Move along: All-American Rejects pump out high-octane show at Westcott
As the first opener left the stage, the audience could hardly stay silent. Howls for the All-American Rejects bellowed from the crowd in the pit until a unity of chants formed among them.
Fans of all ages screamed “we want the Rejects” over and over again, until lead singer Tyson Ritter and the rest of the group took the stage and started the show.
Rock band the All-American Rejects played a nearly sold-out show at the Westcott Theater on Wednesday night. Doors for the all-age show opened at 7 p.m. By 8, the venue was filled with an eclectic crowd, ranging from young children accompanied by their parents to high school and college students.
First to take the stage was the newly formed band Pacinello. The group’s creator and guitarist Molly D’Agostino joked that they are currently a hot commodity. Forming and solidifying members over the past five years, Pacinello has only recently gained lead singer Kim March — who in the past released solo music under the name “Vada March” — in the past week.
“Opening for the Rejects was super awesome,” D’Agostino said. “I’m only 18, Kim’s only 18 and our bass player is 15, so we’re all extraordinarily lucky and humble to be on stage before a great band like the Rejects.”
Following Pacinello was bluesy rock group The Stone Foxes. Playing some old songs, but mostly sticking to new material from their up-and-coming album “Small Fires,” The Stone Foxes set the stage with explosiveness and energy that got the audience moving and grooving.
Coming from San Francisco, members of the band frequently joked on stage about never seeing snow, and how their new album “Small Fires” will bring the heat and melt the ice.
Members of the group jumped around on stage, constantly switched instruments, threw tambourines across the stage and even invited March on stage to help sing. Drummer and vocalist Shannon Koehler jumped from the drums to the microphone and eventually wailed a bluesy harmonica solo toward the end of the set.
“We’ve been heading up north and it’s been super cold; I don’t think it hit us till today in Syracuse when we all realized how real the cold can be,” Koehler said. “But it’s awesome to see the fans out in the cold traveling from all ends to come see us and the Rejects. We’re an interesting band to put out before a group like them.”
The Stone Foxes closed out their opening set with songs from their new album and urged everyone to go the merchandise booth and pick up a fortune cookie that held the code to their free single “Everybody Knows.”
Soon after the Foxes exited, Tyson Ritter and the rest of the Rejects took the stage and began with their fan favorite from their early 2000’s heyday, “Dirty Little Secret.” The pit exploded as the intro guitar riff echoed through the theater, older couples supervising their children were dragged further into the pit, and even the oldest of attendees couldn’t help bobbing their head to the catchy pop song.
“I’m so glad they opened with ‘Dirty Little Secret,’ it was the perfect song for new fans and old fans alike,” said Jessica Green, a senior psychology major. “Everyone remembers that song being overplayed on the radio, and almost 10 years later the song still kicks ass.”
Ritter frequently stopped in between songs to explain, enlighten and ultimately engage fans deeper into the songs he was playing. Though his use of obscenities may not have catered to the diversity of ages in attendance, his stories regarding muses, past loves and life in general allowed fans to look deeper into the soul of a musician they’d loved since the early 2000s.
Kyle Siegel, a junior environmental studies major, explained how the Rejects play a huge part in his life, claiming “Gonzo” to be his favorite song of the night.
The Rejects played fan favorites such as “Swing, Swing,” “Move Along” and “It Ends Tonight” before closing out a lengthy set with a three-song encore featuring “Kids In The Street” and “Heartbeat Slowing Down” from their new album. The entire night ended with widely loved “Gives You Hell.”
Upon the show’s close, fans lined up for a chance to meet the band and get merchandise autographed. Erica Franceschini, a junior public relations major, and her friend Helayne Kushner, a senior psychology major, both said the show was like taking a trip down memory lane.
Though Ritter gave many speeches throughout the night, one statement seemed to stick with the fans in the Syracuse community.
Said Ritter: “So far we’re only a week into our rather short tour, but Syracuse you have been the best to us, and I promise I don’t say that every show!”
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