They were still in high school when long-time friends Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler got together and decided to form a band.
What came out of this meeting of the minds was The All-American Rejects. In 2003, the band hit the mainstream at a flat-out run and has never looked back.
Concerts and Convocations presents The All-American Rejects along with Boys Like Girls and Parachute at 7 p.m. tonight in the University of Wyoming Arts and Sciences Auditorium.
Their music is like a high school anthem for most students, Eric Garcia, lead student programmer for C&C, said. Garcia picked the tour because most of the students will remember The All-American Rejects from their high school days, he said.
“We’ve been doing a lot of college shows this tour and they’ve been a lot of fun,” Wheeler said. “These have been great shows on the tour; probably some of the better ones.”
This will be AAR’s first show in Wyoming. The band has played arenas, festivals and much larger venues than the A&S Auditorium.
“I like the small, sweaty, intimate shows. It’s a lot easier to interact with the crowd,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler is the guitar player and backup vocalist for The All-American Rejects. Ritter plays bass and sings lead vocals. Rounding out the group is guitarist Mike Kennerty and drummer Chris Gaylor.
The band just released “Heartbeat Slowing Down,” a ballad off ita latest album, “Kids in the Street.”
“We’re stoked for this new single. We’ve been waiting a year to put this one out,” Wheeler said, but first it was necessary to release a couple of the more upbeat songs off the album.
Last night, the trio of bands played at Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah. After they play at UW, they will head to Blackfoot, Idaho, for a club show.
The All-American Rejects have a history of success. The Recording Industry Association of America certified their self-titled first album platinum. Their second album, “Move Along,” produced a number of popular singles and was certified double platinum. The single “Gives You Hell” from 2008’s “When the World Comes Down” spent four weeks at No. 1 on Top 40 radio and sold more than four million copies in the US alone, according to the band’s website.
Finding bands that want to play at UW seems to be easy for C&C.
“Usually they contact us,” Garcia said.
He said he usually spends the summer sifting through emails from promoters and booking agents whose bands will be passing through at a certain time.
The agents for the bands like to book route dates, Garcia said. That is, they like to book something that falls along a pre-described route. Laramie serves as a potential stop because it is midway between some bigger venues and allows bands to do college shows.