This gig from American visitors (rejects?) was almost scuppered by a more illustrious (allegedly!) American guest! We set off at 6.30 and hit Bristol at the usual time, only to be hit by huge traffic queues off the M32 into the city centre. It turned out the main thoroughfares were blocked by protest marches against the UK visit of reviled current US president, George Bush! We therefore took a further hour to complete our journey, inching through St. Pauls with the car doors locked, and got into the already-packed venue halfway through openers Limbeck, who peddled an inoffensive yet forgettable countrified US rock, akin to the Gin Blossoms.
One thing evident early doors was that this was a very young crowd. Every song was greeted with screeches akin to a hockey international, and I seemed to be the oldest bloke in, not accompanying an offspring!
Main support Motor City Soundtrack were an energetic bunch of youngsters with a zeitgeisty pop-punk sound and a couple of good songs, the best of which was an uncharacteristic slow number recalling U2's "With Or Without You". By this time we'd taken up a balcony viewing spot behind some over-excited kids who clapped and cheered everything - including the roadies!
Finally the young compere introduced All American Rejects at 10. They also have quite a generic pop-punk sound which the kids lapped up, but possess a bit of songwriting nous and a slightly jagged edge which resembled 90's Irish band Cuckoo, setting them apart from the Sum 41's and New Found Glory's of this world. They're currently thin on material though; the set, including totally unnecessary drum solo, was barely 40 minutes long, and the lead singer, whilst less of a dick in front of his own crowd than at this year's Reading Festival, still needs to ease up on the, "motherfuckin' motherfuckers," a bit.
Still there's some potential there, and at least 2 good numbers; the mid-set single "Swing Swing", and easily their best number, "The Last Song", which sounded like Green Day. Let's see what they do next, as to whether they have any real staying power. Oh yeh, the journey back was nothing like as bad either!