Courtesy Photo

The All-American Rejects hits SLO Brewing Co. (SLO Brew) today in the band’s first show here since 2003.

Last time The All-American Rejects performed in San Luis Obispo, the band opened for The Riddlin’ Kids and Homegrown. It marked a big year for the band; its first studio album, self-titled “The All-American Rejects” was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.  The song “Swing, Swing,” the first hit off the album, cemented the band’s mainstream success.

Guitarist Nick Wheeler said “Swing, Swing,” had just hit the airwaves, and that was when things started to happen for the alternative rock band.

“It was the beginning of an insane ride that we’re fortunate enough to keep going on over and over again,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said the band is calling this tour the “Shaking Off The Rust” tour, because this will be the first show the band has played together since 2010, during the Vans Warped Tour. The band spent the last two years writing and recording its fourth studio album, “Kids In The Street,” to be released Feb. 7.

“We thought: ‘What better way to debut some new tunes than to play intimate shows across the country in towns that we either haven’t played before or haven’t played in a long time,’” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said the band was excited to come back to San Luis Obispo — he said he remembers a beautiful town with beautiful weather and beautiful people. And according to SLO Brew general manager Monte Schaller, the people here are just as excited to welcome the band back.

“We have been working on this show for a long time,” Schaller said. “We were very confident that this show would be successful in SLO, especially at (SLO) Brew.”

Even though the multi-platinum, award-winning band has been here before, it may not recognize all the changes SLO Brew has recently undergone. Schaller said the venue spent approximately $100,000 remodeling the downstairs music venue and $500,000 last August for the upstairs, kitchen and restaurant. Other updates include a new stage curtain, bathrooms and framed professional photography from some of the venue’s concerts on the walls.

“We are planning a very substantial stage and DJ light upgrade in the coming weeks as well as continued improvements throughout the entire venue to make sure SLO Brew is the live entertainment heartbeat of the Central Coast,” Schaller said.

SLO Brew regulars would agree that the money put into the restaurant/bar/concert venue recently was worth it.

“(SLO Brew) is a cool place inside, and I like how they redid some of it,” said Chris Roman, a graphic communication senior. “I usually enjoy going there with a few buddies.”

Because of the combination of a “cool place” and a big-name band, Schaller said SLO Brew has had a lot of sold-out concerts so far and doesn’t believe there will be any tickets at the door.

In 2005, the band’s second album, “Move Along,” hit stores, featuring three hits, “Dirty Little Secrets,” “It Ends Tonight” and of course, “Move Along.” The hits were all on the top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100 list. The third album featuring the song “Gives You Hell” (the band’s first international hit) came out in 2008. According to, the band made the Top Artists of the Year Chart in 2009 and the Billboard 200 Albums of the Year Chart in 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2003.

The band, which also ranked No. 73 on the Hot 100 Artists of the 2000s and No. 183 on Billboard magazine’s Billboard 200 Artists of the Decade list, knows what it’s like to play in a college town.

The band originated in Stillwater, Okla. Wheeler said the members “grew up” playing in bars and this tour was going back to their roots.

The biggest difference between 10 years ago and now though is that the band can actually drink at their shows, he said.

“We can’t wait to make a scene downtown,” Wheeler said.

Tickets for the show are sold out.

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