All Time Low at Mesa Amphiteatre 10/20
All Time Low Hits a High Note
by Kat Chapman
On Tuesday October 20th, Baltimore-based band All Time Low made a stop in Mesa, AZ as a part of their Back to the Future Hearts Tour in support of their album Future Hearts. They played the Mesa Amphitheatre and was accompanied by Neck Deep and One OK Rock as openers while Sleeping With Sirens supported as co-headliners.
I don’t listen to any of those bands on the regular, however; my roommate adores All Time Low so I went with her. I was familiar with a handful of their songs and they’re really talented but what really enticed me, as an outsider to this show, was the connection lead singer Alex Gaskgarth and guitarist Jack Barakat had with the crowd. There was very little distinction between fan and fame.
The show started with Alex coming out on stage alone with just an electric guitar and some bright white lights. The opening song was ‘Satellite’ which not only has some really cool beginning chords, but it’s also the first song on the album so it was a clever choice. After the first few lines, the drums fade in and the rest of the band eased their way on stage. It was a really neat contrast to the speed of the song and the speed of the show compared to the energy from the audience. They played a couple songs next that I had never heard before but then they played ‘A Love Like War’ (which is a collaboration with Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil) a song my roommate had never heard before but I had, go figure.
Before the next song, Alex had the crowd turn around and appreciate the moon, asking everyone to howl at it. As an avid sky-enthusiast, I was overjoyed. He then proceeded to play ‘Dancing With A Wolf’. The next few songs I was familiar with: ‘Backseat Serenade’, a cover of Fall Out Boy’s ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ and ‘Weightless’, the latter of which was played 6 years prior, at this same venue, for the first time live.
Then, they slowed it down and played a couple acoustic songs. Before beginning, Alex asked the crowd if they wanted to hear ‘Therapy’ or ‘Remembering Sunday’ and the crowd chose the former (much to my roommate’s disappointment). For ‘Therapy’, Alex stood alone on stage with his acoustic guitar. Then they played ‘Missing You’ and the bassist, Zack Merrick, came back to join Alex.
After, they played a handful of songs that I didn’t know at all but the energy and onstage banter kept me engaged regardless. You know how sometimes when you go to a concert and you don’t know the music, the whole show suffers? Yeah, that didn’t happen at all. The crowd was so excited and hyped and the band was excited and hyped, I had no option but to match that.
The last two songs before the encore were ‘Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)’ and ‘Old Scars/ Future Hearts’ the latter is clearly from the album this tour is supporting and a really good (almost) closing song.
As they came back out for the encore, a slew of beach balls was thrown into the crowd and a slew of beach balls was thrown back onto the stage, hitting the members. Alex said “We can trust every other city to not throw beach balls at us, but you f**kin Arizonans…” They played ‘Kids in the Dark’ also from the current album.
Then Alex stops and says “I want you to turn to the person next to you and ask nicely if you can sit on their shoulders for this next song” which was ‘Something’s Gotta Give’.
My roommate looked at me kind of nervous to ask but this is one of her favorite bands and I didn’t want her to miss out so I say “Do you want to sit on my shoulders?” and she nodded excitedly. Let me tell you, you really underestimate how long three minutes and nine seconds is when you have another person up on your shoulders.
I set her down and resituated myself while Alex spoke to the crowd. Then he started the final final song ‘Dear Maria’ by singing the first few lines acapella and then letting the crowd take it away. Right as the beat dropped, a couple guys next to me started a mosh pit and nearly knocked us over but it’s hard to be upset when every person in the crowd was singing and bouncing around.
I can’t say there are many concerts I’ve been to that I didn’t know a majority of the music and still had an absolute blast. If you get the chance to see All Time Low, you like alternative music and crude humor and banter, please go.