All Time Low
House of Blues – Chicago, IL
November 23, 2009
Having been an avid supporter of All Time Low since the moment I heard “Coffee Shop Soundtrack” back in May 2006, I can honestly say I’ve been there with the band since the beginning. Of their career, that is. I somehow got ahold of a mixed tape with “Coffee Shop Soundtrack” on it as the last track and fell in love with the song. You can’t help but sing it over and over again upon your first listen. It’s just so freaking catchy! Now, three and a half years later, I am still a huge fan of Baltimore, Maryland natives All Time Low. I own all of their albums and EPs. I attend every concert when the guys roll through Chicago. If the four dudes in All Time Low continue to write and perform such poppy and sonically pleasing tunes, then there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the band will be around for a long time. Watch out Blink-182 and Fall Out Boy, ATL is on your heels and about to take the lead.
More photos of All Time Low after the jump…
Set List / Chicago
Lost In Stereo
Break Your Little Heart
Six Feet Under The Stars
A Party Song (The Walk Of Shame)
Coffee Shop Soundtrack
Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)
Dear Maria, Count Me In
Can I please mention how weird it was to watch All Time Low lead singer Alex Gaskarth perform “A Party Song (The Walk Of Shame)” without playing his guitar? I don’t know what it was, but I just found it so odd to see Gaskarth walking around the stage singing into his cordless microphone without simultaneously playing rhythm guitar. Did anybody else at the first Chicago show feel this way too? To keep the song’s sound full, one of ATL’s crew guys (probably Gaskarth’s guitar tech) took over rhythm guitar duties, playing over on the side in the shadows. Just so you know, All Time Low had originally planned on performing “Too Much” as the first of three songs during their encore. However, for some reason unbeknownst to me, “Too Much” was cut from the set list and the guys came back out for the evening’s encore with “Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)” followed by monster sing-along closer “Dear Maria, Count Me In.”
Following in the steps of Blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus, All Time Low bass player Zack Merrick performed the night’s set with a steady rotation of neon-colored bass guitars. A hot pink and white bass was brought out to him for “A Party Song (The Walk Of Shame).” Then a hot orange and white bass was handed to him for “Jasey Rae.” Nobody can accuse All Time Low of not taking the time in between songs to talk to their fans. “Thanks to all of you for putting up with my insane psycho babble,” said Gaskarth at one point during the show. Gaskarth was left alone on stage sitting on a wooden bar stool playing an acoustic guitar for the slow-jam “Remembering Sunday.” Before launching into the opening notes of “Remembering Sunday,” Gaskarth commented that, “This venue has a tendency to bounce up and down, which I happen to enjoy quite a lot.”
Much to the crowd’s delight, Cassadee Pope from Hey Monday walked out on stage after the bridge of “Remembering Sunday” to finish the song with Gaskarth as a duet. I have no idea who the original guest female vocalist is on the album recording of this particular track off of So Wrong, It’s Right. If you know who the actual girl is, please let me know! “Do you guys mind if I keep it mellow for a little longer?” asked Gaskarth before introducing “Therapy” as the next song he would serenade the sold out crowd of 1,400 fans with, just him and his acoustic guitar. Not one to take himself too seriously, Gaskarth interrupted “Therapy” with an honest outburst. “I fucked up,” admitted Gaskarth before transitioning into the song’s bridge. I cannot help but smile when musicians make a mistake while playing their instrument live in front of an audience. Lord knows I would make at least one mistake if I had to play the piano in front of thousands of people!
“Rian, turn off the fucking click goddamnit,” exclaimed lead guitarist Jack Barakat to drummer Rian Dawson, holding up the introductory guitar riff of “Coffee Shop Soundtrack.” Clearly not wanting frontman Alex Gaskarth to be the only band member getting a word in edgewise, Barakat continued to address the audience commenting that, “This is so much more fun than going to the Bears game last night.” This statement was immediately followed with slight sarcastic laughter from Barakat. Apparently, the Chicago Bears lost their home game last Sunday at Soldier Field. Oh well.
All Time Low concluded the first of two consecutive sold out shows at Chicago’s House of Blues with a two song encore kicked off with “Damned If Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t).” However, around the middle of the song Gaskarth found himself dealing with some guitar issues. His tech guy had to take away the guitar Alex started out with and leave him without an instrument (still singing, of course) while fans wondered what was going on. Moments later, the singer’s tech dude came running back on stage with a new guitar for Gaskarth to play. Problem solved. Another awesome and amazing All Time Low concert completed.
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