(Photo credit to Ben Gibson)
This was supposed to be the first time I’d seen a Real Friends set in full, after popping in on their sets at both the 2013 Warped Tour UK and Slam Dunk 2014. However, sadly, their set got pulled forward by twenty minutes so I nearly missed the whole thing. Luckily I got there with enough time to hear the end of ‘Summer’ and ‘Late Nights In My Car’, both of which were performed extremely well, but I couldn’t really get a feel for their performance because I only experienced a small section. Next time I can get to a Real Friends show I’m definitely going to try, because I was highly anticipating this one, but for now I’m going to try to be content with ‘Maybe This Place Is The Same and We’re Just Changing’, their full length album which was released last year, which I managed to buy at the show.
Main support for All Time Low were Wrexham lads Neck Deep, who stormed out onto the stage with the rousing ‘Losing Teeth’, the crowd were automatically thrown into high gear, and they stayed there for the majority of the set. I was amazed by the variety of songs they played, the biggest surprise being ‘Turning Tables’ from the ‘A History of Bad Decisions’ EP, because normally support bands keep their song choices from their recent releases, and I was happy to hear an early song performed. The majority of the set was comprised of songs from ‘Wishful Thinking’, Neck Deep’s 2013 album, however they also managed to squeeze in quite a few songs from their other EP, ‘Rain In July’. My favourite moment was ‘A Part Of Me’, my personal favourite Neck Deep song, which had an amazing response – everyone screaming along to the words and showing Neck Deep that they might only be one album in but they’re definitely adored. With their second album coming soon, and their highly anticipated sets at Slam Dunk and Reading, we’re going to be hearing a lot more from these guys, and I can’t wait to see where they go next.
Damsel In Distress
Crushing Grief (No Remedy)
All Hype, No Heart ft. George Prole
Over and Over
A Part of Me ft. Laura Whiteside
What Did You Expect?
With a forty five minute set up, it was obvious that All Time Low were getting ready to put on the show of their lives, and that is exactly what they did. With a setlist of twenty one songs – twenty one! – this set was an extreme tour de force showcasing every one of the high points that All Time Low have reached throughout their twelve year career.
Bursting out on to the stage with ‘A Love Like War’, the crowd instantly surged forward, with more of the floor jumping and dancing than I’ve ever seen at a Wembley show. Whether this was because of All Time Low or because of the fact that it was a DVD recording, I’m not quite sure, but the response was utterly mesmirising. Speeding through ‘Lost In Stereo’ (including a slip up from singer Alex Gaskarth that resulted in the second verse being sang through twice, the only error in the entire near two hour set), the surprises of the night started when their third song was ‘Six Feet Under The Stars’, a song that they haven’t played in quite a while on UK shores. The majority of the set was comprised of songs you’d be expecting from an All Time Low DVD show – ‘Stella’, ‘Somewhere In Neverland’, ‘Weightless’, while of course slowing it down for acoustic renditions of ‘Remembering Sunday’ (featuring a brilliant guest appearance from ex-Hey Monday vocalist Cassadee Pope) and ‘Therapy’ – both of which were performed on a stage in the middle of the Wembley floor, surrounded by fans.
Following the acoustic, they restarted the full band set with a bang, erupting into newest single ‘Kids In The Dark’, proving exactly why ‘Future Hearts’ is going to be one of the biggest album releases this year. In my opinion ‘Don’t Panic’ was quite flat and rather safe, but since hearing ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ and ‘Kids In The Dark’ I am BEYOND excited for the new album, because it’s definitely a progression and a big step forward from the last two albums. Hearing the songs live is even better – the energy is effusive and it really seems to re-energise the band members when other bands could be lagging, especially in a set of this magnitude.
My personal favourite moment was ‘Outlines’, which is my favourite All Time Low song. Every time I’ve seen them I’ve had my fingers crossed that they’ll add it into their setlist, and they never have, so when it started last night I was understandably excited – which just elevated further when Josh Franceschi, vocalist of You Me At Six, came bounding out on to the stage. I’d expected a guest appearance during the O2 stop on their co-headline tour, and when it hadn’t happened I had been majorly disappointed, so this was the icing on the cake of a brilliant DVD performance. Josh’s vocal worked so well with Alex’s, and the chemistry between the two of them as they were bouncing around on stage was absolutely brilliant. I really hope these two write and record a song together at some point, because that could be an amazing collaboration.
The rest of the set went off without a hitch, running through hit after hit and not giving the crowd a single moment of rest. Following the tradition of their shows and getting fans up on stage for ‘Time Bomb’, Alex told people to put their phones away, stating that “too many of you beautiful individuals are living your lives through a screen”, asking all of the fans involved in that song to be in the moment with them, instead of experiencing it through technology, which I thought was a beautiful sentiment.
Of course, this is an All Time Low set, so even while playing a set that is going to be recorded and re-watchable for eternity, the banter levels and childish jokes were out in force. Even when they were being viewed by over twelve thousand people, they could act as though they were only in a room with a few hundred people, and it really is a testament to how good this band is that they could make an arena show feel intimate. I’m always impressed when I go to see All Time Low live, and there was no way that this show was going to be any different. Deciding to play ‘Jasey Rae’ one song before the end was a stroke of genius – I was so convinced that they weren’t going to bother including any songs from the EP, so when that one slipped in it was just another peak of excitement. It couldn’t have ended any other way that with ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’, and I can’t wait to watch the DVD to relive this show again, because it was absolutely amazing.
After finishing the set, ‘Uptown Funk’ came on over the speakers, and the fact that the band stayed and danced around on stage shows how down to earth they really are. Guitarist Jack Barakat took the opportunity to take off his shirts and jeans and sprint around the stage in his underwear, an opportunity that he rarely misses, and it was a hilarious end to a brilliant night. If you haven’t seen an All Time Low show, I would seriously recommend that you get to one as soon as you can: I’m seeing them again at Reading festival, and I can’t wait! I’m actually seeing them again tomorrow as well, when they perform acoustically at The Hippodrome in Kingston, so my review from that show will be up early on Monday – make sure to check that out!
A Love Like War
Lost In Stereo
Six Feet Under The Stars
Somewhere In Neverland
The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver
Remembering Sunday ft. Cassadee Pope
Kids In The Dark
Outlines ft. Josh Franceschi
Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)
Forget About It
Something’s Gotta Give
The Reckless and the Brave
Dear Maria, Count Me In