Gig Review... All Time Low @ Reading Festival, 26th August 2012

Sunday daytime, everyone was buzzing off the sounds of The Gaslight Anthem’s performance beforehand when All Time Low took to the stage. I’ve never given All Time Low a chance, so for me to watch them at Reading with a complete open mind was a stark contrast to what I’d usually be doing instead - slating them, but I’ll blame that on the consumption of alcohol. They stormed on to the main stage with complete confidence and cockiness so it became quite clear the show was going to be interesting, to put it in the nicest way. I noticed hiding behind all the unnecessary cases and stands was a few extra guitarists that were covered up; most definitely not what was needed if ever they wanted to brush away their manufactured fake sound. The band went through a set with songs consisting of names like ‘Damned If I Do Ya’, ‘Poppin’ Champagne’ and ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’. I doubt you’d be surprised if I told you I cringed at these song titles, ahh. I would point out that although I dislike their music, as a band they were very tight and I can imagine them fitting a demographic, just maybe not Reading festival – at all.

The lead singer’s voice was nasally and cut through the overall mix with help of tacky distortion tones and to make the matter worse, the lame attempt of being controversial which was indeed laughable, screaming ‘f**k’ and ‘s**t’ at the top of their voices and then saying they were doing it because they were on live TV. All Time Low seemed to still be a hit with the die-hard fans though but as one of my friends nicely pointed out, a lot of the front row were proudly sticking their middle fingers up at the band. Now pop-punk is a genre I hardly ever like to delve in to, there are only a few bands I enjoy from this genre (Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy, Green Day) so at least they wouldn’t slaughter or have to fall back on covering any classic pop punk songs. I was wrong, they did a cover of ‘Dammit’ by Blink 182, one of my favourite Blink songs. It was a shame to see a band who were playing one of the biggest gigs of the year had to resort to doing a cover of the same genre, no adaptations, in order to keep the crowd on their feet. I realised from their set I’m not a fan. I never will be a fan. Yours sincerely, h8r.

Written by - Courtney Askew-Conti