First and for most, I really want to say this: All Time Low fans are fucking insane! I thought the band was crazy, but honestly? They’re relatively calm compared to over 1,000 of their own fans! The show was sold out, and they let extra people in. Which is honestly quite dangerous, had there been a fire or some other kind of emergency, someone would have died last night, I’m quite sure of this.
So, picture this. You get up the venue, you can already see your friend, and you’re just focused on getting up to them because you never get to see them. You’re not really watching where you’re walking, and someone walks out in front of you. No words are said, but you basically just get out of each others way as quick as possible. As you walk away you think to yourself, “That guy looked like Rian.” I walked a little bit further and thought about it a little more. “I think that guy was Rian.” Sure enough, it had been. He walked past at least four more times in the time span of twenty minutes like he was on a mission. He must have really been on a mission for lunch, because when he came back the fourth time he had food. Though I did make the comment to someone that I thought he was the one with the attention span, and he didn’t appear to have much of one right then.
We’re just hanging out by the side door, there’s crew going in and out, there’s fans chatting on the other side of the building, and band members from The Downtown Fiction and Hit The Lights were going in and out of the venue and a trailer. A friend of mine, Jonathan, was stressing out over getting a ticket because normally the venue just gives them to him, as he knows everyone in the place, but the show was completely sold out, so he was worried that he would be unable to make it into the show. I was people watching, and constantly trying to remind him that he’s met three of the four bands playing in the past, so it was safe to assume that someone else could get him in. I told him his best bet would be talk to All Time Low’s manager, Matt Flyzik, who I had already seen walk past a couple of times. He had no idea what he looked like, so I pointed him out.
Flyzik disappeared, so he didn’t get to talk to him right away, but then all the sudden I heard someone walk into the little room that was essentially the backstage area. I looked in and saw Zack stretch, yawn and then say to himself, “Man, I’m a sleepy person today.” We called him over, so Jonathan could talk to him about possibly getting into the venue and he said he’d go find out if he could be any help, and ultimately ended up sending Flyzik out a few minutes later. That all got situated perfectly, and it all got taken care of no problem. Because of this, I got a bear hug because had I not suggested he talk to Flyzik, he probably wouldn’t have gotten in.
We still had hours to kill, so we just hung out, mostly by the side of the building. I could see people in a near by trailer that’s normally used for all the equipment, just sort of messing around. The drummer from The Downtown Fiction, who’s name I later found out was Kyle Rodgers, walked in there, just seeming to be in a great mood, and nearly fell. I think I’m the only one that saw it, but it was hilarious. Especially because he did it again when he tried to come out of the trailer. I think tripped over something I couldn’t see. Or he was high, that is a possibility. One of the crew members for the venue said they thought someone in either one of the bands, or the crew for the bands was smoking pot. I could smell it from somewhere, so I wouldn’t be surprised. I silently added that I wouldn’t be too shocked to find out it was All Time Low or their crew, but didn’t say it. The security guard, however, did say it.
Not long after that, Flyzik shooed us out of that area, so the crew had room to move stuff without running anyone over, so I went with my friend and sat down in the front of the building and talked with some All Time Low fans. While we were sitting there, Rian and who I believe was their other manager Colussy walked out of the bus. I thought nothing of it, but many other fans freaked out over it. I swear, it felt like I was at a Jonas Brothers concert! So many girls screamed, and yelled “Rian!” or “Rian, I love you!” Surprisingly, nobody ran over to him, though he clearly expected someone to. Fans saw him, screamed and he froze against the bus for a second. Luckily, he got to wherever he was going safely, without any attacks.
Not long after that, Jonathan texted me saying he had just talked to Jack, and he said he’d be right back to talk to him some more. The reason for this was not so I could meet him really, it was because Jonathan was trying to do everything within his power to get me my interview with All Time Low. He knew how much it meant to me. I figured it’d be unprofessional for Jonathan to ask about it without me being there, since I was in the venue, so I walked over there. Jack was no where to be seen for a good twenty minutes or more, but finally he walked back over. He started to just go back into the bar that’s confectioned to Revolution Live, America’s Backyard, so he could get into Rev safely, but then he saw Jonathan. He clearly remembered he needed to talk to him, because he sort of nodded to himself like, “Oh right, I had to do something first!”
He comes over and they talked for a moment before Jonathan mentioned me. He said something along the lines of, “My friend here was hoping for an interview today, would you be able to do that?”
As soon as Jonathan said it, Jack got this look on his face, kind of like he felt really bad saying what he was about to say. He then told us that it was not up to him, that we’d have to talk to Flyzik, and that he was sorry about saying no. I completely understood, and half expected to talk to Flyzik, but quite frankly he intimidated me! I’m not really intimidated by anyone, but the vibe he put off made me nervous, like I was going to piss him off if I asked him about my interview. I’m sure he probably would have been nice about it, because he seemed like a nice enough guy, he just seemed very stressed out. I just didn’t want to piss him off, so I actually never said anything to him about it. Anyways, back to this moment with Jack, I still have a lot of ground to cover with this day. I fell like I’m writing a damn novel here, like none of this are real events, I just have a lot to make up, when it all really happened.
So after he said he unfortunately could not say yes or no to the interview, Jonathan asked him for a picture, with me. He sort of paused, again with a little bit of a weird look on his face and then said, “Okay, sure.” I went to hug him, and pose for the picture but then stopped because of the look on his face. I got the feeling he needed to be somewhere else, and sure enough, I was right. I asked him if he was busy, or late for something, and he sort of chuckled a bit, then said, “Yeah, I’m sort of late for my own meet and greet.” I stepped back and just told him that was okay, that I’d catch him later. He still felt bad, you could tell, but then said okay, and gave me a hug really quick before walking off.
Everything else, for a good hour or more was uneventful, but then something I’ve been waiting for for a while happened. Jamie got there! For those who don’t know who I’m talking about, Jamie is my self-proclaimed, number one fan, and we’ve been wanting to meet for over a year now, and we finally did yesterday! When she got close, she texted me, “Ariel! I can see the venue, where are you?” I told her I was on the side of the building, and a few minutes later I saw her, her step dad, and her step dad’s friend walking down the road. I’m pretty sure I screamed, “JAMIE!” before running over there and hugging her. I wish I could have spent more time with her, but I got lost in the crowd almost instantly once the doors opened. We got to hang out some before hand though, just talking about everything. I showed her my interview questions, she laughed at them, and I told her about how I met Jack. She said she hated me for that, but got over it pretty quickly. As if meeting her wasn’t enough, she also gave me my first fan present! It is a bag that says ‘Music = Life’ on it! I may keep it forever. ♥
Soon enough, we were inside, and the place was packed. Packed to the point I honestly thought they were over capacity. I had been at this venue twice before, and it had never been that crowded. The pit in this venue was filled with people already. I assumed it was all the Hustler Club, because earlier that day (not long after Flyzik walked away, actually) Flyzik mentioned that there were over three hundred Hustlers that he was trying to get into the meet and greet. I’m pretty sure all of them hit the pit instantly. I had to get down there, and luckily someone else that had a photo pass happened to get to the pit right as I did, so we just linked arms and pushed our way through. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.
We got up there and crew was still setting up the stage so we had time to just relax. I turned to the girl that helped me get to the barricade and she looked really familiar to me, and I told her so. Sure enough, we actually had met before. We met at Warped tour over the summer, after having problems getting to the press tent. Her friend saw me get mine and ran over asking where I got it, and was thrilled when I was able to tell her. We had another hour to kill before The Downtown Fiction came out, so I stood there talking to fans on the barricade until they came out.
I was thoroughly impressed with them! They are much better live than they are on recordings. They were the one I was looking forward to the least, and out of all three opening acts, they’re the one I enjoyed the most. They were so talented, and full of energy! Also, they made some of the best faces as well, none of them really made sense even! I only knew one song they played, but I still liked them. I was allowed to say in front of the barricade for their entire set, though I wasn’t allowed to take pictures. That was okay though, I had a great view and I was safe!
Next up was Hit The Lights. I actually wasn’t overly impressed with them, actually. They had their settings set just a little too high, so they had everything vibrating in a bad way. I’m sure everyone can relate to feeling the music, and that’s great, but when its so loud that you can feel your eardrum vibrating and its making your ear hurt, its too much. Nick Thompson was apparently having throat problems, because for their second song, “309”, they brought out All Time Low’s manager, Matt Flyzik to sing in place of Nick. He claimed it was so he could go backstage and drink, but I later find out that he was actually so he could get a vocal rest. Flyzik did amazing! I personally thought he did better than Nick did last night.
I only knew two of the songs they did very well. I recognized a couple of them, but the only ones I really knew were the last two they played. “Drop The Girl”, and “Bodybag.” Right as they started “Drop The Girl”, something sounded like an explosion. Nothing actively exploded, but something sounded like one, and I’m fairly certain it was not intentional. It scared the shit out me! Between the sound, and the vibration it caused, I’m fairly certain I jumped a foot in the air. I literally couldn’t hear out of that ear at all until All Time Low got on the stage, which was probably an hour later.
I decided to get out of the pit, and get a little bit of a break. I wasn’t planning on watching The Summer Set, honestly. I ended up watching them though, from basically side stage. I had gone outside, thinking my friends were out there, and they ended up actually being inside, so I made one of them come get me, and he brought me to the ‘VIP’ area, which was almost side stage. I was sort of surprised, I recognized several of the songs they played. “Chelsea” was their opening song, and they played “Punch Drunk Love”, “Boys You Do (Get Back At You)” and their newest one, “Fuck You Over”. I was impressed by their performance, even though I expected to really not know anything they played.
In the middle of their set, I saw my other friend, Patrick, on the other side of the room, so I went over to him for the rest of their set. I quickly chugged some water while I was standing there, and went back down into the pit before All Time Low got on.
As soon as they got on stage -holy shit! That must be said, because one of the things you find yourself thinking about on and off all through their set. I have never been to a show that had such high energy -ever, and I’ve been to a lot of shows! Their fans remind me of Jonas Brothers fans, but the difference is these fans aren’t as polite and sweet like JB fans. All Time Low fans can be down right brutal, honestly. Every time I went into the crowd, I got pushed around, or just had to fight to move, and invade everyone’s personal space. Getting to the barricade wasn’t too hard, it was staying near the front that was hard.
I got up there, and was able to stay up there for four songs instead of three. While I was standing up there, the venue had music playing in between bands. It was so cool, they played “Caraphernila” by Pierce The Veil, and the crowd just erupted, singing it as loud as they could. They were so loud I couldn’t tell which voice was Vic, and who was in the crowd. They also played a couple of annoying songs like, “Call Me Maybe”, and “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together”, but then right before All Time Low came out the venue played “All The Small Things” by Blink-182. All I could think of was, “Of course they did that! I bet ATL asked them to do it.” Moments after the song ended, the lights shut off, fans started screaming.
They put on one hell of a show, but I do have two complaints. Neither has anything to do with their performance. The first one they really need to not have high beams for lights in a small venue. It blinded me so bad! I literally couldn’t see them from time to time -and I was leaning on the stage! I understood them wanting to have lights, even semi-bright ones, but those were way too bright. I can’t even think of anything lights that bright would be appropriate for!
The second complaint I have, again, really doesn’t involve All Time Low. Its their fans! They really need to learn how not to push and shove so much. They also need to learn not to flood the barricade! Jack decided to sit on the speaker near me, and as soon as I saw him look at it, I immediately thought, “Oh fuck, something bad is about to happen.” Sure enough, not even a minute later, fans pushed forward and I got slammed into the stage. I didn’t mind that too much, because they stopped pushing as soon as they got close to him, I stepped away, and just stood right in front of Alex. We got shooed away from the stage after that. I wasn’t happy about that, because then instead of me being able to stay near the front, I got shoved all the way to the back of the pit, this was five songs in, on “Somewhere In Neverland”
I ended up having to get help out of the pit, because I couldn’t see the stairs, and I dropped my phone. Thank God, a girl saw where it went and managed to get it in between her feet. Had she not done that, I would have lost my phone. That would have just been awful. I finally got out of the pit, got some water, and handed the camera back to my friend. I couldn’t see anything from there, so I quickly just chugged the water, and braved the pit. Honestly, it probably would have just been easier to crowd surf, and just get down near the barricade, but I was afraid of someone dropping me. As it was, I saw several people nearly get dropped, and one guy nearly hit his head on the stage. The security guard barely saved him, so I was scared to try. One day I’ll crowd surf, I think about it at every concert, and never do it out of fear.
I was completely impressed by the band though, and their banter was hilarious. They did get a ton of bras, that began instantly. I’m fairly certain I saw two fly onto the stage only seconds after they walked out onstage. One of the first ones landed right on Zack’s bass, and it never phased him. He just kept on playing like it was nothing. For them, I guess it is nothing.
They played eighteen songs, and I won’t give away the full set list for two reasons. One being because I don’t remember it all, and the ones I’ve found from this tour online are all slightly different. They are changing out a couple of songs. They opened with “The Reckless And The Brave”, then played “Shameless”, “Forget About It”, “Damned If I Do Ya, Damned If I Don’t”, and “Somewhere In Neverland”. Order wise, that’s all I remember until near the end. I know they also played “Poppin’ Champagne”, “Remembering Sunday”, “Therapy”, “Dear Maria, Count Me In” (that one is a given), “Weightless”, “Time Bomb”, and “Jasey Rae/”
Some hilarious moments were when Alex caught someone’s underwear without trying, looked at it and was disgusted at first. His disgust turned into him putting a very dirty image of him in women’s lacey panties into everyone’s heads because he said, “I’ll wear these tonight.” On the heels of that, he said it was really hot in there, and Jack said they needed to lose some articles of clothing. I’m surprised nobody in the band stripped. Supririsngly, Zack had a shirt on all through the set! I figured for sure he would have ditched the shirt before going onstage.
It was a great show, and one of the best moments of the night was when girls on the second story started banging on the glass above All Time Low and Alex goes, Haven't you ever been to a zoo where they tell you to not flash the octopus? I'M THE OCTOPUS. Except you guys can flash me because we're all in the same tank.” And then freely admitted he just wanted to see some boobs. At least he was honest!
I saw and met a lot of great people as well, including a guy in a banana suit that actually smelled like bananas, and girls that had ‘cockies’ for the band. “Cockies’ are penis shaped cookies. I don’t know if they ever got them to the band, but I hope they did, I found it hilarious as hell.
I was impressed to the fullest, but I am not sure that I’ll be willing to brave the Hustlers again anytime soon! Its been two days and I am still paying for it. I had a great time. Thank you to All Time Low’s press person, Amber for giving me my photo pass, to Patrick for taking me to the show, to Jamie for showing up and giving me my bag (and her step dad for driving her about four hours for it!), and to Jonathan for trying to get me my interview by talking to Jack.
I hung out after the show for an hour, finally got my picture with Jack, and his autograph on a graphic I made special for the show. He saw it, asked if I made it, and when I said yes, thought it was awesome. Rian and Zack didn’t come out, and Alex got cut off before I could meet him. I only didn’t get to because a girl shoved me out of the way. I don’t care how badly you want to meet someone, you do not shove someone out of the way. Just accept that someone’s there, and wait your turn.
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