Saturday March 15th 2014
All Time Low w/ Tonight Alive + Only Rivals.
Everyone’s favourite Baltimore rockers All Time Low play their second sell-out show at London’s Brixton Academy, as part of their UK ‘A Love Like Tour’.
Kicking off the night are Dublin based four-piece Only Rivals, whose alt rock sound unfortunately fails to get much of a response from tonight’s crowd. They seem to be victims of the common ‘first band syndrome’; the floor is not even half full as the audience trickle in, and despite some attempts to interact, even set closer – a cover of chart hit – ‘Valerie’, receives a less than stellar response.
Aussie pop-rockers Tonight Alive are next to take the stage and their explosive energy is immediately palpable. They grab you by the balls from the outset and demand your attention throughout; the gathering are more than happy to oblige, responding with hand bouncing en masse and screaming along to the likes of ‘Listening’. Vocalist Jenna McDougall commands the stage, the audience in the palm of her hand. The five-some play a set of old and new songs, McDougall belting out favourites like set closer ‘Lonely Girl’ and ‘The Ocean’, as well as treating us to two new tracks including ‘The Edge’.
Being that this is the last night of tour for them they go out on an undeniable high, towards the end of their set headliners All Time Low invade the stage with a tray of shots, and the night is finally underway.
Our pop-punk heroes bound on to the stage to a chorus of ear-splitting screams; fitting considering that this is their second sell-out show at the same venue within the space of a week, something that has never happened before anywhere else in the world.
The band play a blistering set, brimming with energy and fun. Rocking out to oldies like ‘Break Your Little Heart’ and – the much requested – ‘Vegas’, and whipping the mob into a frenzy with crowd pleasers like ‘Lost In Stereo’, ‘Weightless’ and ‘Somewhere in Neverland’; the gaggle jumping along like crazed Jack-in-a-boxes.
“We’ve been a band for 11 years and this has to be one of my favourite fuckin’ shows.” Says Bassist Zack Merrick not even half way through the set, and vocalist Alex Gaskarth praises London for being like a second home, both earning an almighty roar of appreciation.
However, the stand out moments tonight aren’t in the riot inducing party tracks, but when Gaskarth takes to the stage alone, with nothing but his acoustic guitar, to play some stripped back numbers including the ever popular ‘Therapy’:
Illuminated by a solitary spotlight with the audience hanging on to every word, it incites a mass sing-along packed with emotion, and the sense of intimacy is enough to give you the chills. Screaming along with such unbridled conviction, it is undeniable that this song means a hell of a lot to everyone in the room.
Before long the pop-punk party is back underway, with Gaskarth pulling people on-stage to help sing Time-Bomb. Continuing the organised chaos, set closer ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ see’s all three bands onstage together, and you get the feeling that the band didn’t want this night to end, almost, as much as the fans.
‘Maybe it’s not my weekend, but it’s gonna be my year’? Well, tonight All Time Low have nothing to worry about.