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LSRadio MUSIC BLOG

All Time Low @ Liverpool Guild of Students (18/3/17)

My inner 16 year old self was screaming with delight when I got the chance to review All Time Low at the Liverpool Guild of Students last Saturday. The pop-punk 4 piece consisting of members: Alex, Jack, Zack and Rian, from Maryland, played The Guild as part of their world tour in anticipation of their 7th (yes, 7th!) studio album, Last Young Renegade.

All Time Low have produced many pop-punk hits over the years, and their set was not short of any of them. From their classic track Weightless at the beginning of the set, to Lost in Stereo in the encore, the crowd screamed every word. The energy was undeniable, from both the band and the crowd. There was no point in the whole show in which the energy dipped, even during the ballad of Therapy.

Photo Credit: Tom Adam

As much as I have always wanted to, I have never seen the band live before. As excited as I was, I feel like there is always a little element of worry that your expectations won’t be met when you go to see one of your favourite bands live for the first time. Every worry I had however, was very much blown away when watching these guys. The vocals of lead singer, Alex Gaskarth, were so impressive. His solo of Therapy was a particular stand out moment for me. The stripped back version of the song exposed his vocals, but he did the recorded version so much justice, if not actually better. This moment of intimacy produced by the band in the middle of a very dynamic show, really added a different, but very much appreciated, edge to the show.

The set featured the lead single, Dirty Laundry, from the band’s forthcoming album. Compared to their older material, this new single is definitely more mature sounding, indicating a possible new direction going to be taken by the band in their new album. The crowd already knew every word of the song, despite it only being premiered last month.

Photo Credit: Tom Adam

You can tell why All Time Low continue to dominate their genre so much. Their combination of punchy choruses, catchy guitar hooks, and liberating lyrics convincing teenagers to go against the norm, has gained them a loyal fan-base who will continue to keep them at the top for as long as they can. Their honesty and free-spirted attitude is something I really admire about this band; particularly their openness about their personal hardships that they themselves have faced, and how this has transpired through their music. This is no more apparent in the track Missing You, which Gaskarth dedicated to anyone struggling with addiction. This sense of inclusion created through their music and stage presence is why, I believe, they have captured the attention of so many young people. They create a sense of unity through their music during a time in young people’s lives that can sometimes be quite isolating and overwhelming.

Photo Credit: Tom Adam

The encore was the highlight of the whole evening. Starting with the powerhouse that is Lost in Stereo, the atmosphere was euphoric, with the crowd flinging their arms in the air out of pure ecstasy, belting out the mantra of ‘LOST IN STEREO’ back to Gaskarth and co. After much persuasion from the crowd, they treated us to a special performance of their classic hit Jasey Rae which was not on the original set list. They clearly have a soft spot for Liverpool, but who wouldn’t? The finale of their set, Dear Maria, Count Me In was a pop-punk dream – complete with light show and confetti cannon.

There seems to be a prejudice and misconception about pop-punk bands, and that they aren’t ‘proper rock bands’. In a sense, they aren’t, but they are a different genre of rock that are completely, and rightly so, stand alone, making their music unashamedly. All Time Low certainly surpassed all my hopes and expectations and really proved why they have lasted, and continue to grow after over 10 years of being a band.

Featured Photo Credit: Tom Adam

Naomi Gillies

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