LIVE REVIEW: All Time Low, SWMRS, Waterparks, Brixton Academy, London, 31/03/2017
At the start of each year, All Time Low make their annual trip to the UK for their tour and 2017 was no different. With this year set to bring the release of their seventh album Last Young Renegade, they were kicking off 2017 by taking Waterparks and SWMRS out on tour with them. After starting this tour at London’s Bush Hall they were ending their Young Renegade run here at Brixton Academy.
Waterparks have received a significant amount of good press recently, gracing the cover of Rock Sound and being hugely talked about we wanted to see if the fuss was deserved. In November 2016 their debut album Double Dare was released, explaining the bubbles of fans across the venue. We instantly became hooked on their upbeat, exciting and happy pop-rock sound as they performed tracks including Made in America, Crave and boppy Mad All The Time. Bonus points for the confetti and Awsten Knight’s comment of “we’re basically All Time Low now,” with such a positive response one day soon they could be just as big.
However we can’t say the same for SWMRS, with their rock ‘n’ roll sound they created a dramatic vibe from the onset with the lights darkened for what seemed like a good ten minutes as they took to the stage. This worked as the crowd were soon hyped and clapping along, but as they got stuck into their eight-song set the tracks begun to merge into one big, boring noise, too similar in style and lacking in the substance we were hoping to be provided. But track Miley (yes, about Miley Cyrus) is infectiously catchy and partially redeems their set, even if they did refer to her as a punk rock queen. Maybe in their dreams.
After a mixed set of supports it was time for what we’d all been waiting for; bounding onto the stage to a rapturous applause with an impressive light show to match, All Time Low threw themselves into Kicking & Screaming. The quartet are a band who are pretty hard to not like thanks to their energetic, emotive and extremely fun live performance, and their personalities are given plenty of chances to shine through. For example; three songs in and the first orgy joke of the night came from guitarist Jack Barakat, and we were expecting plenty more as the night continued. From Chewy sex talk to how many Yen it will cost you to sleep with Alex, it’s part of ATL you try to hate but you can’t help but love, just because it’s their thing.
With the set full of fan-favourites, including Someone In Neverland, Cinderblock Garden and Weightless, the energy didn’t falter from the crowd with singalongs louder than the bands at many times during the night. Now onto their seventh album, it’s no surprise that All Time Low have gained such a loyal following, with the newer Dirty Laundry just as well received as the older favourites despite its different sound. An acoustic period of Therapy and Missing You provides some rest during the frantic set, flaunting Alex Gaskarth’s faultless vocal ability and some of All Time Low’s finest work.
But tonight we were promised some surprises and these came in the form of Jasey Rae, Last Young Renegade getting its debut play and the band showing off their cover of Lorde’s Green Light, which they performed in the Radio 1’s Live Lounge the previous day stating “Do it for Lorde,” which certainly made the crowd take note. This might not be their usual style but this cover went down a treat, and we’d love it to become a regular fixture in sets.
Something’s Gotta Give, combined their phenomenal light show and beach balls really brings together the best of All Time Low, and closing with 2007 hit Dear Maria, Count Me In was the sure fire way to get all of the remaining energy in the room out of the audience’s system – especially as showers of confetti covered the venue. All Time Low are truly the full package, from catchy songs to brilliantly entertaining personalities and onstage effects to captivate the eyes. 2017 has just kicked off for All Time Low and it looks to be one of their biggest years yet.
Written By: Nicola Craig