All Time Low, SWMRS, Waterparks

UEA LCR, Norwich on Thursday 30 March 2017

Tonight the UEA LCR in Norwich hosts the penultimate night of a mammoth 15 date UK tour for Americans All Time Low. Having spent the last few years tackling arena tours, this leg has seen the band in more intimate settings such as tonights. It’s no surprise therefore that tonight is completely sold out; I am surprised however by the shear length of the queue to enter with the bands fanatic supporters all seemingly turning up well before doors open.

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Once inside the venue I’m greeted by a sea of teenage girls vying for prime position and seemingly not just for our headliners as both support acts receive big receptions. Sadly however neither do much to impress me. Both openers Waterparks and main support SWMRS were bands on my radar to check out, but I won’t need to bother having seen two similar cheap paint-by-numbers pop-punk sets. There does seem to be something missing in newer pop-punk bands compared to the likes of Blink 182, Green Day etc.

I just can’t see where the next big thing is going to come from. Tonight’s headliners All Time Low are probably the last band to come out of the genre that can comfortably fill arenas. With that in mind there is a special feel to the evening, that feeling of catching a big band in a smaller venue. The stage set that All Time Low bring with them is also one that would be at home in arenas. There is a decent light show, beach balls and confetti as the band deliver a fantastic night for their fans.

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The gulf in quality between our supports and headline act is clear from the start of their set to the end. ‘Kicking & Screaming’, ‘Weightless’ and ‘Somewhere In Neverland’ entice deafening screams from the audience before ‘Six Feet Under The Stars’, ‘Cinderblock Garden’ and ‘Canals’ settle the pace of the evening.

All Time Low’s musical output seems to improve with every album and 2015’s ‘Future Hearts’ was a huge hit for the band even reaching number one in the UK Albums Chart. Up next the band deliver the one-two punch of the albums two hit single’s ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ and ‘Kids In The Dark’. It will be interesting to see if their next album ‘Last Young Renegade’ due in June can top this, but given the reception to new single ‘Dirty Laundry’ which airs next (get it?) you’d have to imagine it will.

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The night flows steadily through and the crowd are treated to ‘Guts’, ‘Therapy’ and ‘Missing You’ before favourite ‘A Love Like War’ garners a huge response from the crowd. ‘Backstreet Serenade’ and ‘Take Cover’ then bring the main set to a close.

The encore tonight then just goes to show the impressive back catalogue All Time Low have built up; ‘Lost In Stereo’ and ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ send the sold out audience into the night happy. All Time Low are definitely a band worth checking out live, even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a huge fan. They deliver an entertaining spectacle of an evening that’s unrivalled by pop-punks newer contenders.

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article by: Paul Barnes

photos by: Denis Gorbatov

published: 03/04/2017 13:45