You may have heard of AJR from their 2018 single, “Sober Up” due to their collaboration with Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. AJR is made up of brothers Adam, Jack and Ryan Met (Originally Metzger). Their infectious alternative music drew a crowd on Saturday November 3 that sold out tickets for the Fillmore back in July. The brothers, who range in age from 20-27, write, produce and mix their own music out of New York City where they grew up.
It wasn’t obvious that they were all brothers until I started doing some research on them. It’s not like they look like Hanson! We saw them back in June for the 104.5 Birthday show. We went with the intention of seeing the headliner, Imagine Dragons, but AJR quickly became our favorite. And when I say “our” I mean myself and my 10-year-old daughter.
I appreciated them even more when I learned about their background. Oldest brother, Adam, is a Columbia University grad who plays the bass. Glasses-wearing middle brother, Ryan, took time off from Columbia to pursue the band. He writes and produces most of the music and plays the keyboards and at times, like Saturday night, the ukulele. Jack, the youngest is the energetic, lanky, bearded lead singer. His strong stage presence made me assume that he was at least in his mid 20’s when we saw them the first time. And they time didn’t disappoint.
The band released their first EP back in 2013 with their first full length album in 2015, all produced in their New York City living room. The Click, released in 2017 is their current album; however, The Click Deluxe released in 2018 has some additional songs.
The band started the show with “Come Hang Out” from their latest album. “Sober Up” was played surprisingly early in the set but I guess they wanted to engage any new fans that were not as familiar with their body of work. I was amused by the pre-recorded intro of their 60-year-old father joking about what people in his office are going to say about his performing sons. This was followed by “I’m not Famous,” “Drama” and “Netflix Trip” with a marching band style snare drum helped to make up the bulk of the close to 90-minute set. The encore brought out the trumpets for the political “Burn the House Down” and “Weak.” Their talent, energy and just genuine love for creating a fun atmosphere made this show a needed vacation for me. Noticeably absent was their first single, “I’m Ready.” I know it as the song with the Sponge Bob samples. Maybe they are trying to tell the world that they are grown up and ready for “prime time” now.
Opening act Robert DeLong brought his MTV-era video background to the show along with his single, “Favorite Color is Blue.” The well-dressed keyboard-playing lead singer seemed to be channeling Howard Jones, though visually and not musically.
If you want to see AJR, you don’t have to wait long. They are playing the 104.5 Movember men’s health charity event on Wednesday, December 12th at Xfinity Live. Tickets can be yours with a donation to their charity. See their link: https://radio1045.iheart.com/featured/join-the-movember-movement-donate-to-our-team/