HELP I am at an All Time Low…gig in London.You may never have heard of All Time Low but in the pop-punk scene they are a big deal and now coming to wider prominence as demonstrated Saturday night a few weeks ago when they drew an enthusiastic 12,500 crowd to their sold out show at Wembley .
All Time Low are a pop-punk band out of Baltimore consisting of vocalist and guitarist Alex Gaskarth, lead guitarist Jack Barakat, Bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson. These aren’t the new kids on the block but have grown out of a high school band in 2003 and releasing 6 studio albums in the intervening years.
They opened with the big guns and a Love Like War was greeted to a chorus of piercing screams accompanying the beating base line. During their opening set it was clear the band have upped their production values for this gig with the sound being tighter sweeter and more urgent.
The set list was thoughtfully constructed layering a sequence of the bands back catalogue with firm fan favourites Lost In Stereo and Weightless. Quickly building up the atmosphere and anticipation until the surprise highlight of the night when the lights cut out and lead singer Alex appeared unexpectedly on a second stage at the back of the arena for a short intense solo performance of Therapy and Remembering Sunday where he was joined by Cassadee Pope as guest vocals.
The return to the main stage kicked off with the bands new single Kids In The Dark which despite only being recently released seemed like everyone’s favourite with the crowd already knowing the words.
The on stage banter, obviously influenced by their heroes Blink 182 who’s lead singer Mark Hoppus features on their newest song Tidal Waves, is at times tedious and would be considered “bad” even for Blink 182. But the crowd was in forgiving mood and the interplay was a hit with audience if not with some of the parents in the crowd. Regardless, you can’t deny the band have a stage presence and confidence that plays into their music.
The night was neatly wrapped up with an encore which saw the band going right back to their first EP to play Jasey Rea and as tradition dictates ended the night on Dear Maria and Count Me In which has become, in its own right, a modern day pop-punk classic.
Some might argue that All Time Low doesn’t have a place in the rock scene due to their leanings towards pop rather than rock or punk but as a band that has worked hard to get this far their London foray confirmed All Time Low as an established pop-punk force to be reckoned with.
The sixth studio album Future Hearts was released on April the 3rd and is now available in stores and online.
Words by Caitlin Black