All-American Rejects•New Found Glory•Motion City Soundtrack•The Get Up Kids•September 23, 2023• The Great Saltair
Reviewed and Photographed by Kaden Severn
As summer draws near its end, concertgoers packed the outdoor stage of The Great Saltair Saturday evening to catch the Wet Hot All-American Summer Tour featuring All-American Rejects. The sun began to set over the water as The Get Up Kids started the night off. I wasn’t super familiar with their music but I know that they had a few big punk rock hits. They came out and got the energy nice and warmed up. It was a great set.
Next up was Motion City Soundtrack. Formed in 1997, Motion City Soundtrack has been a long time name in the punk-pop scene. Their lead singer Justin Pierre has a super unique tone to his voice and was still able to put on an amazing performance. It was cool to see a man with a cane still rocking out! They performed some songs such as When You’re Around and The Future Freaks Me Out. Pierre had amazing chemistry with the guitarists and drummer. Their biggest hit Everything Is Alright had everyone singing along and really brought on some nostalgia for me.
The temperature began to drop outside but that didn’t stop the electric energy that was building with every band. Legendary band New Found Glory took the stage and the fans went ballistic! They’ve been a staple in the industry ever since I can remember. They performed All Downhill from Here, as well as the punk jam Kiss Me. They shared some moments with the crowd in between songs including guitarist Chad Gilbert opened up about his battle with cancer and how much the support of fans has helped him in his recovery. It was inspiring to see someone up there jamming out doing what he loved despite the hardships he’s experienced.
They also had a fun bit where the lead singer dressed as Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and performed a punk rock cover of “Let It Go”. They closed their set with their most famous song “My Friends Over You” and it was as awesome as you could expect it to be!
It wasn’t long until The All-American Rejects took the stage opening with two songs that bring back a lot of memories for me with “Swing, Swing” and My “Paper Heart”. Tyson Ritter brought a stage presence like no other. He wore what he called his “Burning Man outfit” since the Saltair is so far out in the desert. They covered older tracks that everyone knows like “Dirty Little Secret” and “Kids in the Street” but also performed newer hits such as “Sweat”.
There was always a fun transition in between songs and although it was a bit chilly out it didn’t seem to bother anyone. The jam-packed crowd seemed to be in good spirits as we all sang along. The musicians all had separate opportunities to shine in different moments throughout the show with various solos throughout different songs. As the night was drawing to a close The All-American Rejects performed It Ends Tonight before coming out for an encore performance of their two biggest songs, “Move Along” and “Gives You Hell”. It was a great concert that really showed that punk/pop never dies!