All-American Rejects swing into O.C.

Guitarist says set list will include old hits and new songs from album written during the band's self-imposed 'imprisonment.' They are going to start U.S. tour at the PacAmp in Costa Mesa.

August 07, 2012|By Heather Youmans
(Photo by Lauren…)

The All-American Rejects will move along this summer as they embark on a 12-date, national headline tour that begins Wednesday at the Orange County Fair.

Since early June, the alternative rock group has been performing at European festivals and accompanying Blink-182 on its international tour.

"It was like two months overseas, so we're stoked to be back, especially to start it here, what now is my home," guitarist Nick Wheeler said in a phone interview.

According to Wheeler, the set list has grown significantly since the band last played the Pacific Amphitheater in 2005 — especially after three studio albums and the March 26 release of "Kids in the Street."

"We're one of those bands that still give the fans that have been listening to us for a while what they want to hear," Wheeler said. "We love playing the hits. We love playing the old stuff too. So it should be nice and well-rounded, a good Rejects catalog set."


The group is known for "Swing Swing," "Move Along," "Dirty Little Secret," "It Ends Tonight" and international hit "Gives You Hell," which spent four weeks at No. 1 on Top 40 radio and sold 4 million copies in the U.S, according to

Their self-titled debut, 2005's double-platinum "Move Along," and the gold-certified "When the World Comes Down," allude to the band's growing success and proliferating fan base.

"I think there's actually a generation between us: the fans that grew up listening to us and the kids that are going to shows now, or kids that are just starting to go to shows," Wheeler said.

With a new generation of fans in tow, lead singer, bassist and lyricist Tyson Ritter and longtime friend Wheeler began working on their latest album two years ago.

Ritter and Wheeler founded the band in 1999, when they were teenagers living in Stillwater, Okla., and continue to write the band's material.

During the songwriting process, Wheeler said Ritter is "the spark," while he's always been "the executor."

"We complete each other creatively," Wheeler added.

The new album spawned from Ritter's struggle to find himself after touring nonstop right out of high school.

"We [Ritter and Wheeler] both moved to L.A.," Wheeler said. "He'd just turned 25, so he was kind of going through his quarter-life crisis."

After resorting to liquor, Ritter decided that he needed a major life change. Wheeler suggested they pull themselves together and write it out.

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