All Time Low
With The Summer Set, Hit the Lights, The Downtown Fiction
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Monday, October 22, 2012
In a sea of teenagers pushing amongst themselves, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" comes on between The Summer Set and All Time Low'
s set, and every voice in First Avenue could be heard singing along to the Top 40 hit. It was clear that this crowd did not limit their genres of music, but rather a group that loved catchy hooks and was ready for a good time -- in short a typical crowd at an All Time Low show.
Vans Warped Tour at Canterbury Park, 7/8/12
Touring in support of their latest album Don't Panic, All Time Low look to Blink 182 -- and are considered Generation Y's version of the latter -- as the watermark to reach. Perhaps that is why, much like a Blink show, All Time Low's gigs consist of so many dick jokes.
Opening with "The Reckless and the Brave," an anthem off Panic
, the audience began jumping in time to the opening riffs, while bras wasted no time making their way to the stage and onto mic stands. It must be a rule when attending an All Time Low show: always bring two bras, one to wear, and one to throw.
While the setlist may not change too much from city to city, there's no predicting what can happen at each show. The band looked for Prince in the crowd, saying they had put him on the guest list. One fan claimed to be Prince, but lead singer, Alex Gaskarth, quickly shut him down, saying, "You're not Prince. He has a bigger dick." Not to be outdone in vulgarity, guitarist Jack Barakat declared, "We came here for one reason, to see boobies and wieners."
Assuredly, not everything works out perfectly every night. Gaskarth messed up the opening to "Forget About It," earning him a good-natured finger from his bandmates. Although the new album sounds much like their old material -- for example, when listening to, "If Theses Sheets Were States," there are traces of "The Beach" from their breakthrough album, So Wrong, It's Right -- the band makes it evident that they are better-suited as live performers than studio musicians. Fun and funny are the two main priorities in their performances, especially if you're wearing a shirt that says, "Boner."
Proposing a circle pit, Jack asked if any audience members were at the Minneapolis (respectively Shakopee) Warped Tour
this past summer where the band was one of the headliners. Rightfully, they remembered how dusty that day was, but a circle pit at an outdoor festival is just not the same or as intense in a venue with no room to move. Even though a circle pit was not possible, a dance party was, especially for the catchy and hook-laden pieces "Lost In Stereo" and "Stella."
Before starting the next song, Alex divulged a story of the meet and greet the band held earlier that afternoon with a boy named David. David had requested that Gaskarth dedicate the song to Lauren, with Alex calling him out by saying, "I know you're just trying to get laid." He then proceeded to ask the audience to sing along for "Remember Sunday," a haunting love song that Alex recorded with Juliet Simms (before she was famous for being on The Voice) allowing Gaskarth to show off his impressive chops and vocal range on the tune.
The band did a good job mixing up their set to include new songs plus old hits, particularly their first and biggest hit "Poppin' Champagne," a number that originally had choreographed dance moves which the band sadly didn't bust out into during the song. With a lot of between song banter, the band's tour manager repeatedly had to remind the band of the 9:30 curfew in effect for the all ages show by pointing at his "watch."
This led to Gaskarth making fun of him, saying, "You don't even have a watch on." Curfew may be a big deal for the venue, so being the professionals they are, the band cut their encore short, opening with "Time Bomb" and ending with "Dear Maria." For as cynical as teenagers are stereotyped to be, there can be no denying the magic that a band that could have fallen through the cracks and got lost in the shuffle with bands like Fallout Boy could elicit out of apathetic kids. Forget Justin Bieber, these are the true rock stars.
Critic's bias: Although I do not fall in the band's age demographic, I am a pretty big fan of All Time Low. You can't help singing along to their most infectious song, "Weightless."
The crowd: Teens and their parents.
Overheard in the crowd: "I lost my shoe in the pit."
Random notebook dump: While at Warped Tour this summer, Erik Hess, the assigned photographer, commented on the young age of the band's crowd, then proceeded to ask me if I saw the sign on the back Jack Barakat's guitar, which said, "Show me your boobs."
The Reckless and the Brave
Forget About It
Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)
Coffee Shop Soundtrack
Somewhere in Neverland
Lost in Stereo
If These Sheets Were States