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All Time Low – Brixton Academy – 08-03-14 | Live Review

See what we thought of All Time Low’s first London show of the ‘Love Like Tour’

Credit: Kayla Elliot

Band: All Time Low
Support: Only Rivals and Tonight Alive
Venue: Brixtion Academy, London
Date: 08/03/2014

Only Rivials are the lucky band with the job of opening to a gradually filling Brixton Academy. The crowd are as eager as ever to cheer and make the Irish boys feel at home on such a large stage. With very little encouragement they have fans all the way back to the sound desk clapping in time and, by the second song, some nearer the front are even jumping to the music. During ‘Details‘ they get arms waving throughout the first verse and chorus, which is often hard for even a headline act.

Credit: Kayla Elliot

Before Tonight Alive even take to the stage, their set already promises to be a good one, they have their own drums and lighting set up in front of the veil hiding All Time Low‘s set. They even have a big build up with intro music and flashing lights. The set kicks off ‘The Fire‘, with a high energy song, getting the crowd interested and moving. Jenna commands attention throughout the set, using the whole stage and connecting easily with the audience getting everyone singing along to ‘Are You Listening‘. During the fourth song, ‘Breaking & Entering‘, Jenna encourages crowd surfers to reach the front and high fiver her. The penultimate song of their set is new one, making London the first ever people to get to hear ‘The Edge’.

All Time Low are the main attraction tonight, and no matter how much the crowd enjoyed the support they can’t wait for the headline band. The minute the house music stops there are screams so loud it’s hard to hear the bands intro music over them. The lights flash, building up tension as the band position themselves behind a black curtain and the crowd stand waiting to get a first glimpse of their favourite band. Just before the curtain finally drops, the introduction to ‘Do You Want Me (Dead?)’ starts, the band finally revealed as Alex Gaskarth’s vocals kick in.

Credit: Kayla Elliot

The crowd are instantly ready to go crazy as a high energy radiates around the venue. At the end of the first song, before the band have had a chance to start the second, bras are already being thrown at the stage, and what would an All Time Low show be if Jack Barakat didn’t have a collection of bras on his mic stand? In fact, at one point someone managed to throw one directly into Alex’s hand, another landed around Jack’s guitar, that he left there for a whole song, and during ‘Six Feet Under The StarsJack decided to use the strap of one as a headband.

Tonight All Time Low are playing the longest set-list they’ve played in this country, but Jack is up to his usual tricks and after Alex has announced how happy they are to be back, the guitarist chimes in with “We’re playing seven songs tonight,” earning such a loud cheer from the crowd you have to wonder if they’ve heard him.

During the songs Jack becomes a small child with ADHD as he runs around the stage, never in one place long enough for the fans to snap a picture of him. While playing ‘Lost In Stereo’, he drags Zack Merrick into his games, chasing the bassist across the stage and over the drum riser. Shows are often more enjoyable when both fans and band can mess around and have fun and the smiles on All Time Low’s faces are contagious.

Credit: Kayla Elliot

Unfortunately, some members of the crowd aren’t enjoying themselves as much as others, as a lot of fans are pulled from the crowd. Alex seems to genuinely care about the well-being of his fans and takes the time to ask if everyone is doing ok when he notices how many people have been passing out. “If you’re feeling tired there’s nothing wrong with getting pulled out,” he tells the audience.  Although he goes on to say that being bored is not ok, and threatens to molest those not having fun.

After the emotional acoustic break, when Alex plays some classic crowd favourites in the form of ‘Remembering Sunday’ and ‘Therapy’ (which he forgot to tune his guitar for) a new phase of the show seems to begin. The backdrop, which featured each member of the band in cartoon form dressed as knights while playing there instruments, changes. The crowd are now faced with zombie All Time Low as the band dive into ‘Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)’.

For ‘Time Bomb’ the band try something new. Four lucky fans are pulled up on stage to help Alex with the vocals, and the male among them instantly attracts Jack. Towards the end of the track, the guitarist hands over his instrument to the fan before climbing on his back and playing it from there. It’s a fun addition to All Time Low’s set and the fans watching have almost as much fun with it as those on stage.

Credit: Kayla Elliot

All too soon, Alex is announcing the last song, ‘Oh, Calamity’, and the band are leaving the stage, but the crowd aren’t done yet as they start screaming for an encore. The back drop changes again, now reading ‘A Love Like Tour’ and the four-some reappear. The final songs kick off with ‘The Reckless And The Brave’, followed by a cover of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ while the band reminisce about the last time they were in the country opening for the stadium band.

The title track of the tour, ‘A Love Like War’, usually features Pierce The Veil vocalist Vic Fuentes, but tonight we are treated to a reappearance of Tonight Alive’s singer Jenna McDougall. Alex had been posting on social media sites that she was collaborating with the band on this tour, and most made the assumption it would be to fill in Juliet Simms’ vocals in ‘Remembering Sunday’. At the end of the song, Alex seemed very proud of confusing the fans who thought this.

After another quick cover, this time of the classic ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey, All Time Low play their traditional closing song ‘Dear Maria (Count Me In)’, with all the usual excitement. At the bridge Alex and Jack’s guitars are thrown across the stage to crew members giving them the freedom to move around and Jack the opportunity to jump into the crowd as the crowd now expect at the end of an All Time Low show.

Reviewer: Jenna Young
Photos: Kayla Elliott

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