Gallery: Luke petty
Pop-Punk legends All Time Low and their good buddies Mayday Parade are in town with their new touring bestie Lauran Hibberd who’s been playing shows with the Baltimore boys all year, spanning most of Europe and the UK, the US and now, Australia!
It was an absolute treat having Lauran open for the veteran bands, making their debuts in the like of the long-gone Warped Tour. While Lauran and her pals definitely fit the pop-punk bill, she brought a touch of femininity to the show, albeit layered with crass and her off hand, self-debilitating sense of humour. Lucky for her, the crowd loved it! Amidst the set list of songs such as Honda Civic, That Was A Joke and a very well-done cover of Gwen Staffani’s Hollaback Girl, the Brits dispensed free merch to the crowd, adding “We get charged by the kilo, so we need it all gone before we fly home tomorrow”.
Lauran introduced a new song called Mary, which she anecdotally added that it is about a double date she recently went on but had eyes only for the other girl. She went on to announce that her mum had financed their trip down under and she requested that the audience message her om instagram to show her mum it was worth the investment, also informing them that her name was spelt with an “A” instead of an “E” due to her father making a mistake on her birth certificate. “He passed away last year. Anyway, this songs called “I Suck At Grieving”.” Announced the happy-go-lucky singer. Her set was full of energy and jokes, positive vibes and just pure, innocent fun.
The beautiful hum of voices amidst the house PA playing pop punk classics marked the first break between acts. A chorus of voices joined in with Blink-182’s Feeling This. Interrupting The Taste Of Ink by The Used, the lights dropped as the crowd erupted with cries and applause as Mayday Parade took to the stage opening with crowd pleaser Oh Well, Oh Well from 2011’s self-titled album, before cracking on with 2009’s Anywhere But Here.
The Tallahassee boys were in awe of their fans, with frontman Derek Sanders stating “We love you Australians. You’re a little bit crazy, drink beer outta shoes”, which of course stirred the crowd as I to a chorus of “Shoey!” which went unheard. Sanders reminisced the first time they were in Australia in 2007 with Paramore.
With every song being a crowd pleaser, the collective voice was strong with tracks If You Wanted A Song Written About You, All You Had To Do Was Ask and When Yoy See My Friends.
Again, they shoey chant started as the band took a quick drink break. Derek acknowledged the crowd this time with, “I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m not gonna do it” and laughingly promising it next time.
As they started to play Piece Of Your Heart, Sanders stated “It feels like emo music is alive and well in 2023 and it’s thanks to people like you guys”.
Mayday Parade covered all their bases during their set, closing it off with Miserable At Best, Kids In Love, the inexcusable sing-along track Jersey, and finally Jamie All Over. They were met with cheering and cries as the set finished, marking their final performance for this Australian Tour.
As the darkness once more filled the ballroom, Wilson Phillips’ Hold On For One More Day played over the house PA. Instead of the sudden silencing of the track, static and mixed signals blared from the speakers. Layers of different tracks overlapping as if radio stations were being tuned into, searching for the station of choice. Shadows moved on stage and as the sound set on Lost In Stereo, the stage lit up the All Time Low boys. They seamlessly moved from song to song, following with Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t), Six Feet Under The Stars, and Poppin Champaign.
The craftsmanship of the set showcased how and why this pop-punk from Baltimore had been able to endure the last 20 years, maturing their music along the journey. A mix of Modern Love, Stella and Tell Me I’m Alive brilliantly demonstrated their ability and energy to not only write amazing music but manipulate it at will to enhance their stage performance.
Reflecting on their first time here in the far away land of Australia, guitarist Jack Barakat and bocalist/guitarist Alex Gaskarth exchanged their memories from being the opening act for Incubus and The Offspring back in 2009, their humour and stage antics delighting the crowd.
For PMA, Lauran Hibberd and her bandmates joined the All Time Low boys on stage, with Lauren lending her vocals to the track while her travelling musical cohorts danced and mingled with the rest of the band.
Following on with their latest single, which features a guest appearance from Pop princess Avril Lavigne, Fake As Hell. I was surprised Lauran didn’t return to the stage but nonetheless, the track was a hit with the crowd. Alex introduced their next track, New Religion as “The horniest part of being in a band. And I’m not sorry”, as they delivered the sex-soaked pop-infused love song.
The set continued forward with Dark Side Of Your Room, and Favourite Place, the song titles and structure to the set list practically predicting what song was coming next but creating a fantastic flow. The Way You Miss Me was then followed by an almost full acoustic rendition of Missing You, which had the entire room singing along to the emotionally driven song about fighting back the demons and the will to keep pushing forward.
During a brief break between songs, a fan at the front of the crowd handed Gaskarth a DVD box set of Round The Twist, which was obviously an inside joke. Barakat’s excitement couldn’t be contained, opening it on stage while Alex explained that while growing up in the UK, he had watch the TV program and had been explaining it to the rest of the band the whole tour.
There were several moments of pure joy and entertaining talking notes throughout the set. Jack was mid-sentence when he noticed a younger member of the audience (who he called a baby) that had crashed out in mum’s arms, despite the show continuing. His excitement and admiration for the mother to attend and stay despite the child’s obvious state of exhaustion was comical and in perfect form. Barakat was also coaxed into doing a shoey by the crowd, while the frontman declined, joking “The last time I was here I got athletes throat.”
The band finished their set with Something’s Gotta Give, crowd favourite and iconic track Weightless, and finally Monsters which usually features rapper Blackbear. This performance saw the frontman tackle the rap portion of the track which was met with cheers from the crowd.
As the stage fell into darkness once more, the crowd cheered and cried for an encore. As the cheers began to fade, the illuminated face backdrop sparked back to life, igniting the cheering once more. All Time Low returned to the stage with their 2023 Tell Me I’m Alive track Sleepwalking, followed by the massive hit Dear Maria, Count Me In.
Seeing as the last shows All Time Low played here in Aus were very much pre-covid, seeing them perform a completely soldout show at the Fortitude Music Hall with all the trimmings for stage production was a blast. Mayday Parade, while somewhat gloomy in their subject matter, were the perfect match for this tour and added to the nostalgia. The fresh face of pop-punk in Lauran Hibberd had a unique, yet familiar feel that complimented the entire show. Hopefully we get to see more of all three acts in the new