For us in the Midwest United States, it’s all about the country music. So when I heard pop punk groups Handguns, Man Overboard and All Time Low were coming to my area…I had to go. No exceptions. The show at the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri was a stop on All Time Low’s 2014 ‘A Love Like’ tour. The Gillioz theater drew a SOLD OUT crowd and very few concerts draw that type of crowd in the area.
First to take the stage Handguns and I had pretty high expectations for the openers. Because if you’re opening for All Time Low, you almost have to be something.
When lead singer, Taylor Eby grabbed the mic, and started off the show with the ‘Porch Light’, it immediately got the crowd moving. One thing I loved about the song is the extensive drum beats. A strong drum beat definitely gets the crowd pumped, and this opener wasn’t an exception. The crowd on the floor immediately threw up their arms and began jamming out with the band. Handguns have a new album Life Lessons set to released on July 8th of this year. So much of their half hour performance came from the album, including their latest single ‘Heart vs. Head’. Another crowd favorite was ‘Early Retirement’, as many fans enjoyed little jokes from Taylor Eby and bassist, CJ Wilson about working on Saturday’s and hating your job.
Next up, Man Overboard, who were definitely a crowd pleaser. During their first song, ‘Love Your Friends, Die Laughing’, a fan passed out and had to be carried away. One thing about Man Overboard. They are all about the music. The band didn’t interact too much with the audience, a few comments here and there, but were all about performing as many songs as possible. Their final song is their latest single, ‘Where I Left You’, features strong guitar rifts, and Nik’s uniquely raspy vocals. The crowd surfing began, and things started getting rowdy. A perfect setting for All Time Low.
Alex Gaskarth’s vocals begin (still can’t see him), Jack Barakat’s guitar kicks in, Zack Merrick steps out along with Rhian Dawson…. ‘Do You Want Me (Dead?)’ begins, and the crowd goes NUTS.
After that the group professes their love for the Gillioz. In Jack’s words “This is the best place ever. I am in love with this venue. I would have sex with it.” as Alex continues to show some love to Springfield, you hear the crowd’s screaming get louder.
As we move into one of my favorite (and the crowd’s too) songs, ‘Stella’, you start to see more and more bras being thrown on stage. Of course, that’s an All Time Low classic. Jack of course, is loving it. Putting bras on his head, his mic stand, his guitar, you name it. If you threw your bra on stage…Jack now has it. For as small of a stage as the Gillioz had, the guys made the best of it. As Jack would run from side to side of the stage, fans were all trying to touch his leg, his guitar, anything they could…and he was all smiles the whole time.
The band took a small break, as Alex began his acoustic 2 song set. The cell phone lighters immediately came out as Alex began ‘Remembering Sunday’. After the sentimental acoustic moment, the guys returned and pumped up the volume for ‘Me Without You (All I ever Wanted)’, which lead all of us into excitement for ‘Damned If I Do Ya (Damned if I don’t)’. This is when the crowd surfing and moshing started to pick up.
I’ve seen All Time Low perform, and this was something I truly respect as a fan and a concert goer–getting the crowd involved. And that’s what they did for the song ‘Time-Bomb’. The group picked 3 members to come up on stage and sing. Luckily, one of the guys Jack picked, “Sir Nicholas” as he wanted to be called, actually knew the words. Surprisingly, he wasn’t a bad singer either. The two other girls who were chosen didn’t sing a single lyric.
As the final song approached, and the band finished up ‘Oh, Calamity’, Alex expressed to fans “We’ll play all night if you give us an encore!”. Well duh, of course Springfield gets an encore. Fans were going nuts!
Within a few minutes, they were back out with ‘The Reckless and the Brave’ for the 3 song encore. The title track of the tour, ‘A Love Like War’ was second, minus, Pierce The Veil vocalist Vic Fuentes. Fans were singing along so loudly to this one. Personally, I thought this would have been the final song, but it wasn’t. The show came to an end with ‘Dear Maria Count Me In’. Jack was even nice enough to bring up a fan who was in the front row the entire show to play HIS guitar during the song. The guy was very talented and played an awesome duet with Jack. Jack, of course, doing a full on crowd surf at the end, leaving fans completely satisfied, and worn out, from an amazing live show.