Review and photos by Kelly Hamilton
It’s clear to see that Baltimore rockers All Time Low have conquered in leaps and bounds since they first arrived onto the scene. They’ve played big known venues across the UK, all the while making fun of themselves so that nobody else has to, but now they’re playing some of their biggest UK shows to date. Landing them in Manchester’s 21,000 capacity arena, this sold out for the night on February 13th, All Time Low took to an impressive stage set up to impress their eagerly awaiting fans.
Opening was ‘A Love Like War’ an immediate crowd pleaser and was followed by ‘Lost In Stereo’ and some pyrotechnics in the back. While singer Alex Gaskarth stands stag at his mic, guitarist Jack Barakat and bassist Zack Merrick dance circles around him. Their synchronicity in air jumps is to be admired throughout the whole set and Barakat’s entertainment factor is second to none. He does all he can to keep eyes on him, mimicking some not so family friendly gestures to the crowd as well as more suitable funny faces that cater to everyone. At the side girls are crying, some literally sick with excitement. All Time Low clearly have an effect on people that could go back to the ways of Beatle Mania.
Around mid-way into the set, three of the four members disappear off to the sides leaving Gaskarth to perform alone, but not before a small speech about how hard life can be sometimes, tailing it off with; “Whatever you have going on just know that it does get better.” ‘Therapy’ begins quickly after, with the crowds voices soaring above Gaskarth’s at the chorus. It’s a sweet moment, intimately connecting All Time Low to their fans for a short while.
When the band graces the stage once more, they play ‘Somewhere In Neverland’ and ‘Backseat Serenade’ before coming to another halt. Their tradition of having people join them during Time Bomb is not missed. Barakat and Gaskarth set about picking the fans from the front of the crowd, though some further back want to be up there too. Of course Gaskarth challenges anyone further back to get to the front for the song and immediately, like something out of a horror movie, all you see eight rows back is bodies clambering over bodies to get to the front. Only one prevails, a tall guy in white who jumps up on stage after security attempted to usher him away.
The performance is good, though one guy cares more about taking selfies than singing along. Once the fans are gone, they’re back into the swing of their set for their last few songs. ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ their new track is accompanied by their video, playing across the huge screens in the back. Despite being new, majority of fans seem to know the words regardless. If nothing else it’s a good track to dance to, with the chorus – at least live – sounding like old pop punk with a slight Blink vibe.
Rounding off is ‘Reckless And The Brave’ and finally ‘Dear Maria (Count Me In),’ the latter of which is the only truly old track they play in their set and spurs something in Barakat as he can’t seem to help himself as he strips to his underwear throughout. Yes they are technically the support for the night but in watching crowd reaction and how hilariously entertaining the band are, it’s quite easy to forget that fact. There’s no doubt about it, All Time Low steal the hearts of all in Manchester leaving headliners You Me At Six a lot to live up to.
Check out the photos on our Flickr HERE.