The Maine, Neck Deep, and All Time Low @ Riverstage in Brisbane, Australia
Review & Photography by: Dana Hope
‘All Time Low at an All Time High’
(yeah I’m corny, get over it)
On Friday 12th May 2017, pop punk legends All Time Low graced the stage in Brisbane for the first time since 2015, and it was indeed worth the wait. As someone who has loved ATL since about 2009, let’s just say 12 year old me was very satisfied by their performance. To add to the appeal of this well anticipated tour, the boys bought back Neck Deep; who were last in Aus for their co-headline tour with State Champs and their run for 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 show 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 for fans of The Maine to be able to scream out the lyrics, while showing the peculiar dance skills of front man John O’Callighan to fans of ATL and Neck Deep who had not seen or heard of The Maine before.
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?’. As I was also shooting the show, I was dancing around the pit while screaming the lyrics, looking super professional. Unfortunately, due to poor sound set up, I noticed once in the crowd, you could barely hear the vocals over the instruments which disappointed me a lot, as the continuously growing crowd, could not appreciate the awesomeness of The Maine.
John interacted with the crowd quite a bit, with even pulling up a fan on stage during ‘Girls Do What They Want’, one of their older hits. The fan, when asked if he knew the lyrics, said ‘no’, but was quickly taught the simple lyrics to the bridge of the song. 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, which I again, will praise The Maine for being the perfect opening band, interacting with the crowd and getting them amped up for Neck Deep and ultimately All Time Low.
“Fuck Neck Deep mate, they’re shit”
The lads in Neck Deep were next to take the stage. Waltzing on out, they were greeted by a crowd full of screams and cheers, as they regularly do when returning to Australia. 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 that included Neck Deep. Opening with ‘Gold Steps’, circles broke out in the pit and everyone was getting rowdy.
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 as excited as the crowd was to be back on stage. Many of Neck Deep’s older fans were disappointed as they only played three songs that were not off their most recent album “Life’s Not Out To Get You”, however that small amount was most definitely outweighed by the outstanding reaction to the rest of the crowd throughout the set.
Again, the downfall for Neck Deep’s set was not the band itself, but the vocal/instrument ratio through the speakers of Riverstage. Standing in the middle of the pit, minimal vocals were heard, and an overwhelming amount of base was present. However, I noticed when moving to the side of the pit, closer to Matt West’s side of the stage, the clarity and ratio of vocals and instruments was perfect and made the set a lot more enjoyable.
Overall Neck Deep put on the expected outstanding performance we all know them for, while performing to all fans and without a doubt grabbing some new ones who were unaware of their incredible-ness beforehand.
All Time Low were nothing but incredible. From a photographer side, the lighting was indeed challenging for those first 3 songs, but as a punter, the entire performance was flawless. ATL started their well anticipated show with ‘Weightless’, beginning acoustically and progressing to the full band. As this is one of their most well-known songs, it was the perfect song 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 song, ‘Lost In Stereo’ and ‘Somewhere In Neverland’ while performing their most recent single releases off their 11th upcoming album “Last Young Renegade”.
As Brisbane was the first show of their Australian tour, Alex stated 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 All Time Low wasting a song in their set with a Lorde cover. No offence to fans of Lorde, but I came to see ATL play some bangers, not a cover of some random Lorde song a lot of the crowd had not heard before. This would have been a perfect spot for them to put in ‘Time-Bomb’, which they did not play, and I feel 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 2009 or only just discovered them recently, the combination of songs along with the supports of The Maine and Neck Deep, this show was one to remember and I’m not so patiently waiting for their return to Australia.