Text by: Eunice Lim
Photos by: Natalie
American pop-punk outfit All Time Low’s latest effort, Dirty Work, might not have fared too well amongst pundits for being an album chockfull with mainstream pop songs laced with the themes of girls and booze, but the hardcore Hustlers – as All Time Low fans are known – certainly did not feel the same way. When the band stopped by our sunny shores for a gig this month, they were greeted by an outpouring of love from the hundreds of fans in attendance.
It rained down heavily on the crowd who was waiting for the four-piece band to take the stage at Wave House, Sentosa,. However, the dismal weather and a painstaking delay of more than an hour and a half did nothing to dampen the spirits of the dedicated fans.
Local punk darlings and opening band The Dirt Radicals did a commendable job in getting the crowd moving with their upbeat tracks “I’ve Got a Rad Feeling About This” and “Come Home Soon”. Despite some technical glitches during their set, lead singer Sam Cooper remained cool, and he and his band mates kept playing on, even if it was obvious that the majority of the audience were fixated on what lay ahead of them. The band also gave the crowd an exclusive peek on one of the upcoming tracks on their new album, “February Scars” and had everyone engage in a sing-along to wish drummer Ben Cooper a Happy Birthday. Concluding a short yet enjoyable set with “Osaka Sundown”, they cued the excited crowd in on the main act of the night.
From the moment the lights came on and the opening notes of the introduction filled the air, it was clear that this was going to be a loud and boisterous spectacle. Kicking things off with the riotous beats of “Do You Want Me (Dead?)”, a track from their latest album, lead singer and guitarist Alex Gaskarth, lead guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson proved that their reputation as one of the most successful pop punk bands was solid, judging by the insurmountable energy of the crowd. The madness carried on into the infectious “Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)” and “Forget About It”, during which mosh pits formed and everyone jumped endlessly with their fists in the air.
Interaction with the audience was aplenty. Frontman Alex chatted with the audience in-between the set, expressing his appreciation to the fans for their support, being aware that the band’s songs had been playing on the radio and that Dirty Work was the first album of theirs to be officially released here. He also appeared genuinely apologetic that the fans had to put up with the delay earlier on, promising to “play as many songs as [they] can”. As with many bands, bromance was present amongst the cheeky boys of All Time Low. Alex and Jack donned the Transformers masks which they had got from a fan in the crowd, before Jack went towards Alex and proceeded to give him a bump face-on. Adorable, much?
If I was to name a thing that amazed me about the concert, it was how thoroughly the fans knew all their songs. Whether they were performing their lesser-known songs like “Jasey Rae” or latest singles like “Time-Bomb” and “I Feel Like Dancin’”, everyone seemed to know the lyrics by heart and sang along on every song. However, as relentless as the fans were in displaying their support for the band, they quietened down when it came to the acoustic interlude. Alex traded his electric guitar for an acoustic one, belting out a wonderful medley of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and one of their biggest hits “Remembering Sunday”. That was followed by the arguably the most memorable segment of the show, during which the band took the crowd on an emotional ride with “Therapy”. The melancholy in Alex’s voice was almost audible, and it brought out powerfully the sadness in the lines: “Give me therapy / I’m a walking travesty / But I’m smiling at everything.”
Closing the night with a terrific version of the anthemic “Dear Maria, Count Me In”, All Time Low certainly came and took the stage and their fans by storm. It was almost as if the anticipation that had built up over the eight-year long wait to see their idols in the flesh had culminated in a musical pandemonium. They screamed at the top of their lungs, sang the lyrics in unison on every song and danced their hearts out, giving their all to a night they will remember for a long time to come.
Text by: Eunice Lim
Photos by: Natalie Ho