JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

April 8, 2011
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Emily Erwin
Photos by Crystal Wood

All Time Low

Attending the All Time Low show at House of Blues may have successfully dragged me out of my fountain of youth. There were so many kids in attendance that I highly doubt the bar staff made enough in tips to buy a t-shirt. I was intrigued at how many underage-ers were present. As I observed the band and the audience response, I quickly made the connection. All Time Low reaches out to the young spirit, making them feel a part of something bigger and as if their experiences, good and bad, connect them to something much greater.

ATL definitely have what it takes to put on a great live show; strong vocals, tight musicianship, and obvious crowd appeal. Although their music may not be my cup of tea, these gentlemen clearly have something that draws a crowd. Is it pure animal magnetism? Or je ne sais quoi? I actually think the answer is much simpler than these. As I listened to song after song, I noticed so much emotion on the faces of audience members. I'm not referring to the tweens that cry at Jonas Brothers concerts. This was a different type of emotion; something more real and believable. It seems that All Time Low fans internalize the lyrics and see the reality of the words in their every day lives. It actually makes perfect sense to me. All Time Low was formed when the members were in high school, so their ability to relate so well to teenage fans is no surprise. Maybe when you join a band in high school, you get to be Peter Pan and never grow up.

All Time Low mostly performed previously released songs, which is the smart thing to do if you ask me. Older stuff = asses in seats. People want to go to a concert where they can sing along with the band. It makes concert-goers feel a part of something bigger. 'Stella" and 'Damned if I do Ya (Damned if I Don't)" were especially together and catchy. The guys also played 'Coffeeshop Soundtrack", an obvious crowd favorite.

In addition to the older tracks, ATL strategically threw in some of the music from their newest project, Dirty Work, towards the end of the show. I feel sure they drew in the crowd with the familiar and wanted to give them a taste of what's to come. If you ask me, this is the way to go when it comes to live shows. Give the people a heaping helping of what they want (songs they can sing along with) and subtly pepper in what you want (new tracks that audiences need to hear).

If I'm grading purely on performance and music, I'd have to say the show was mediocre. However, this rating is due to the lack of originality in the music itself. As far as All Time Low's ability to entertain goes, these guys know what they're doing. In sum, if you're a fan of All Time Low or of this genre of music, venturing out to a performance nearby would be worth your time. But, if this style of music and performance isn't your thing, attending a concert won't exactly convert you.