LIVE: All Time Low / The Maine @ O2 Academy Brixton, London

By Yasmin Brown

In a time where being able to experience international artists live and in the flesh still feels like something of a novelty, we couldn’t be more excited for tonight’s lineup at Brixton Academy. This beloved venue in the heart of London has seen more huge names than we care to remember take to its stage, but tonight there are just three that we care about.

From Fueled By Ramen’s latest success story, Meet Me At The Altar, to our favourite wholesome men in The Maine, to tonight’s main event, the mighty All Time Low, there’s not a moment to rest nor a moment to feel anything but the overwhelming buzz that comes when you’re about to see your favourite band. And this time, that buzz will hit you square between the eyes three times in a row.

The excitable atmosphere in the room is tangible as the crowd, from front to back, embraces the packed, sweaty environment with open arms. The anticipation is all consuming, and when The Maine hit the stage, it’s all we can do to scream, shout and jump as wildly as our bodies will allow. It’s a novel situation to have the lead support be as popular as John O’Callaghan and his pals are tonight, and there are moments where the crowd responds so well to their 30 minute set that you almost forget that this isn’t the band we’re here to see. Playing hits from across their whole discography, The Maine showcase boundless charisma, talent and easy crowd interaction, and the smiles that are still sitting widely on our faces right through the intermission until All Time Low take to the stage only further cement what an incredible band this really is.

But of course, there can only be one headliner tonight, and as All Time Low take to the stage for the second of two sold out shows here at Brixton Academy, our excitement and euphoria really hits its peak. Those at the front of the crowd are already gasping for air, having been waiting for hours for this very moment, while those at the back carefully nurse their beers as they merrily sing and dance along as the set kicks off with one of the band’s most recent hits, ‘Some Kind of Disaster’.

This is the first time All Time Low have been able to visit our shores since the poorly timed release of ‘Wake Up Sunshine’ early last April, and fans are chomping at the bit in excitement as we hear these tracks live for the first time. With many bands who have been around for as long as All Time Low, it’s easy to tell that older releases resonate better with the fans, but this is a band that has successfully maintained enthusiasm with every album they’ve released. This is clear to see tonight as they make their way through a set list made up of tracks from across their whole career, even mixing it up from the previous evening, throwing in curveballs such as ‘Favorite Place’ which are met with as much joy as the singles and other fan favourites such as ‘Monster’, ‘Weightless’ and – of course – ‘Lost in Stereo’. 

Technically, All Time Low are all but perfect this evening, never failing to hit every note with ease and playing together in perfect synchronisation that can only be achieved by a band that have played as one unit for the better part of two decades. You get the feeling that they could pull off a decent show in their sleep, but the effort and energy they still put into every performance guarantees a phenomenal evening, and the crowd are happily eating out of the palms of their hands from start to finish, their dedication to the band mirroring the band’s dedication to their craft. 

It’s hard to articulate just how special this particular performance has been without being in the room, but as front man Alex Gaskarth notes that this is their “favourite show in a long time”, you might just get a notion of just how magical it has been. And, if we’re totally honest, it’s been one of our favourite shows in a long time, too.