REVIEW: AJR shows brotherly love at The Fillmore


Photos: Karen Goldman

SAN FRANCISCO − AJR held nothing back on Wednesday night as The Fillmore was transformed into a feel-good, storytelling, sing-along that fueled dancing and celebration.

A visual display created from a giant pyramid of light-up blocks pulsated as the band walked out to one of their own songs; “Overture,” from 2017 sophomore album, The Click. Band members and brothers Adam, Jack and Ryan Met came bounding out to perform an enthusiastic rendition of “Come Hang Out.” The lights, the sporadic and exuberant dance moves of Jack Met, and the dynamic between the brothers set the jovial mood.

The band stuck with their eclectic pop throughout the night. At one point during the set, the band actually covered Julie Andrews’ “Chim Chim Cheree,” from Mary Poppins, spawning a bass-heavy, Auto-Tuned version of a classic that fans didn’t know they were missing. AJR even explained, step by step, how the trio created their song “Drama.” After leading up to it with all the individual pieces, made the performance of the song that much more interesting when all the pieces suddenly merged into a complete song. Between songs, the Met brothers told stories and played a pre-recorded message from their dad.

The band, of course, hit a couple of their bigger songs like “Sober Up” and “Weak,” and their newest single, “Burn the House Down,” which will be released Friday. The 15-song, 90-minute set blew by in no time at all and felt like it was over too soon.

AJR was preceded by pop trio Ocean Park Standoff, which held its own on the bill. The brainchild of Samantha Ronson (producer Mark Ronson’s sister), Pete Nappi and Ethan Thompson, the band made a bold entrance with a barrage of lights.

Thompson, the vocalist, immediately had the crowd singing along to “Good News,” from which the set only improved. Over seven songs, Ocean Park Standoff overlaid intricate beats with piano and electric guitar, creating an upbeat, euphoric vibe.

Openers Hundred Handed deserve credit for starting the night with a bang. Lead singer Jordan McGraw went into the crowd even before the first song was over. By mixing a couple of their more popular hits like “Too Good” and “Practice In The Mirror” with covers of other pop chart-toppers like Post Malone’s “Congratulations,” the band primed the crowd for a night of heavy beats and dancing.

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