awful.  Just the way they carried themselves throughout the set said "rockstar", which they aren't, considering 4 months ago nobody had heard of them.  Tyson's vocals were below sub-par, he didn't necessarily sound off-key, but just really not in sync with the music. They basically played every song off of their self titled album, and nothing more, which left for an extremely short set.  I think they went off after 40 minutes and played a 2 song encore, which left the length of the show at about 45 minutes.  If they had been playing well, it would have been 45 good minutes of music, but since they butchered every song that they played, I was kind of happy that they played such a short set.

One thing that especially bothered me was the fact that they pump in the samples (bells, ect) through the speakers, instead of playing them, which I found to be cheesy.  I found out afterward that they have never really done that, but I was expecting more from the band that seemed to be very talented.  I would have rather they not use the samples, a la Jimmy Eat World.  To me, that shows some skill if you can make your songs sound good live without the samples from the album. 

I would have to say that this was one of the worst concerts that I have ever been to, definitely in the top 5.  If it wasn't for Limbeck's above-average set, I probably would have wanted to jump out in front of traffic after the show. 

If anyone has been a fan of the All-American Rejects since before they gained their mainstream popularity, you probably will be disappointed with seeing them live now. I was and so was everyone else that I talked to who has been a fan since their Doghouse days.  It seems like they have let their commercial success go to their heads.  What a sad waste of potential.