August 9th, 2012, 11:32 am · · posted by GUEST
The All-American Rejects’ lanky frontman worked up quite a sweat during the rock group’s vigorous Pacific Amphitheatre show Wednesday night. He rarely stood still and often ended up flat on the stage, stringy hair all drenched.
Since 2003, the Oklahoma-bred band has notched eight Top 40 pop singles (three received alternative radio airplay) and saw its first three infectious hook-laden albums reach gold or platinum status. The latest, Kids in the Street, came out in spring. Produced by Greg Wells (OneRepublic, Mika, Adele), the sound is more expansive (thanks to synths, programming and horns) and less polished than before.
Several tracks feature backing vocals by fellow Sooner State native Audra Mae, Alex Kandel (female vocalist for buzz band Sleeper Agent) and dramatic Russian singer Elizaveta. Lyrically, Ritter ruminates about a self-described “quarter- life crisis” he experienced during a temporary move to L.A., but the overall mood is far from downbeat.
At Pacific, a major chunk of impressive new material comprised the 85-minute, 18-song set. The Costa Mesa venue was slightly over half-full, yet there was no shortage in enthusiasm from high school and college-aged fans. Many of them sang along loudly whenever TAAR dipped into early effervescent hits like “Swing Swing,” “Move Along” and concert opener “Dirty Little Secret.”
Article by George A. Paul, for the Orange County Register; Photos by Rose Palmisano, the Orange County Register
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