On February 21st, I saw AJR perform at The Cannery Ballroom.
AJR is made up of three brothers (Adam, Jack, and Ryan), from New York. They first began busking on street corners and took all the money they made from that to buy equipment. They then began recording, mixing, and producing all of their music from their living room.
The show had two opening bands, one titled Hundred Handed and one called Griz Folk. Hundred Handed had more of a rock sound to their music and played a mix of originals and covers. Griz Folk followed suit, performing their unique alternative rock music. Both bands recently released EP’s which you can find on their websites, linked above.
After the opening bands there was a break to change over the set, and as soon as the lights turned off the crowd was cheering and screaming and didn’t stop until the show was over.
It began with their song Overture, a mix of all the songs from their new album The Click. The track played, and the brothers started the show offstage. All of a sudden Jack popped up and started singing as a light shone on him. When the music paused the lights went off. The crowd screamed and started chanting the band name.
The brothers came out and finished the song, starting the show on a very strong note. From there, the show only went up. They played fan favorites, and a few songs from their album that were lesser known but have become some of my new jams.
About halfway through, they took a break from performing and Jack took a few minutes to talk to us. He said “I just want to look at you guys. There’s so many people here, how did you even hear about this? This is crazy”. He went on to tell a few jokes about his hat and talked to us about how the band got started. Jack also said that the last time they played in Nashville they played the smallest venue on Cannery Row, and the time before that only 10 to 15 people showed up. This show was sold out.
After the break, the show picked back up and took off. They showed us how they produced one of their songs, starting with a drum beat and layering on top of that by adding bass, hi-hat’s, snare’s, and vocals from Jack. Later on in the set, they asked us to create the beat for them, splitting us into three groups and giving us things to do while they sang Bud Like You over the beat.
Overall, this concert was highly entertaining and the most fun I have ever had attending a concert in my lifetime. I would definitely go see one of their shows again, and cannot wait for them to come back to Nashville!