Sunday, May 28, 2023

AJR brings interactive energy, humble appreciation to Cannery Ballroom


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Photo and story by Jessica Knoble / Contributing Writer

The Cannery Ballroom drew a crowd of all different ages this past Wednesday for AJR, a band that’s been making their way towards the top since 2013.

The band is three brothers: Adam, Jack and Ryan Met. Since the release of their newest album, “The Click,” in June 2017, the band has been traveling the U.S. on tour. Their Nashville show is one of the first performances of their “Part 3” segment of the tour.

The show opened with a performance by Hundred Handed, a band with a one-track mind that’s set on having fun. Lead singer and guitarist Jordan McGraw and drummer Drew Langan are the heart of the band. With this being their first time on tour, they performed featured songs from their newest EP, “OO WHOA,” such as “Practice in the Mirror” and “Misbehavin’.”

Following was Grizfolk, a five-piece alternative-rock band featuring Adam Roth, Sebastian Fritze, Fredrik Eriksson, Brendan James and Bill Delia. Their most recent album, “Waking Up The Giants” was released in 2016, and their setlist consisted of their biggest hits such as “Troublemaker” and “Waiting For You.”

After the fantastic opening performances, AJR brought an ecstatic energy to the stage by opening with “Come Hang Out,” which morphed into “Three-Thirty.”

AJR consistently exhibits a humble air to their shows and their fans. “Can I just say, there are way too many people here,” Jack Met said during the set. “How did you find out about this show?”

One of the features of the night was the insight given into how AJR creates their songs and the processes they tend to follow.

“We write and produce all of our stuff in our living room,” said Ryan Met, the pianist. “We like to experiment a lot, we like to produce with different layers and try and create sounds you don’t usually hear in music.”

To demonstrate, the brothers created a rhythm on their beat pad, which morphed into one of their popular songs, “Drama.”

Some of the slower songs featured on the album, such as “Netflix Trip” and “Call My Dad,” brought a sense of relatability. However, Ryan Met explained that finding relatability in their writing is not exactly how they go about creating their music.

“We don’t all go through the same shit,” Met said. “We wanna write songs about the most strange, scary, maybe embarrassing things in our own lives and take a leap of faith that maybe one person relates to it.”

When faced with some temporary technical difficulties, the band used that time to further interact with the audience. Jack Met gave his thoughts on the atmosphere of their concerts.

“I like to kinda think of it like we’re throwing a party,”Met said. “This week, in Nashville, we’ve thrown the party and you guys showed up. Next week, you’ll throw the party.”

With AJR closing out with their top hit, “Weak,” the audience left Cannery Ballroom with anticipation for the future of the band, and the feeling of a night well spent.

AJR also recently performed at Music Midtown in Atlanta, and are on tour until July 15th.

To contact Music Editor Hayden Goodridge, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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