Friday night I went to my first show at the Westville Music Bowl in New Haven. They do have an accesible parking lot (as the main closer parking lot is up a giant hill) but the signage was not super great to direct you there.  Finally I found it, parked and had about an hour+ before doors would open.  It started raining so I decided to hang in my car for as long as possible and heard the band doing soundcheck.  It seemed like it was a bit late, but with storms rolling through maybe they had gotten pushed back.

At 5:30 doors opened and the line moved very quickly.  I made it in, went to get some dinner, and then approached the seating area – where it was now raining. I wiped down my seat, put on my poncho and settled in for what hopefully wouldn’t end up being a super wet night.

Livingston from Denton, TX was on first.  About halfway through his set it started to rain again and I was hoping that this wouldn’t end up being a trend.  Chelsea Cutler was up next and decided to tell everyone they should jump because it was easy to do. Yeah, ok. She totally lost me there and then her guitars all seemed to stop working.  Coincidence? lol The crowd seemed to be very into her though and I guess she is from CT but I could do without the constant F-bombs to try and make herself seem cool.

Checking the radar again, it seemed like we might be ok for AJRs set and the rain was now scheduled for 10:15pm and I thought that venue had a 10pm noise ordinance curfew.  AJR took the stage at 8:30pm and was constant high energy and I honestly don’t know how Jack does it, he tired me out just watching him.  Their set seemed pretty similar to the last time I had seen them, but they added in their new song The Dumb Song and a cover of Smashmouth’s All Star – which the drunk (parents?) behind me got WAY too into and even startled me with their screaming at the top of their lungs to the chorus.  The 2 downsides to the ADA seating area was – it was not blocked off in any way, just some chairs at the back of the seats and people kept walking into me.  The other was once everyone stood it was hard to see, but I managed to position myself where I could see most of the stage.

At one point, Jack and Ryan addressed the crowd, Jack grabbed a sign that said “I graduated kindergarten” and was saying how the kid was short and eye level with the barricade.  Ryan talked about how there was someone who was looking at him and only him for the whole show and when he wanted to have a moment and sing ‘my favorite color is you’ to her, he looked and she was on her phone!  They also took a spinny hat from one of the members of the audience and Ryan tried it out for 2 songs as I guess he is in the market for a new favorite hat.  Adam seemed to not care about this part of the show and was sitting on the keyboard risers. (Adam did speak later to introduce the rest of their band)  Jack also pointed out that when he introduces each of them, Ryan always gets the most cheers and he wasn’t very happy with that – which ended up resulting in there being several “RYAN! RYAN! RYAN!” chants throughout the night.

AJR finished their set at about 9:50 and I waited a few minutes to see if things would clear out, but the rain drops were coming and by the time I got out from under the cover of the upper level seats, it was coming down pretty hard. Fortunately I wasn’t too far away and made it to the car, waiting for the lot to clear and got home all before 10:30pm – this music venue is by far one of the closest to my house, but they don’t really have bands there that I want to see typically.  I also think if I was going to go again, I’d wait until closer and check the weather first as sitting freezing in the rain isn’t really all that fun.

AJR Setlist Westville Music Bowl, New Haven, CT, USA 2023

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