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REVIEW: All Time Low w/ The Maine + Neck Deep @ The Riverstage – 12/05/17

Pop-punk legends All Time Low graced the stage in Brisbane for the first time since 2015, and it was indeed worth the two year wait. As someone who has loved ATL for the better part of a decade, 12-year-old me was VERY satisfied by their performance. To add to the appeal of this hotly-anticipated tour, the boys brought back Neck Deep; who were last in Australia for their co-headline tour with State Champs and their run at UNIFY, as well as The Maine, who, with the recent release of their new album, were welcomed back with open arms.

The Maine began the evening with Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu, the first song off their recently released album ‘Lovely Little Lonely’. The rhythm of the song was a perfect selection as the crowd began to scream out the lyrics, while frontman John O’Callighan showed off some peculiar dance skills.

As a huge fan of The Maine, I was having a good ol’ bop when they played my favourite song off their 2015 album ‘American Candy’, titled Am I Pretty?. I was dancing around the photography pit, camera in hand, while screaming the lyrics, looking super professional. Unfortunately, due to poor sound mixing, I noticed that once I rejoined the masses in the crowd, you could barely hear the vocals over the instruments, which disappointed me a lot, as the continuously growing throng of fans could not appreciate the awesomeness of The Maine.

John interacted with the crowd quite a bit, even pulling up a fan on stage during Girls Do What They Want, one of their older hits. The fan, who wasn’t so sure of the lyrics when asked, was quickly taught the simple words to the bridge. I will definitely give that kid 10 points for trying, as he wasn’t quite as vocally blessed as John. This however, was very entertaining for the rest of the crowd. The Maine get top marks for being the perfect opening band, interacting with the crowd and getting them amped up for Neck Deep, and ultimately All Time Low.

Neck Deep were next to take the stage, waltzing on out to a crowd full of screams and cheers. Brisbane didn’t hesitate to remind Neck Deep of what they’ve been missing, by showing them the best welcome back I’ve ever seen at a show. Opening with Gold Steps, circles broke out in the pit and everyone was getting rowdy very quickly.

Vocalist Ben Barlow didn’t hesitate to get the crowd involved, telling everyone to “jump” at every chance he got. The energy buzzing off the band as they played was incredible, and it was obvious the boys were a little excited to be back on stage. Many of Neck Deep’s older fans were disappointed, as they only played three songs that weren’t off their most recent album “Life’s Not Out To Get You”, however that small number was most definitely outweighed by the outstanding reaction to the rest throughout the set.

The downfall for Neck Deep’s set was not the band itself, but the sound mixing and volume ratio through the speakers. Standing in the middle of the pit, you could hear next to no vocals, and the bass was overwhelming. However, everything was a little clearer towards the side of stage, away from the ruckus in the pit.

Overall, Neck Deep put on the outstanding performance we all know them for. They performed everything old fans needed, and without a doubt grabbed some new fans, who were previously unaware of their awesomeness.

When they finally hit the stage, All Time Low were nothing short of incredible. From a photography point-of-view, the lighting was challenging for the first 3 songs, but, as a punter, the entire performance was flawless! ATL started their super-anticipated show with Weightless, beginning acoustically and progressing to the full band. Being one of their most well-known songs, it was the perfect way to start off the most blissful hour and a half of my life. During the set, I was extremely happy to see a wide variety of their old hits such as A Love Like War, my all time (see what I did there) favourite songs, Lost In Stereo and Somewhere In Neverland, and performances of the most recent single releases off their upcoming 11th album “Last Young Renegade”.

As Brisbane was the first show of their Australian tour, front man Alex Gaskarth pumped up the crowd, saying it was the first time they’ve played their new single Life Of The Party, which was pretty amazing to be a part of. The one let-down of the show was when the band wasted a song in their set with a Lorde cover. No offence to fans of Lorde, but I came to see ATL play some of their bangers, not a cover of some random Lorde song that a lot of the crowd had never heard before. This would have been a perfect spot for them to drop in Time-Bomb, which went unplayed, and I felt robbed. The pop-punk legends did however regain my respect with a 3-song encore, including Jersey Rae, an ultimate banger-and-a-half off their first album, released 11 years ago. Of course, the show closed with the classic Dear Maria, Count Me In and had the whole crowd screaming the lyrics, and if they were anything like me, feeling 12-years old all over again!

Whether you are a fan of All Time Low from back in the day, or only just discovered them recently, the combination of songs, along with the supports of The Maine and Neck Deep was second to none! This show was one to remember, and I’m not so patiently waiting for their return to Australia!

Check out our gallery of the show HEREor check out the video for All Time Low’s Life of the Party, below!

Written by Dana Hope

Photos by James Matthews