LIVE: All Time Low – Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham 13/02/2016
Pop/punk has seen a bit of a resurgence in the past few years, and it’s undoubtable that All Time Low are one of the biggest acts of the genre right now. My daughter is a big fan and doesn’t have a car, so I get to drive her to the show in return for a ticket. It works well that way, at least until she gets her own transport…
Anyway, off to Birmingham NIA we go, or the Barclaycard Arena (it was the LG arena last time I went a couple of years ago) to give its official name. Getting things underway were Against The Current, a rock trio hailing from Poughkeepsie in New York, who are fairly new to the scene with just a couple of EP releases to their name, although there is an album due out soon. Vocalist Chrissy Costanza certainly knew how to work the crowd, and won them over quickly. The set was tight and a lot of fun, especially with a storming cover of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk. In fact their set was all over far too quickly, because everyone was having so much fun. First support slots are often difficult, but Against The Current can almost certainly chalk this one up as a win. Expect them to be on a headline tour of their own soon.
Good Charlotte were next on the bill, and it goes to show just how fickle music fans can be at times. These guys were massive several years ago, and could sell out arenas as a headline act, but when the pop/punk scene tailed off around a decade ago, they went underground and almost into obscurity. This tour marks their return after around a five year absence, with a new album, and a new attitude it would seem. Needless to say, there were many in the crowd who were fans, so they had no problems in getting people on their side from the off, opening with The Anthem and not letting their foot off the gas the whole way through. All of the hits were there, and Girls & Boys got the whole crowd jumping in unison. They threw in a couple of songs from the new album, and rounded off their set with Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous, which went down a storm. It’s great to see them back again, hopefully they’ll come back again soon, because you’re always guaranteed a fun show.
All Time Low are massive now, and in the past decade they’ve gone from playing small academy venues to selling out arenas all over the world. Just what makes them so popular is anyone’s guess, but as a live band they’re unbelievably good. Their songs are short and punchy, so they fit a lot of them into the set. Their banter in between is both engaging and funny, and it’s unscripted too, so you never get the same show twice. They even wrote a song in real time, well sort of, with Jack Barakat doing a little rap while the band joined in. It’s hard not to like them, as they have so much fun on stage, and that energy spills into the crowd and you can’t help but smile/grin/enjoy yourself. Their new material went down well of course, especially with Joel Madden returning to the stage to join Alex Gaskarth on vocals, but it was the older stuff that got the crowd motivated the most. Lost In Stereo, Backseat Serenade, Dear Maria and countless others whipped the crowd into a frenzy, and of course they slowed things down mid set with Therapy and Missing You.
So that was it, the show was over, and everyone made their way outside, with ringing in their ears and inane grins on their faces. They were all chattering about how much they enjoyed it, which songs they liked the most, how much they loved <insert band member name here> and a whole host of other stuff. What I didn’t hear was anyone complaining that they hated it, and honestly, I doubt anyone did. The party was over, but what a party it was.
Review: Jon Seymour – Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham 13/02/2016
Photos: Shaun Neary – 3Arena, Dublin 16/02/2016