Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 | 6:57 p.m.
Rainy weather put a serious damper on the All-American Rejects’ Mandalay Bay Beach show Saturday night. Concertgoers weren’t allowed access to the pool due to lightning warnings, which put the “front row” a good 50 feet away from the stage.
The weather wasn’t the night’s only letdown, though. While a few of the songs performed were decent, the majority of them were subpar. The band backing frontman Tyson Ritter sounded good; their execution of the band’s many hits was nearly identical to the recordings that launched the alternative-rock group to fame.
Unfortunately, Ritter rarely provided vocals that did the same. The lead singer slurred his way through the concert opener, “Dirty Little Secret,” and delivered similar vocals during other songs such as “My Paper Heart” and “It Ends Tonight.” Ritter’s vocals were mumbled and often hard to understand.
Although the band focused on their earlier hits from their first three albums, they did have a few of the songs from their March release “Kids in the Street.” Ritter’s performance was significantly better during the new material, including the tracks “I For You” and “Someday’s Gone.”
The band exhibited great chemistry, and Ritter knows how to work a crowd. The frontman often interacted with the audience, telling stories about their songs and cracking jokes. “This is the first time I’ve been introduced by a Jasmine and an Alexis and not been in a strip club,” joked Ritter, referring to the two contestants of VH1’s upcoming “Model Employee” who introduced the band.
Ritter acknowledged the band’s longtime fans when announcing “Swing Swing” from their eponymous first release. “How many of you guys are swing swinging with us for 10 years now?” Ritter asked. The crowd went wild.
Though the audience was dancing and singing along to a number of the band’s hits, it seemed that a majority didn’t know the band’s newer work nearly as well. They ended the set performing one of their hits, “Move Along.” The song choice was a good decision, as the audience was on their feet enjoying the music to the end.
Although this was the case, the audience didn’t seem to want an encore. The cheers after the band left the stage weren’t abundant, but they returned anyways. Three encores were performed, and the band closed with the lead hit off AAR's “When the Wind Blows” album, “Gives You Hell.”
The closer was clearly a fan favorite, which allowed the band to end the evening on a high note.
Post-concert, Ritter, in skinny jeans and a T-shirt, hosted and partied with friends at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens in the Paris, enjoying Ciroc cocktails and Veuve Clicquot at a main stage VIP booth. DJ Koko spun remixes of All-American Rejects songs, and Ritter posed for photos with fans. Also at Chateau: adult-entertainment star Mary Carey, who was with family and friends celebrating her brother’s 21st birthday.