When All Time Low announced last year that they would tour the UK in March 2017, the whole fanbase knew that it was something not to miss.
Mostly cause we all knew the cycle for Future Hearts had ended, so it could only mean one thing: NEW. MUSIC. FOR ALL TIME LOW.
I know what some might say: I’m not objective, I’m a fan. But get this: this whole blog, is about my point of view, not only as a musician, but ALSO as a fan. Cause people tend to forget that beyond the whole « pro » thing, we all are a little bit fans of those artists we have on our mp3s but are too cool to admit we like or even know every word to every song.
This band right here, they’re amongst my favorite heroes of all time (pun intended) and there’s a reason for that. They simply make me feel like I’m completely out of this world for the 4mn of that song, or the hour and a half of that concert I went to.
Honestly, how not to expect that ? Straight To DVD II was clearly the final chapter for this album and we were all in the waiting room for new stuff.
SO, it was the most natural thing to book tickets for this tour as soon as they came out.
Little facts to know: not only were we 3 on computers to get tickets to all the shows we wanted to attend, we also were amongst the quickest, and that I’m sure of thanks to PayPal, AND, please dear bands, read my post (but long story short, don’t announce a tour on the Tuesday to put the tickets on sale on the Friday. It leaves too little time to plan ahead for ALL of the shows 😭).
ANYWAY. After getting these tickets, the wait seemed like a forever. It’s such a heart-wrenching thing when you say goodbye to your favorite band on the last night of tour or at the end of the concert when you attend only the one you can, and not knowing when you’ll see them again. But HALLELUJAH they always seem to come back soon enough !
We had enough months ahead to plan for the trips, the accommodations and book everything. And every time we tick something off our ‘to do’ list, it always reminds us how we’re one step closer to seeing them.
The wait was long. AND FULL OF SURPRISES !
At first, it was supposed to be just this ONE show in London. Then it became a whole tour. Then they released a new song AND announced a new album.
Oh what a load of things to look forward to.
When it comes to my personal experience, I was lucky enough to attend two shows abroad (London and Cardiff), a DJ Set by Alex and Jack, and have one more to wait for, in the Paris date.
So, how did it go ?
Do you really need to ask ?
Honestly, I never thought something such as falling in love with your favorite band again and again and again could exist, but it does ! I promise !
Every time the lights go out, every time the first sounds of guitar being picked up and we see Rian running to his drum-set, I get my heart racing thousand times faster than it normally should, but it’s a fucking great feeling !
First day of the tour was kicking off in London, at the Hammersmith Apollo on Friday the 10th of March.
What better way to start a tour, but with beer, friends and your favorite band !
I came to the show awaiting for two things. The first was Waterparks, cause my best friend got me into them, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. And then of course, All Time Low.
The other band opening that night was SWMRS, but I have to admit, I don’t know them enough to write about them, so I’ll stick to what I know.
What I do know is: even though Awsten (lead singer) was sick, Waterparks was still one of the best opening acts I’ve ever seen. Their album Double Dare has been on repeat every now and then when I listen to music since it came out (with their EP Crave out since summer of 2016) and I was pretty happy to be able to see them.
The setlist, though too short in my opinion, was perfect and catchy enough for everyone who was there and didn’t know Waterparks to actually get a chance to know them and like them ! If you haven’t listened to them yet, you should probably listen to the songs on the setlist to get THE crush on them ( Made In America, Hawaii (Stay Awake), Crave, Stupid For You, Mad All The Time, Royal). My favorite above all else was Royal, who gives me the chills enough when the chorus comes closing in on the line « I WISH I WAS ROYAL BUT I’M NOT ». Con of the setlist: there was one song missing, but unfortunately, Geoff told a fan outside that they couldn’t play it cause they needed to stay in the more catchy pop punk and not the acoustic stuff (if you want to listen to that song, go check it out on spotify, it’s 21 Questions). Anyway, the whole crowd was going crazy to make up for the lack of singing, and I think we’ll agree: this is the best way to show your support to a band. By standing by their side through thick and thin even when they’re sick.
I didn’t know SWMRS enough to get a decent point of view on them, so i’ll admit that it mostly allowed me to go to the bathroom, pick out a couple drinks, and chat a bit with my friends. But it was nice to get to see them and see the reaction of people, who seemed to be pretty fond of them ! Maybe soon enough I’ll get to pay a closer look and attention to them as to make myself a proper opinion of this band. It’s on my list anyway !
Then of course, the longest part gets there. The wait between the last opening act and the headliner. And it was long. It was painful. Cause while the tension builds up, you get excited, you’re looking forward to discover the setlist, and at the same time, you wonder if your favorite song’s gonna get played.
What’s funny is that you can always guess when the band’s about to come out, mostly cause any song stops, then you get a special song that’s louder than the others, as some sort of countdown for every one to get ready. The song finishes. Lights go out. And it’s time.
Ryan runs to his drums, and you see everyone getting on that stage ready to make you jump off your feet.
« 1, 2, 3, 4 ! » and here we go.
To this day, I think Kicking And Screaming is a PERFECT song to open a gig with ! All throughout the concert, we’re given the band’s biggest hits, and honestly, I think there hasn’t been a single song where the crowd didn’t sing almost as loud as Alex.
While we’re taken on memory lane with songs from every album (though none from Put Up Or Shut Up on the London date, but Jasey Rae’s been played at the Liverpool date and a medley was played at a secret show the night before), and I’m glad to feel that alive again. What’s weird when you’re at a concert and you hear your favorite artist live, is that feeling you get when the song starts, the vision of how you heard the song first, and how you got to like it the first time you heard it.
Somewhere In Neverland was the song that got me hooked on the Don’t Panic album just by the small 20seconds snippet we were given back then when they were teasing the album, so get that seeing this song live is close to heaven to me. Especially when a place like Neverland and the idea of going there with All Time Low is basically GOAL.
Then Six Feet Under The Stars is the kind of song that you could easily play on a first date and think « yeah, I could fall in love with that goof ». And the little self-doubt in the line « I’ll take you out though I’m hardly worth your time, In the cold you look so fierce but I’m warm enough, cause the tension’s like a fire » could lead to people getting closer to each other. This song is easily one of my favorites by ATL.
One of the songs I didn’t expect to be on the setlist, and I’m glad it was, Cinderblock Garden. In case you didn’t know, ATL was playing this song at most of their FH Tour shows, but stopped playing after one of the band’s close friend passed away, and this was his favorite song. So I can see why they wouldn’t want to play it for a while, and I think it was very brave to add it back up.
There are some songs that you wouldn’t expect to see live for some reasons, like the fact that they’re on albums that are deluxe edition or live albums, BUT All Time Low is the kind of band that says « F to that » and play them anyway ! Canals and Take Cover both were a very good surprise to see live !
Dirty Laundry was a HUGE surprise. I mean, I liked the song already and we all knew they were going to play it. But live, it’s even better !
Remember when I said I thought the song was too « pop-y » ? Well, live, the song puts aside all pop-y-ness and get more punk-y ! So yes, this song was VERY GOOD live !
Is it necessary for me to say that when the lights dimmed, band deserted the stage and left Alex alone with a guitar, I knew the waterworks were about to come. IS IT HUMAN TO PLAY THERAPY AND MISSING YOU IN THE SAME SHOW GUYS ???
Let’s be serious. Both songs deal with personal feelings, depression, addiction, and self-love. Of course most of us were bound to cry despite the « I’m a rolling FUCKING STONE » and « FUCK THE WORLD cause it’s my life, I’m gonna take it back ». These songs are powerful, and I dare anyone to come and say that they didn’t feel a tiny bit heart-wrenched listening to either one of them. (One of my best friends was crying beside me on Missing You, and let me tell you, if hearing such a beautiful song live, with your one of your best friend crying next to you doesn’t bring tears to your eyes or gets you emotional, YOU HAVE A HEART OF STONE).
My second favorite song by ATL is Love Like War. So whenever it comes on, you can find me screaming my heart out, like I’m actually about to go and fight someone in the name of love (wink wink). Let’s be clear about that too: I. WANT. TO. SEE. THIS SONG. LIVE. WITH VIC FUENTES. SOON.
Alex doing both vocals is already perfect enough, but I have to admit, I kinda expect Victor to show up at any time any moment on stage whenever I hear the first few riffs of that song haha. But the song is awesome in EVERY. SINGLE. WAY.
Finally, after a couple more songs, the band goes backstage and waits for the encore.
Which they deliver.
With (*drumroll*) thebestsongbyalltimelowliveeverandthateveryoneknowsthelyricsofandthefamousclap (yes I said that in one breath)
LOST IN STEREO. And its famous clap. Fun fact: when this song comes on, no matter where I am, I do the clap. Even when I’m at the gym. And then everyone stares at me ‘cause they think I’m clapping at myself for the effort I’m making haha.
And then… The big finish.
Anyone who’s ever been to an All Time Low show knows what time it is.
*clears throat* I GOT YOUR PICTURE, I’M COMING WITH YOU !
Yes, Dear Maria time. This isn’t one of those closing song where you usually cry, but if you’re as addicted to All Time Low as some of us are (*coughs*), you either laugh from the top of your lungs or simply wanna cry and sing this song out loud cause it simply is one of the best pop-punk anthem of our generation.
Saying that I feel both happy and sad, full of energy and tired like never before, and saying that it went by WAY too fast, are all understatements.
Going to any show is an incredible experience. Going to an All Time Low show, is one to put on your bucket list if you’ve never been. Not only because of the band, or the songs. But simply cause they’ll make you feel like a big giant hug from a friend or from your family.
In case you were wondering, here’s the setlist 😉
- Kicking And Screaming
- Somewhere In Neverland
- Six Feet Under The Stars
- Cinderblock Garden
- Something’s Gotta Give
- Kids In The Dark
- Dirty Laundry
- Missing You
- A Love Like War
- Backseat Serenade
- Take Cover
- Lost In Stereo
- Dear Maria, Count Me In