31st March 2017
Standing amidst an infestation of plaid shirts and budget, Hayley Williams inspired hair, the gravity of my situation dawned on me. The shadow of what was once an impulsive and mildly ironic decision had become my cruel reality: I was at an All Time Low concert.
Scene of the crime? Brixton Academy. With a venue of this status, I had clung to the naïve hope that, despite my reservations, I would be able to pass a pleasant evening grooving along to some passive pop-punk, dipping in and out of a manageable pit as needed.
How wrong I was. The only pit that night was one of despair. The mind-numbingly irrelevant support Waterparks took it upon themselves to ensure that the night was underwhelming from start to finish. I should have heeded the warning.
Before you could say ‘generic pop-punk’, the shrieks of 5,000 teenagers, and the groans of a few parents, pierce the air. The boys are here. I say ‘boys’ because, despite the band’s maturing age, the tired attempts at jokes they throw around could not have been thought up by someone with an emotional age over 14. Cringing on behalf of all the dads in the crowd, a small part of my soul dies with every tasteless comment. To be fair, the band does deserve some credit for their perseverance. Despite their staged interactions failing to impress 4 years ago, they haven’t given up and are still fishing for that punch-line.
The truly forgettable setlist falls just as flat. Much to my delight, despite the sea of phone cameras, I had managed to secure an unobstructed view as All Time Low churned out one lifeless song after another. Any glimmers of enthusiasm I once had faded away with the predictability of each passing chorus and chant. It was due to this exhausted performance that the crowd remained static throughout the night, engaging only in the odd arena-clap and some light footwork.
Time draws on, taking my patience with it until finally, being more concerned with catching the last train home than the last song, I made an early retreat. Desperately clawing my way out, the dark streets of Brixton have never been so inviting. Breathing in the fresh air of freedom, I was gripped with an undeniable sense of relief. Never again. This night truly was one of the all time lows of my life.