All Time Low at ACL Live
All Time Low blessed Austin last Thursday with old tunes, new beats and the same personality that the guys are known for. Despite missing their co-headliner, Dashboard Confessional, ATL put on a show to be remembered.
The show was scheduled to start at 7 o’clock sharp. The venue wasn’t too packed, of course, there was the crowd in the pit, groups scattered on the second level and a handful in the top section. For whatever reason, the music still hadn’t started at 7:10, the audience was beginning to get anxious, some asking when the performance was going to start. Finally, at 7:17 gnash entered the stage opening with his most popular song “i hate u, i love you,” the concert goers singing along to the chorus moving their hands in the air in time to the music.
The 25-year-old managed to get the fans to sing to every song, at times making it a competition to see which side of the venue could sing loudest. He closed out his 40-minute set with an unreleased track called “tshirt,” making sure to teach everyone the chorus: “You broke my heart, but I still got this t-shirt.” It was the most pop rock song of the performance and a perfect segue for All Time Low.
The crowd continued to stream in slowly during the intermission, though the venue could still not get full. It seemed like this show would have been better in a more intimate setting, maybe Emo’s or, if it was still around, Austin City Music Hall. The open seats didn’t seem to deter the band when they walked onstage to screaming tweens, teens and a group of drunk 30-something- year-olds sitting on in the Mezzanine floor.
All Time Low graced the audience with their presence at exactly 8:30 opening the set with “Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t).” The young musicians sounded just like their recording, fast and upbeat. The pit was moving as fans jumped and danced, pumping their arms in the air. It had seemed like they had reached the climax of the show with their second song, guitarist Jack Barakat was jumping all over the stage (never missing a chord,) purple and white lights engulfed the stage in a beautiful light show. It was difficult to see how the show could possibly go up from there, but the energy never stopped. Songs were played from several of their albums, going back all the way to their second LP, to their newest singles like “Everything Is Fine.” There was something for the Hustlers that had been with the band since the beginning and the ones who had recently joined them.
Slowing it down Alex Gaskarth was able to show off his vocals alone on stage during “Therapy.” The audience swayed along, a few had tears in their eyes. Later ATL dedicated their performance of “Missing You” to Dashboard Confessional, who had to leave the tour in September due to a family emergency. Bassist Zachary Merrick provided beautiful backup vocals and Rian Dawson on drums knew just how hard to hit the skins, never overpowering the guitar and singers, but still providing a perfect beat.
After about an hour of music All Time Low closed out with “Good Times,” taken from their latest album “Last Young Renegade.” A wave of calm was sent through the crowd, arms waving back and forth, voices vocalizing the “Oh’s” and others singing the main lyrics, a truly beautiful sound as everyone found their place in the song.
Gaskarth’s words “I won’t forget the good times,” resonated throughout the room. Everyone else was sure to remember that good time too.
Photos by Reese Castro