All-American Rejects Jam During Super Secret Practice in Tempe

The All-American Rejects held a super secret show Friday in a warehouse on the northeast corner of McClintock and Broadway. OK, it wasn't a show as much as a jam session in preparation of Saturday's Tempe Music Fest but it was pretty damn cool nonetheless.

The jam session was so intimate that only a mere 20-or-so people were on hand for this ultra-exclusive event. Up on the Sun contributor Stephen Chilton gave us the heads up on this, stating that the band posted a message on the Web site Absolute Punk with word of the event along with an address, which we later found out didn't exist. Steve and I met up at The Clubhouse Music Venue where we thought the show would be held only to later go chasing the band in the parking lot of a nearby Burger King where Steve thought the location might be.

Upon arrival we were greeted by some tattooed guys driving a white van who told us to hop in if we wanted to go to the secret show (they wouldn't let us follow them). We obliged -- hoping it was legit! -- and they drove us and a couple others over to a warehouse across the street which AAR had taken over completely. AAR singer Tyson Ritter greeted us as we arrived and told everyone to take a seat and get comfortable.

During our 40 minutes there, we watched the band perform "Gives You Hell" and "Wind Blows" off 2008's solid "When the World Comes Down." They performed the latter twice. The guys mainly goofed around and joked with the crowd for the duration of the time we were there. After their set, Ritter, the group's biggest goofball, invited the teens and early twentysomething AAR fans - Steve and I were the oldest people there! - to hang around for milk and cookies and mingled with everyone.

As a big AAR fan, this experience rocked and I'm sure the small crowd who were lucky enough to be in attendance would agree. How often can you say that you saw one of your favorite bands in such an up-close-and-personal setting? Thanks for the tip, Psycho Steve! This event made my weekend.

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Kelly Wilson