“Just Press Play”: A rocker’s take

 The All American Rejects Slideshow

Rap, techno, punk, indie, alternative. You name it, I listen to it. That said, Saturday night’s “Just Press Play” concert incorporated a good variety of music. For ten dollars we got to see one of the most influential hip hop acts of our time and one of the hottest bands of the moment. As much as I love hip hop and dance, there’s no denying I have the heart of a rocker. So I was very excited to see All American Rejects perform.

It’s always funny seeing a mixed show. The music and openers always try to cater to all the different genres. The opening act of the night, Joe Rockstar, a cover band, got everyone pumped up by opening with My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not Okay” and continuing into other hits by Fall Out Boy, Lost Prophets and Papa Roach. They were good ol’ classic K- Rock type tunes that were guaranteed to pump up the crowd.

After Joe Rockstar, the tables turned and the concert turned into a show dominated by hip hop. DJ Neil Armstrong played the hits that got everyone grooving and grinding at “Club STJ.” There was everything from rapping battles to young girls dancing on stage (inevitably sparking R. Kelly jokes, which will never get old). Nina Sky, the soulful twins from Queens, had a disappointing set, though. The performance was rushed and too short. They performed a few of their hits including “Move Ya Body” and “Your Time.” It would have been nice to see them perform their songs in their entirety instead of them asking repeatedly “Do all the ladies run this mother for ya?!” (a line which was butchered to death by every performer).

All American Rejects played a high energy, but short 30 minute set. After some equipment troubles they played a select few songs off of their self titled debut and their new album Move Along.  For playing a show earlier that day at 6 Flags Great Adventure, they had plenty of energy on stage as they jumped and kicked out to their songs. From the first riff of “Dirty Little Secret,” they stopped the crowd’s gyrating and got them bouncing around. 

Though the All American Rejects had a good set, the sub headliners, The Roots, undoubtedly stole the show, presenting a different twist of their hits such as “The Seed 2.0,” “Break You Off,” and “You Got Me.” Being around for almost 20 years, they have seen many faces of hip hop and paid homage to that with a montage of classic hip hop songs ranging from Salt N’ Pepa to Notorious B.I.G. They flowed easily between songs without skipping a beat. The Roots honored each member of the band with their own solo, highlighting each individual performer’s talent. They proved why Rolling Stone ranked them as one of the top live performers.