All Time Low at Eventim Apollo
To screams and pink lights, a dramatic, very cool, and immediately high-octane concert exploded at Eventim Apollo as All Time Low opened with their super energetic quintessential punk rock Kicking and Screaming – accompanied by an ebullient multi-coloured strobe extravaganza. With an enormous sea of people jumping, arms flailing, and singing along, the huge auditorium was literally shaking. With lead singer Alex Gaskarth, lead guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson, the band was on top form and clearly enjoying themselves.
All Time Low combines classic punk wildness with alternative-style emotional depth. Following the terrific, supercharged, if not particularly novel, Kicking and Screaming, the more unique, confessional Weightless features some great writing. Cinderblock Garden, one of the familiar tunes that thrilled the crowd, was also upbeat and lively. Next, Canals, characteristically autobiographical, contains some of the more interesting verses. Something’s Gotta Give – more original than most in terms of melody – continued in that vein. One of the best sounding songs (specifically in that arena) was Kids in the Dark, exhibiting how live and recorded music can differ. The melancholic Dirty Laundry was followed by an energizing Guts and soulful ballad Therapy. About addiction, Missing You is meaningful and raw, again exemplifying the emotional genuineness of the lyrics, a highlight of this act. The finale was the very human Take Cover, with fantastic writing and fun and lively if less original music. The encores Lost in Stereo and Dear Maria, Count Me In – some more classic punk numbers – closed the show.
The band put on a fantastic performance, but here the instrumentals and vocals were somewhat drowned out by the sound system. The light display was great, except sometimes obscuring the view of the stage. Alex Gaskarth was chatty, and his words, like the lyrics, came across as real and heartfelt. The latter, barely heard during the concert, are one of the musicians’ best features. All Time Low can appear to have a teen-pop vibe, but despite some rock clichés like tossing beach balls into the crowd, confetti and smoke, the group’s very strong talent and genuine caring sets it apart, with a message that is anything but trite. Powerful, meaningful and from the heart, All Time Low give us music that is colossal fun with a soul.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information about All Time Low and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Something’s Gotta Give here: