All Time Low – Sherman Theater 6/10/23
Written by mccormacke1 on July 15, 2023
Photos and review by Lara Ziccardi
All Time Low is a four-piece alternative pop punk band from Townson, Maryland. Best known for their hits “Dear Maria Count Me In” and “Monsters (feat. blackbear),” these guys have been around since 2003. All Time Low wasn’t in the very first chapter of my emo phase, but they hold a special place in my heart. When I first heard this band back in early 2016, I came across their 2015 album release Future Hearts, the sixth LP of their career, and I have been hooked ever since. Since I first listened to them, they have released three more albums- most recently, their ninth studio album Tell Me I’m Alive back in March. If you are interested, you can read my album review here! All Time Low has just ended their “Tell Me I’m Alive: On Tour,” and I had the absolute pleasure to see them for a second time (and also take photos of them!).
Saturday, June 10th, 2023 was a gorgeous day, and All Time Low was playing in an intimate venue: the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA. Lead singer, Alex Gaskarth, mentioned that they appeared at this venue back in 2011, when they toured for their (at the time) most recent release, Dirty Work. My special date, though, was July 31st 2017, when I attended my first ever concert in the alternative genre to see the group’s “Last Young Renegades Tour.”
In 2023 Stroudsburg, All Time Low opened with their new album’s opener (and title track). I can tell you one thing, they indeed told me I’m alive. From the first song, I knew this crowd was going to be awesome. Following the opening track, they kicked it to a throwback to their 2009 release Nothing Personal. “Break Your Little Heart” is one of my favorite songs off that album, and I’m so glad they played it live. After that, they played “Modern Love” off the new record. While I’m not the biggest fan of that song, there’s no way I could dislike that song live.
This very special paragraph is for the lead guitarist, Jack Barakat. At some point in the show, Jack decided that his shoes were making him slide too much on stage. This man goes back-and-forth and back-and-forth between the two sides of the stage. As he was complaining about it, someone in the audience said that they would give Jack his shoes. He just threw his shoes on stage, same size and everything. Once Jack was done, he threw his shoes back to the person and they just played the rest of the show barefoot. Shoes are just cages for the feet anyway. Since Jack moves around so much on stage, I made it my mission to get a great shot of him. I was chasing him down in the pit, and at some point, I tripped and almost fell. But I didn’t! I’m proud to present this beautiful shot of Jack.
One of my favorite albums by All Time Low is the deluxe edition of their fifth album, Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now! I have it on vinyl, and it’s a gorgeous pink and white marble that is definitely a favorite in my collection! The only song they played from that album is “Somewhere In Neverland,” and I’m very sad about the lack of Don’t Panic, but it’s okay; I don’t hold grudges.
When they started the opening notes of “Clumsy,” my soul left my body. “Clumsy” is a song off of their 2020 album, Wake Up, Sunshine. I always change my mind on which album is my favorite, and this one always gets brought up. Its sophisticated yet playful sound just takes my hand and walks me down to a rocky beach. This album seems to tackle more serious topics and themes. “Clumsy” was my personal most played song of 2020, so I’m incredibly happy I got to hear it live. They could’ve done mostly anything off of that album, and I would’ve been satisfied. Along with “Clumsy” they also performed “Basement Noise.” This song is a tribute to how they started their band when they were just teenagers jamming together in the basement. Gosh, this song is an earworm. The chorus just burrows into your brain and stays there for a while.
In an interview with Teen TV, Alex said, “‘Therapy’ is about every kid’s nightmare. When people are telling you to get help, but all you really want is a hug.” “Therapy” is an intimate song, and if you just need a good cry I would recommend it. This song is like a hug for your ears and your emotions; it makes you feel less alone. During “Therapy,” the lights were low and Alex performed a stripped-down version of the song. While his performance was beautiful, the crowd was absolutely heart-warming. I could tell that this song meant a lot to most of the people in the room.
“Calm Down” is off of the new record and is one of my recent favorites. To me, it represents how intense human emotions can be. This song is manic, raw, and emotional. While we’re only half way into 2023, this has been one of the most difficult years I’ve had to face. For me, this song (and the entire record) couldn’t have come out at a better time. “Calm Down” has provided me with a sense of reassurance that it’s okay to be mad at a world that is so flawed, and I feel so fulfilled that I got to see them perform it live.
Moving down the setlist, they have blessed us with two covers: Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Alex and Jack had some banter about covering Journey. I remember Jack was saying, “he didn’t really know how to play it [Don’t Stop Believing].” With that, Alex made the executive decision to actually give it a shot. All Time Low definitely takes some inspiration from 90’s pop punk band Blink-182, and it’s always cool to hear your heroes perform the songs of their heroes, so that was a definite highlight. Earlier in the setlist, they played a snippet of “Forever Young” by Alphaville. I may be biased, but Alex’s voice is one of my favorites. His voice has a familiarity that’s strong and comforting to me. I love that whatever song they cover or make, they make it their own.
The last three songs before the encore were the triple whammy of “Kids in the Dark,” “Time-Bomb” and “Sleepwalking.” “Kids in the Dark ” is off of Future Hearts, and being the first All Time Low album I listened to in its entirety, this song was a very personal moment to me.
Being the Program Director at WMSC, I have some power on what plays on our airwaves. If I need to fill some time when I’m programming, I almost always pick an All Time Low song. “Time-Bomb” is one of those songs that I always like to play. During this song at concerts, some people come on stage wearing inflatable dinosaur costumes. In 2017 is when they came out, but they’ve retired the dinosaurs since then. Although the All Time Low dinosaurs are extinct, I think this song is one of the best ones live, especially with the energy from the crowd.
The last song of their main set was “Sleepwalking.” This song was the first single off their new album that came out around October of 2022. It’s one of my favorite songs off the new album that I’ve heard live, along with “Calm Down.”
After waiting a few minutes for them to come back out on stage, they played their hit, “Weightless” off their 2009 release, Nothing Personal. The other two songs they played from this album were “Break Your Little Heart” earlier in the setlist along with “Therapy” and “Lost in Stereo” towards the end. As for the amount of Nothing Personal in the setlist, I thought that they had the perfect amount from that album.
After Wake Up, Sunshine’s “Weightless,” the song “Monsters,” featuring the rapper blackbear on the studio record, was performed. Because the guest artist on the song wasn’t there, Alex performed the rap instead (spoiler: he ate). It would be interesting to see him rap on the next record.
Then it was time for the last song of the night, the granddaddy of all All Time Low songs: “Dear Maria, Count Me In.” This song was released back in 2006 off their second studio album, So Wrong, It’s Right. As for the songs performed off this record, “Dear Maria” was the only one that got played. In 2017, they added another song off the album, “Vegas,” to their setlist, but I’m sure they had to make room for their new music since then. During concerts, some people leave during the last song so they can beat the crowd. When I saw them in Central Park, I was 15 and with my parents. They made me leave while “Dear Maria” was playing (which is understandable but I was still a little sad). Now that I’m 21 and attended with my friends, we all wanted to stay to see them play it, and I’m glad we did. “Dear Maria” is an iconic song within the alternative community and seeing them perform it was great.
All Time Low has incredible stage energy and chemistry. They had a great setlist and a good balance between all nine of their albums, along with the aforementioned covers. To me, All Time Low is one of those bands that I can see multiple times because they know how to keep their stage presence interesting and engaging. While it was an hour away, the venue was great and worth the drive. I also loved that they decided to come back to a venue they played at in the past; it was a sweet little homage. Along with the venue, the crowd was one of the best crowds I’ve been with. They were respectful and overall had a great and positive vibe. This concert is, hands down, the best concert I’ve ever been to. I’m so thankful that I got to take photos of one of my favorite bands. With that being said, I would like to thank All Time Low’s team and WMSC for this incredible opportunity.