Back in February pop-punk band, All Time Low announced their departure from Hopeless Records and sequential signing with Fueled By Ramen as well as a new album: Last Young Renegade. Of course, a new album means a new tour, although the band never does seem to take a break from the stage. As a fan, I was beyond excited and sneakily bought tickets to their show during school with absolutely no shame. After seeing them first hand on the last night of the American leg of the tour I understand why they can’t seem to get enough of playing sold out venues, and why fans (including myself) have stuck around for so many years.
After waiting in a queue with the Florida sun beating down on my back for hours on end, I finally got let inside the venue with sweat rolling down nearly every inch of my body. The Wrecks, Waterparks, and SWMRS put on mind blowing performances filled to the brim with rage, excitement, and energy; a perfect way to start off a show. Soon enough the lights go down and out come the foursome I’ve come to know and love: All Time Low.
The show kicks off with the album’s title track Last Young Renegade which quickly sets the tone for the rest of the show. With an electrifying guitar riff and a catchy chorus, the song is familiar and somewhat nostalgic, immediately making you think of the first time you fell in love. The performance is energetic as front man Alex Gaskarth bounces across the stage, seemingly greeting the crowd and welcoming everyone to the show. In a statement made by Gaskarth on the bands Instagram page he goes into depth about what it means to be a young renegade and how the concept surrounds self-realization, “We are who we are, even when we try our hardest not to be.” Choosing this song to open up the show was an obvious move, however it also became evident that t
he concept was something the band wanted to divulge to their fans.
Onward, the band courses through classic, high energy, fan favorites from earlier albums hyping up the crowd, as well as them selves. Every second was full of interaction with the fans, instrument changes, and running around the stage, ensuring that there was never a dull moment.
Guts, a song from their album Dirty Work which I personally believe is dismally overlooked, is one of the highlights of the show. Lyrically the song is genius, confessing what it feels like to have nothing holding you back, and finding out that you have the guts to say anything. The song quickly develops into a near sing-along, as the band pause everything for a moment to hear the crowd singing back at them, and quickly jump right back into the song with possibly even more energy and emotion than before.
Following Guts is Dirty Laundry, the first single released off of Last Young Renegade, and a clear crowd-pleaser. The song starts off softly with synthetics that differ slightly from the typical ATL sound. About halfway through the song a girl who might’ve been the coolest person I’ve ever seen (the girl I aspire to be someday) not only crowd surfs up to the stage but does it all in a wedding dress. Gaskarth pulls her up on stage and lets her stay up there for the remainder of the song, including when the song kicks into full force giving it that signature All Time Low vibe. Similarly, Nice2KnoU carries on the energy but reveals another angle of the Last Young Renegade, that is essentially a tribute to the band’s roots, the places they’ve been and all the people who have shaped the band throughout the years.
Electric guitars are switched for acoustic ones and Missing You opens up with an emotional video of different fans thanking the band for impacting their lives so positively. The crowd sings along and is quite solemn for a few moments before the energy is brought back up with vivid tracks like Vegas, which was seemingly resurrected from the dead, however, definitely enjoyed, only to come back down, perhaps even lower, with Therapy. A clear favorite, the crowd sings every word back holding back tears (well… at least I was.) The song leaves you feeling quite empty but somehow the band manages to bring everyone back up with Weightless, from their album Nothing Personal, and Life of the Party another track from LYR. The song is melancholic and sheds light on what happens when you change yourself so much to please others that you forget who you are.
One of the highlights of the show, a moment fans wait in line for over 12 hours for, is getting pulled on stage for Time-Bomb. The band pulls on stage about twenty fans to help them perform the track. Everyone jumps around the stage and lives what is possibly one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. At my show, in particular, someone came out on stage in a dinosaur costume, making for a very entertaining performance. How many bands do you know that do that?
Two more songs from LYR are played during the show, the first being Good Times: you can feel a thick coat of nostalgia spread through the air as the chorus rings throughout the venue. Gaskarth’s melodic voice harmonizes with the crowds, and rhythm and synths are used to add a texture to the song that nearly makes your heart ache. The song calls upon moving on, growing up, letting go, but never forgetting all the memories you’ve made along the way. Drugs & Candy, a song about a toxic relationship, is another fan favorite, and by this point of the concert, the crowd is pure chaos. Bras have gone flying on stage and placed on Jack Barakat, the lead guitarist’s, microphone, and both friends and enemies have been made (keeping your place in a crowd is no joke.)
The very last song performed is the bands claim to fame: Dear Maria, Count Me In. At this point, I had lost my voice from singing along, but it was definitely worth it. Barakat and Gaskarth throw their guitars across the stage. Rian Dawson goes crazy in the drums and flashes an award winning smile. Zack Merrick tears it up on the bass. Barakat jumps into the crowd announcing his love to every fan and holding as many hands as possible. Gaskarth throws a bouquet of roses into the crowd for fans to catch. The show ends and I am left speechless.
Maybe I’m biased because I’m already a fan of the band, but nothing compares to a live show. All Time Low are one of the most captivating bands I’ve seen live, and I would see them a thousand times over again.