Since forming in Baltimore in 2003, All Time Low have been going strong and gain new fans with every release. This was the first of two sell out London shows, as well as numerous other sell out shows in the rest of the UK, demonstrating the extent of their UK fan base. By the time the doors had opened, the queue had looped all the way round the venue, stretched along the street, round the corner and was doubling back on itself.
Unfortunately, due to the length of the queue I missed the first support, Irish band Only Rivals. However I have heard good things about them, and they are apparently a band to watch in the future.
Next up was second support, Tonight Alive [9/10]. With their own drum kit, lighting and an impressive intro, Tonight Alive went above and beyond what is expected of a support band. With Vocalist Jenna McDougall bouncing around the stage, her energy seeped into the crowd and got everyone moving. Mostly playing songs from their most recent album, ‘The Other Side’, their sound of pop-rock fits in with All Time Low’s similar sound and got the crowd geared up for the headliners. Also playing brand new song ‘The Edge’, Jenna excitedly told us that we are the first people to ever hear this song, making the crowd feel special. Jenna clearly knows how to connect with the audience and makes a fantastic front woman. It is hard to believe that Tonight Alive were not the main act, and I have no doubt that their own headline shows are incredible.
When All Time Low [10/10] finally appeared on stage, the crowds’ screams were so loud you could barely hear the band play, and this energy radiated around the room. Starting with ‘Do You Want Me (Dead?)’, bras were thrown from all directions to land at Jack Barakats feet, which were then placed proudly on his mic stand. Playing songs that span all but their very first album, there was something to please all fans, both new and old.
It’s incredibly refreshing to see a band that can chill out and have a laugh on stage. Jack Barakat ran around the set like an excitable child, at one point dragging fellow band member Zack Merrick into his games as he chased him around the drum kit. Between songs Jack Barakat and Alex Gaskarth engaged in banter, and of course an All Time Low show wouldn’t be the same without their constant references to sex and boobs.
For ‘Time Bomb’, four excitable fans were pulled from the crowd up on stage in order to meet their heroes and dance along to the song. This added a whole new dimension to the show, as it created a level of engagement and intimacy that is often lost in big venues.
During the encore, the title track of the tour ‘A Love Like War’ was played, featuring Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive, much to the crowd’s surprise and delight. As Alex Gaskarth gleefully pointed out “No one called this! You all thought she would be singing Remembering Sunday!”. Fair play Alex, even I was fooled…
Other crowd pleasers included spontaneous covers of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’, as well as All Time Low’s own hits of ‘Break Your Little Heart’, ‘Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)’ and acoustic versions of ‘Remembering Sunday’ and ‘Therapy’.
All time Low ended the show with their traditional closing song of ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’, showing that no matter how far the band goes, they will always be the same Baltimore boys from 11 years ago.
Photo Credit: Adam Elmakias @elmakias