By Heather Leszczewicz Special to Published Jul 02, 2006 at 5:21 AM
I had been looking forward to the performance by the All-American Rejects at the U.S. Cellular Stage despite the forecast of lightning and rain. While the weather was palatable, the band's performance left me a bit disappointed.

U.S. Cellular added a screen to the stage that allowed cell phone users (U.S. Cellular subscribers only, of course) to text messages and pictures for all to see prior to AAR’s set. There were messages of love, directions through the crowd and scores to the Brewers game and the Brazil vs. France World Cup match. (Note to people texting: spell check your message prior to sending. When there are messages giving orders for people to scream, the results aren’t great when it’s spelled "sceam" or "sream.")

A massive crowd showed up -- basically an all-ages show with 10-year-olds, 20-somethings and even middle-agers -- allowing for the bare minimum of standing room. Audience members were also restless, frequently shifting, pushing their way through to other places, hoping for a better vantage point.

The All-American Rejects got onstage and performed most of their popular songs -- "Dirty Little Secret," "Swing Swing," "My Paper Heart" and "The Last Song" included. The crowd wanted only one song though, the MTV-friendly "Move Along." Frequent shouts of "Play that song!" rose from the audience throughout the set.

In its entirety, the band’s performance was only 50 minutes long. Only a bit of music from the band’s two CDs: one self-titled and the new "Move Along." The title track from the second album acted as the one-song encore.

The audience was split between hardcore fans of all of AAR’s work versus those who only know the current single. For the diehards, it would have been much better for the band to play "Move Along" early in the set to rid the audience of the one-song-wanters. Anyone who wanted to hear or see the band wasn’t really allowed to enjoy the short performance. The U.S. Cellular screen switched off at the beginning of AAR’s performance, when it should have been projecting the show for those who couldn’t see.

I had put the All-American Rejects on my Summerfest Picks list because I thought they would put on a good show. But, I was disappointed. The show was not worth standing in the rain, unable to see the band onstage and the claustrophobia caused by being shoulder-to-shoulder with the people next to me.

But, I was told that previous shows that AAR had put on in indoor venues were better. It's disappointing when a band you think would do well in an outdoor festival setting doesn't translate as well as a band (Keane), which you'd expect to play better indoors.
Heather Leszczewicz Special to

Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.

However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.

Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson. 

Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.