LIVE: All Time Low @ Alexandra Palace, London

By Eloise Bulmer

It’s 2018 and All Time Low are playing to 10,000 people in a city across the world from their hometown. There’s a blizzard outside, but it hasn’t deterred the crowd that is swelling outside the venue, huddled together under the snow whilst chatter about the set list and earlier gigs floats above. Tonight’s show is particularly special, not only because it’s the last and biggest show of the tour, but because the bands headline set will be preceded by a performance of their 2007 album ‘So Wrong, It’s Right’ in full. Playing a couple of club shows in the states to celebrate the albums 10-year anniversary, the Baltimore pop-punkers brought the anniversary show over the pond after popular demand, and so here they are.

The album is a pop-punk classic, and is received as so in the hall tonight. They’re self-aware, with a monologue alluding to their on-stage banter and fashion choices of 2008 introducing opening track ‘This Is How We Do’, which kicks off the night with high energy drums and chants of “boys raise your glasses, girls shake those…” It’s a fun start to the evening, and the simplicity of the staging further adds to the nostalgia of the set, allowing older fans to relive that time and giving younger fans a glimpse of the bands early years. Performing songs that very rarely get an on stage airing these days, tracks like ‘Holly (Would You Turn Me On?) and ‘Shameless’ fizz and crackle with the endurance of great pop song-writing, and the crowd love it. Skipping over ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ to save it for last, the first set ends with album closer ‘Poppin’ Champagne’, with the band promising they’ll be back to play for a couple more hours after a short break.

Skipping ten years forward, the band are back with ‘Last Young Renegade’ which immediately gets the crowd bouncing and singing their hearts out, with a light show and confetti to match. Whilst focusing on the present day with their second set, they still make time for fan favourites ‘Lost In Stereo’ and ‘Backseat Serenade’ which have hands in the air and feet off the ground for the entirety of both. With such an expansive discography, there will always be some great songs that are left off of the set list, but it is a shame the band skip over their album ‘Dirty Work’ entirely. These omissions make room for a set full of tracks from their two most recent releases, and the energy in the room remains high, especially through ‘Dark Side of Your Room’, a glittering ode to a relationship that takes place in the midnight hours, and ‘Life Of The Party’, a classic tale of rock star indulgence which brings some moodiness to the evening.

Frontman Alex Gaskarth is at home on stage, dancing between sparklers and giving every person in the room a moment to take home with them, whilst guitarist Jack Barakat bombs around the stage with consistent intensity throughout. It’s no wonder the band have built up such a dedicated following of fans who will watch them live over and over, especially seeing the camaraderie between the band mates onstage, with Alex and bassist Zack Merrick taking a moment out to hang out – just them and “10,000 people”. The night is closed out with ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ which has people whooping in anticipation as soon as they realise what’s coming, and by the time the bridge hits, all bets are off as band members jump into the audience to finish the track, a swarm of fans sticking to them like honey until they make their way off stage.

Tonight marks a very clear timeline for the band, who are paying their dues to the album that started it all whilst proving that they’re looking firmly towards the future. Spending over a decade writing, recording and touring together, the experience they have is obvious as the band wrap 10,000 people around their fingers from the beginning to the end.