AJR: Cure for the Common Cold?


I’ll admit I wasn’t super excited to shoot this show on Tuesday night because I’ve been dealing with an awful cold for the past 2 weeks and I was just simply exhausted. 

That being said, I garnered up what little energy I had left, packed up my camera gear and headed out toward the Armory to see AJR. Just as my adrenaline starts to set in and began to realize that the night had potential to be amazing, I walked up to get my credentials from the box office, I’m told at the window that I’m not on the list. Just. My. Luck. I’m sitting in the cold, already sick and my drive has just been killed by the news I won’t be able to get into the show. 

After some time they figured out I had been approved the entire time, but I missed 50% of Michael Blume’s set. (Meaning I didn’t get any awesome photos for you guys to look at) However, I was very impressed with what I heard from the group. 

Now I’ve never heard of Michael Blume before, but I have to say they have some serious talent and impressive stage presence. The star of their set was front man, Michael Blume, who was dressed in florescent green pants and a bright blue graphic t-shirt. That’s kinda tacky in my opinion, but hey whatever floats your boat and makes you feel like a rock star.

What Blume lacked in style he made up for with talent and enthusiasm. As Blume danced around the stage, he encouraged the crowd to join into his catchy choruses. Unfortunately I think most of the attendees tonight weren’t too familiar with his work as I only saw a few loyal fans dancing to his hits. 

Once the lights go on I started to walk closer to the front so I could get ready to take photos of AJR. On my way I ran into an old friend from high school, Laura, who was out celebrating her 26th birthday with her boyfriend. As we caught up and reminisced about how awkward we were in high school, I began to feel like this night was finally taking a turn for the better. After all who doesn’t like randomly reconnecting with long lost friends! 

I left Laura to celebrate another great year of life and made my way to the photo pit. As me and the other photographers sat waiting for AJR to take the stage I began to look around the Armory to see what kind of fans were in the crowd. To my surprise, there was a large amount of children, accompanied by their parents, at the show, I had no clue this was an all-ages show! I have nothing wrong with kids under the age of 14 being at show, as long as the artist is relatively clean. What’s encouraging is the fact that parents are allowing their children to experience the beauty and unique experience of live music at such a young age. 

The fans started to get extremely angsty, as they had no clue when AJR would take the stage. All of a sudden the lights dim and everyone let out a high pitched scream. Suddenly a text screen popped up on the LED display against the back of the stage and the audience immediately hushed. It started typing to the crowd and teasing them that they wouldn’t play for another 45 mins, the fans we’re not thrilled about this, next thing you know, another text prompt shows up saying “Jk, it’s time to rock!”

The text screen disappeared and the venue was almost pitch dark when AJR finally ran on stage, causing a roar of applause from the audience I was not prepared for what came next, and incredibly light show, which is always the best part of live music. 

In between flashes of light I finally caught lead singer, Jack Met, dancing around the stage singing his heart out as the crowd sings along with him. These fans are so into music, each one going to their happy place as the band launches into one of their hits “Birthday Party”.

One of my favorite things I learned about AJR during their show is that the 3 core members of the group are all brother, Adam Met (Keys), Jack Met (Singer) and Ryan Met (bassist), this is also how they came up with the name AJR, simply taking the first letter of each other’s first name.

I went into their set a little blind, as I’ve only heard AJR a few times, mostly on Go96.3 when they play more of their popular songs. So tonight gave me the opportunity to really listen to what the band. I’ll say I was not disappointed with their stage performance, composition of their songs or the way they presented themselves to their fan base. Although they’re a little too pop for my liking, I could see that everyone who was attending the show enjoyed their music for that very reason.

Overall, the show was a fantastic production on lights, dancing and groovy music. Although my night may have had a rough start to it, I can easily say that AJR put on a show that had me feeling satisfied with the overall outcome of what I thought was going to be a disastrous night.