All Time Low + Popcorn + Lady Gaga = Dance Party

All Time Low
The Bamboozle Roadshow
Soldier Field – Chicago, IL
June 12, 2010

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What could easily have been an all time low for fans at the Chicago stop of The Bamboozle Roadshow ended up as a stroke of PR ploy genius resulting in an otherwise noteworthy show. Bewildered power pop/rock music zealots stood around in confusion and frustration when the main stage was left deserted and nothing appeared to be happening. Baltimore-based foursome All Time Low lead kids to believe that they had deserted their gig at The Bamboozle Roadshow after twenty minutes passed by and still no sign of any All Time Low band members was evident.

More photos of All Time Low from The Bamboozle Roadshow and the set list after the jump…

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After what seemed like an eternity, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist Alex Gaskarth was joined by bassist Zachary Merrick as the two finally made their way onstage to address patiently awaiting attendees. The crowd instantaneously erupted into loud cheers innocently expecting an explosion of All Time Low’s first song. However, lead guitarist Jack Barakat, substitute drummer John Keefe (Boys Like Girls) and all instruments were incognito. Gaskarth and Merrick proceeded to timidly approach the center stage microphone with a black trash bag in tow…

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Technical difficulties had delayed the band’s start time, but Gaskarth and Merrick were there to satisfy the appetite of the famished crowd by throwing fully popped bags of popcorn into the outstretched hands of hundreds of screaming girls. Their delivery was done with such ease and finesse that I mistook their act as part of the set: pure ingenuity. How can anyone stay mad at three cute boys sharing bags of popcorn with the crowd because they felt so bad about not being able to play and making fans wait? It is quite hard to hold a grudge against boys who were at the mercy of their malfunctioning gear and disastrous rainy weather.

All Time Low Bamboozle Chicago

Set List / Chicago

A Party Song (The Walk Of Shame)

Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)

Lost In Stereo

Weightless

Dear Maria, Count Me In

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To get the blood and energy flowing, Gaskarth started a communal dance party to none other than Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” What an absolutely epic back-up plan as it segued into the equipment magically working again. Go Gaga! Fans victoriously cheered in solidarity as the introductory chords and percussive downbeats of “A Party Song (The Walk Of Shame)” kicked off a too short All Time Low set that left everyone wanting more.

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As someone who was hearing All Time Low’s music for the first time, Gaskarth’s writing skills and vocal abilities indubitably stood out loud and clear. My ears immediately picked up on the contagiously catchy hooks of each song paired with a lead singer who can stay on pitch and in key. Sadly, All Time Low is not reaping the benefits stemming from their hook-heavy songs. Much deserved commercial radio airplay is pretty much non-existent for this incredibly underrated quartet.

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Though dealt the unfortunate cards of a shortened set list, All Time Low made the best of the time they were given. The band successfully made their performance stand out with popcorn, Lady Gaga, and respecting the audience’s need for music by NOT TALKING NONSENSE in between each tune. All Time Low ended with an all time high: hit single and crowd darling “Dear Maria, Count Me In.”

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Written by Kate Jacobsen
Photographed by Jennifer Boyer

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