AJR Bring First Arena Tour to Louisville

Music Scene Media
Apr 16, 2024
4 min read

This past weekend, indie-pop trio AJR made their way to Louisville's KFC Yum! Center for their first arena tour, which included singer-songwriter Dean Lewis as the supporting act. When I first heard AJR's lead single, "I'm Ready," from their 2015 debut album Living Room, I was instantly enamored with the band's distinct, lively sound. I have been yearning to see this group live for the past nine years after seeing so many images and videos of their exquisite lighting and stage designs.


Dean Lewis, known formally as Dean Loaney, is a 36-year-old Australian pop singer who signed his first record deal with Specific Music in 2014 and continued on to work with Island Records and Universal Music Australia. Lewis claims that after seeing an Oasis Live DVD in 2005, he was motivated to write music. He gives Noel Gallagher credit for teaching him how to write songs through the many hours Dean spent watching Oasis live footage over the course of the following five years. The song "Be Alright," which has been certified eight times platinum in Australia and twice in the US, is probably one you've heard before.

With the first song, "Waves," from the debut album A Place We Knew, the venue's energy changed in a way that was so lovely I could feel it in every part of my body. I love an acoustic guitar and a solo artist, and Dean provided just that for us to enjoy that evening. I was officially dancing the entire set when Taylor Swift's "Cruel Summer" was covered, just when I thought the set couldn't get any better.


The band's initials, AJR, are an acronym for Adam, Jack, and Ryan, the three Met brothers who founded the group in 2005. In November 2012, Jack tweeted out a link to their debut single, “I’m Ready,"  to 80 different celebrities, including SIA, who happened to see it and sent the song to her manager. After being certified platinum in both America and Australia, the song was played on Sirius XM's Top 20 on 20 and Hits 1 programs on a regular basis. This led to the band signing a record deal with Universal Music Group. Known as a DIY band, AJR has self-produced, mixed, written, and recorded all five of their studio albums in the living room of their homes. The group has also used the proceeds from their tours to benefit a variety of causes, such as combating climate change and helping survivors of sexual assault.

The lights finally went out. During the opening song of the evening, "Maybe Man," Jack seemed to be singing with his back to the audience and just a spotlight to illuminate him. That is, until I noticed that there were other people on the stage wearing identical costumes to his, and they all lit up one at a time, giving the impression that Jack was moving very swiftly across the stage between spotlight flashes. I have never had more fun at a gig, and this was just the first of many skits the band had prepared for the evening.

Hits like "World's Smallest Violin" and "Inertia," which became quite popular on TikTok, together with other classic hits like "Bang!" and "Burn the House Down," caused the crowd to go absolutely crazy. When Jack and Ryan finally ventured to the back of the arena toward the finish to join some fans in their seats for a few slowed-down acoustic performances, it was impossible to ignore the audience's disbelief on the big screens. You really have no excuse not to attend one of the remaining dates of this tour since it is so massive. The Maybe Man Tour is a must-see if you want to attend one of the most inviting and entertaining concerts you've ever been to.

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