Day two in Manchester of the All Time Low UK tour is set to commence. Now five albums and over a decade into their career, the Baltimore outfit are still a relatively young band who’ve managed to avoid multiple line-up changes and, ultimately, have seemed stable from start-to-finish. Back on our shores to give latest record ‘Don’t Panic!’ one final push before album number six becomes the focus, it’s time to see if their live show still fares up.
Openers Only Rivals (**) are fresh faces on the scene, having only their one EP ‘Details’ out about a fortnight ago, but they’re greeted to a surprisingly warm welcome from the ever growing early crowd filtering in. Despite minimal singalongs, other than a quick cover of ‘Valerie’ by The Zutons mid-set, the fans get involved where they can. The band seem a little timid, maybe due to a stage much larger than they’re used to. However, if they build on this foundation quick, they could really come into their own.
Aussie pop-punks Tonight Alive (****) are treated almost like they’re tonight’s headliners, with the likes of ‘Breaking & Entering’ and ‘The Ocean’ facing a constant barrage of screams and cheers from the sea of fans before them. Jenna McDougall walks about the stage with a somewhat gangster-esque swagger and, though to begin with the sound desk makes her vocals sound a tad shallow, the power of her voice is soon brought to full force to command the crowd for the evening’s headliners.
The heat really kicks up and the Manchester crowd enter whole new levels of wild as soon as All Time Low (****) make their appearance, whose live show is at an all time high. Indeed, the intensity of the fans’ excitement sends many begging for water or pulling themselves out from the middle of the crowd to avoid fainting. Starting off with ‘Do You Want Me (Dead?)’, the slick pop hooks with a slightly crunchy punk core brand the band provide makes their 20+ song strong set one that a fan of any era of the band’s career would enjoy.
The band rarely enter material from their album ‘Dirty Work’, a record which the band have noted on several occasions as being one they’re not too fond of. Instead, we’re treated with a dense amount of cuts from ‘Don’t Panic!’ and ‘Nothing Personal’, seeing the likes of ‘Weightless’ and the acoustic one-two of older number ‘Remembering Sunday’ and ‘Therapy’ as a nice mid-set acoustic breather before the band delve us into their sugary pop-punk again.
It’s not until closing hits ‘A Love Like War’ (where we see Jenna of Tonight Alive take guest spot duties) and ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ where we truly see that, despite their huge teen following, All Time Low could very well hold their name in as high a standard as their older peers New Found Glory, Fall Out Boy and Blink-182.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)