AJR have been killing it lately. Their latest single, “Weak,” has gotten over 100 million plays on Spotify and is climbing up the charts. Their first major headlining tour, the “What Everyone’s Thinking” Tour, has had sold out shows across the country. The tour rolled into Adam, Jack and Ryan’s hometown of NYC over the weekend for a two night stand at the Gramercy Theatre.
AJR have played Gramercy Theatre in the past, but their show on Saturday night was their first ever hometown show that sold out. And it didn’t just sell out – the show sold out so quickly that a second date was added on Sunday. How successful has the “What Everyone’s Thinking” Tour been? They were nearly out of their stock of merch, with a few shows left to go!
If you’ve been to an AJR show, you know that things can “get weird,” as Jack told the crowd. For their first big headlining tour, they brought out all the stops. They are by far one of the most energetic acts we’ve ever seen on stage. They honed their skills performing on the streets of NYC, where they learned how to win over a crowd. Jack never stops moving, flailing across the entire stage in a continual dance as he switches from playing the Maschine to the drums to the Melodica to the guitar. All three brothers took turns playing the drums, even hopping into the crowd at one point.
One of the things we love most about AJR is how true they stay to themselves and to their music. After playing “Let The Games Begin,” the band told the crowd how the music industry had tried to change them and told them they couldn’t do things. “You can’t get that sound on the radio. You can’t record in your living room.” Even Jack’s hat was met by criticism. Through it all, they stood by what they believed in. We saw quite a few fans (including a mini Jack) rocking “the hat” in the crowd.
We love that AJR are confident in their sound and their growing fanbase proves that you don’t have to fit into a certain mold to make good music and connect with people. When they wrote the songs for their latest EP, “What Everyone’s Thinking,” they wanted to make songs that were very honest and the reaction has been unbelievable.
Adam told the crowd more about their songwriting process – the brothers write countless songs together, then let them sit for a few months. The ones they like that “pass the test of time” get the go ahead, while others get shelved. One track that has stood the test of time, and that the band still loves to play live is “Infinity.” They also did a new rendition of fan favorite track “Woody Allen,” turning it into an acoustic song with a heavy kick drum. Ryan said he was inspired to write the song after watching Woody Allen movies for film class: he wanted to capture that feeling of how he always gets the girl in the end.
They incorporated some of their remixes in the set, turning “I Got No Strings” and “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” into tracks you wanted to dance to. They also created a “New York” remix on stage, breaking it down piece by piece to show the crowd how they create their unique sound.
AJR closed out their set with their breakout single, “I’m Ready,” which had the entire room dancing and clapping along. They rolled out a giant banner printed to look like Jack’s Maschine, which he started to play. The band came back out for one more song, their current hit “Weak.” We got chills hearing every person in the room singing along.
It was by far the craziest AJR show we’ve been to! The enthusiastic crowd knew every word, loudly singing along from start to finish. It’s amazing to see how far they’ve come (they’ve been performing together for 12 years!) and to see such an incredible response to their music. There’s no one else quite like them. AJR, you just keep doing you.
I’m Not Famous/Thirsty
I Got No Strings
Come Hang Out
Tiptoe Through The Tulips
Let The Games Begin
No Grass Today