On September 25 my wife, daughter, and I took a road trip to The Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT to see AJR’s concert, one of the stops on their OK Orchestra tour. The group isn’t scheduled to perform in our area until May 2022, so we decided to catch their Connecticut show now. We had never seen an AJR concert in person before, but we were captivated by their December 2020 live stream special One Spectacular Night. My daughter is the big AJR fan in our house, but after seeing that special and listening to their albums, my wife and I got hooked on AJR’s music too, so a family road trip made perfect sense.
You’ll see in the photo above that we were fortunate enough to meet the band (The Met brothers Adam, Jack, and Ryan) at a special pre-show event billed as “Ryan’s Production Masterclass” in which Ryan Met discussed the production of the band’s song “Way Less Sad” with a fun presentation showing his Pro Tools breakdown of the creation of the song. It was fascinating to see how AJR took a brief horn section from the last few seconds of the Simon & Garfunkel song “My Little Town” and turned it into an entirely new song of their own.
I often hear people complain about today’s music and argue about which — if any — of today’s new bands will still have fans coming to see them years or decades from now. After witnessing AJR’s spellbinding, incendiary concert at The Oakdale Theatre Saturday night, I am pleased to report that AJR will most certainly be one of those bands who will still have fans coming back to see them over and over again for decades to come. These guys are the real deal and they’re here to stay. Their songs feature superb production, excellent musicianship, and insightful, inspiring lyrics that leave you thinking about the songs and humming their unforgettable hooks long after the music stops.
It was truly a thrill to see AJR’s die-hard fans of all ages singing the songs at the top of their lungs for the entire night. In their live shows, AJR feeds off of the energy of the crowd and uses it to take their live performances to euphoric levels of intensity. In addition, they combine elements of theater, showmanship, humor, hope, and inspiration. I have rarely seen a show like this one and I’m not sure that I will again. These guys have something very special going on with their music and their audience, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. If you aren’t already familiar with their music, I highly suggest you check it out, and if you have a chance to see AJR in concert, make sure you go! For information about AJR, visit www.ajrbrothers.com.