All Time Low / November 21, 2009 / St. Louis (The Pageant)
All Time Low's sold-out show in St. Louis Saturday night (Nov. 21) was a public display of youthful exuberance and teenage rebellion served with a dose of toilet humor. Guitarist Jack Barakat's mic stand was decorated with bras, many of which were thrown by audience members and featured a message written inside the cups. "Call me in nine years when I'm legal," he joked at one point.
Later, when Barakat explained that he'd never been fired from a job before, frontman Alex Gaskarth took it upon himself to organize a firing en masse. Middle fingers raised high, he instructed the crowd to do the same and shout, "Fuck you, Jack; you're fucking fired." Even some parents in the audience obliged.
Outside of the profanity, scatological references and all-around silliness (most of it coming at the hands of Barakat), All Time Low raced through a 14-song set that seemed to span a much shorter time than their allotted 65 minutes.
The band began with a trio of cuts from 2009's "Nothing Personal" before delving into a sequence culled from its three proper releases. When hit with a green light, a massive white backdrop revealed phrases and pictures unfit to print that elicited a few groans.
The only musical blemish of the night was encore-opener "Too Much," a mess of electronic samples and live parts and the only time that Gaskarth's vocals were less than impressive. Earlier last week, the singer suffered a concussion after falling from the stage at a show in Denver, but you'd never have known it from his overall performance.
While Gaskarth was basically tethered to his microphone stand all night, his bandmates more than picked up the slack. Barakat scaled the speakers on the sides of the stage and catapulted himself from a set of stairs near the drum riser, while bassist Zack Merrick stomped and spun his way from one end of the stage to the other.
Pop-punkers the Friday Night Boys and Hey Monday kicked things off with impassioned sets of catchy choruses, guitar spins and perfectly styled hair. Ultimately, though, both failed to impress. Florida emo quartet We The Kings offered more of the same, including songs from its upcoming release, "Smile Kid." The crowd was far more enthusiastic for the band's older favorite, "Check Yes Juliet."
"This is our last song 'cause we hate you," All Time Low's Gaskarth joked before the set-closer "Weightless," which whipped the crowd into a frenzy with its monster chorus and heavy-hitting breakdowns. After that, current single "Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)" and "Dear Maria (Count Me In)" kept the crowded bouncing and singing along, shaking The Pageant's floor.
From the opening intro -- with pulsating blinding spotlights tied to the snare drum -- to the final chords of "Dear Maria, Count Me In," it was a top notch -- and at times, spectacular -- production for a band that until recently had called indie label Hopeless Records home.
All Time Low's headlining tour wraps Dec. 6 at Philadelphia's Electric Factory, and the band will play Rams Head Live in Baltimore on Dec. 28.
Here is All Time Low's setlist:
"Lost in Stereo"
"Break Your Little Heart"
"Six Feet Under the Stars"
"A Party Song (The Walk of Shame)"
"Remembering Sunday" (with Cassadee Pope)
"Coffee Shop Soundtrack"
"Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)"
"Dear Maria, Count Me In"