AJR Concert Recap

“Welcome to the Neotheater, won’t everybody take their seats.” AJR, a  three-brother-trio, is a pop band that writes their songs based on relatable, everyday experiences that many artists would never consider writing about. From starting off their music career on park benches in New York City to receiving small bar gigs and to now selling out Radio City Music Hall in 2019, AJR’s fanbase continues to grow larger each year. Their debut album, “The Click,” is what sparked the curiosity of music consumers about the unique tunes and lyrics that AJR had to offer. Their 3rd studio album, Neotheater, is continuing to gain attention and the recognition it deserves. Once released on April 26, 2019, the album gained a lot of positive feedback as many people are beginning to crave more of their quirky music. As the AJR fan base patiently awaited their 3rd album concert tour, this brother-trio prepared a magical experience for everyone to partake in while attending their wild productions. Not only does AJR put a lot of thought and effort into their albums but also their concert performances.

 On October 23, 2019, I had the privilege of seeing AJR live for the 4th time for their first Neotheater concert tour at The Sylvee in Madison, WI. Although all of their productions have been mind-blowing experiences for me and everyone else who witnessed it, the Neotheater concert -in terms of both music and performance- outweighed them all. @AJRbrothers tweeted on September 29, “I remember exactly one year ago, we got off stage at one of The Click Tour shows, ran right to the dressing room, and immediately started conceptualizing The Neotheater Tour. The plan was for every little detail of our imagination to be projected into a live experience.” The effort put into creating this album as well as a breathtaking show are equally important in the eyes of this band. The AJR tour has offered an experience like no other. 

The performance offered a wide variety of special effects, along with storytelling that evoked a swing of emotions from the audience. The first and the last song of the album, “Next Up Forever” and “Finale (Can’t Wait to See What You Do Next)” have a harmonious chorus as would be at the start or end of an old Disney movie. Using these songs to start and end the concert, AJR’s production resembled a fairytale book and the songs in the middle were chapters about their life. The way the show was organized was something truly magical that has not been done by any other artist I’ve seen. 

Using special effects like a moving screen that gave the illusion Jack, the lead singer, was walking down the street, lightning bolts that looked very realistic and a backdrop that resembled where they sang in New York to start their music career also added to this spectacular experience. Some AJR fans have described it as “the best concert of all time,” “set the bar too high...can’t be topped,” and “a really cool yet unexplainable feeling.” The lyrics were also an important asset to the show. Since the AJR fanbase is mostly teenagers, the song “Don’t throw out my Legos,” which is about leaving home when you become an adult, is a very appropriate song to connect with the audience. Another song, “100 Bad Days,” is linked to AJR’s college-student fans, which makes the point that you may have a lot of screw-ups in college and they may seem bad in the meantime, but they can be used for funny stories that you can tell at parties and laugh with friends about it in the future.

AJR is only half-way through their Neotheater tour and positive feedback keeps pouring in. Putting just as much effort into their shows as their music, they definitely have an opportunity to continue to rise in popularity. Although they wrote a song called “I’m Not Famous,” their continuously growing fan base says otherwise. If AJR proceeds to write more exhilarating albums and performing more jaw-dropping concerts, these three brothers definitely have a bright future ahead of them.