All Time Low reaches all time high

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All Time Low reaches all time high

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Oh, middle school: the desolate land of unfortunate growth spurts and equally unfortunate haircuts. The majority of my time spent there has become a memory better left forgotten. Except, of course, for the music that defined that era: punk rock. On Nov. 11, in our very own Chaifetz Arena, I time-travelled back to the late 2000s. Did you really? Yes, yes I did. With the help of headliners Sleeping with Sirens and All Time Low, I was ushered back to my days in middle school. Except this time, it really wasn’t so bad.

Opening for the two headliners of the Back to the Future Hearts Tour were One OK Rock and Neck Deep. I’ll be honest here: I didn’t see any of Japanese rock band One OK Rock and I caught maybe two of Neck Deep’s songs (they are a Welsh rock band), but that is the price one pays when one is fashionably late… Neck Deep’s sound was “harder” than their persona on stage, which came complete with sporadic head-banging and spontaneous coordinated-jumping interspersed with lots of standing. While they did have enjoyable amounts of swearing, I just couldn’t call myself a fan of their passively-angry rock.

Then it was time for the big boys, one of the two headliners: Sleeping with Sirens. They definitely had more of a stage presence, with lead singer/front man Kellin Quinn immediately bounding around the stage with a springiness I never thought possible in painted-on skinny jeans. Opening up with their power-anthem-meets-rock song “Kick Me,” Sleeping with Sirens’ energy made the crowd’s reaction immediate: it was time to get the heck into the music.

Sleeping with Siren’s music genre seemed to swing between pop/rock and rock/metal with every song. “Goals,” a “keep-trying” kind of song, felt light, while “Congratulations” (my personal favorite) came in more like a metal song and actually made me want to head-bang for a solid two seconds. Regardless of their genre, the band was into the performance and, subsequently, the audience was too.

And now, the band that really brought me back in time: All Time Low. I don’t know how many hours I spent in middle school listening to this pop/punk group of self-professed oddballs, but their live performance certainly left nothing else for my preteen self to desire. With a translucent sheet blocking the front of the stage, the four band members entered—their shadows gliding along the sheet the audience’s only view. Then, while singing “Say Hello,” the sheet dropped and tons of lights colored the stage as All Time Low cranked up the volume.

Their set, brimming with old favorites (like “Weightless” AKA the best All Time Low song ever) and plenty of songs from their new album, “Future Hearts,” (check out “Cinderblock Garden”) made sure that everyone in attendance could find something to sing along to. Between songs, guitarist and lead singer band members chatted with each other and the audience in an endearingly quirky fashion. In those moments, we—the band and the audience—were all simply a bunch of super sweaty friends, just gathered together to listen to some really entertaining music. It was sad when the show ended with “Dear Maria,” but even as it came to a close, All Time Low filled the stadium with both nostalgia and the promise of growth.

So maybe middle school wasn’t my favorite, but when I made the trip back to that “bygone era” of pop/punk and insanely-skinny jeans, it was fondness, not ill will, that filled my memory.