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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

[Back to the] Future Hearts Tour 2015

Five thousand bodies are squished against one another, and everyone begins to countdown as the lights slowly dim. A white sheet covers the entirety of the stage, and only the shadow of a figure is seen holding a guitar. The song’s intro echos throughout the venue and people anxiously await the chorus to come to life. “We were just kids, we were just kids singing,” repeats over and over until the curtain abruptly falls at the end of the song, revealing Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson, and Zack Merrick of the pop-punk band, All Time Low.

Last Friday night, All Time Low performed at the Oakdale Theatre, a small venue in Wallingford, Conn.; a venue they had played at just four years ago. Despite the well-expected crowd of girls ranging from ages 14 to 25, other varying fans filled the audience as well, lining up outside the theatre as early as 10 a.m. As if their 2015 “Future Hearts Tour” wasn’t enough, the band decided to go “back” to the Future Hearts Tour starting this October, making sure to play at the cities they overlooked. The members’ intentions were to not only visit more cities, but also to play more songs from their new album, “Future Hearts” on this tour. Within the 17-song set, the band played more recent songs, including “Dancing with the Wolf,” “Kicking and Screaming,” “Don’t You Go,” and “Old Scars/Future Hearts.” Throughout the show, lead vocalist/guitarist Gaskarth and guitarist Barakat showed off their playful sides, laughing and offering commentary about tour life, other artists, and Barakat’s lack of a significant other. “This has been the weirdest show on tour,” Gaskarth said, referring to the weird chants and various items thrown on stage. He was baffled to find a foot cast, ketchup packets, and an iPhone 6 on-stage, which he autographed and threw back into the audience. Various bras hung from Barakat’s stand throughout the night, and he held up an “I’m Single” sign on the other side of his guitar. Halfway through the set, percussionist Dawson began jokingly playing a song which turned into a Sum 41 cover, and later on, Gaskarth slowly began to sing their rendition of Green Day’s “American Idiot.” Other songs included “A Love Like War”, “Do You Want Me Dead?”, and “Backseat Serenade” from “Don’t Panic”, and even older songs like “Damned if I do Ya”, and “Weightless” off of their 2007 album, “Nothing Personal.”

Gaskarth exchanged his electric guitar for an acoustic to play “Future Hearts” songs “Missing You” and “Cinderblock Garden.” He asked the audience if they would rather hear “Remembering Sunday,” a 2007 classic off of “So Wrong, It’s Right,” or “Therapy,” a heart-wrenching song from “Nothing Personal.” After an overwhelming scream for “Therapy,” Gaskarth put aside all emotions to fully portray the song. At times, his voice reached emotional levels as he belted out the well-known lyrics: “Arrogant boy, cause a scene like you’re supposed to/they’ll fall asleep without you/you’re lucky if your memory remains.” The crowd sang along to each and every word, filling the theatre with a sense of unity. To end the night, Gaskarth explained, “This is the part where we play one more song, then leave, and you all know we’re going to come back out. But this time, I want you to act like we’re not coming back.” Just to make the audience nervous, All Time Low did not return to the stage for two minutes, letting the audience vigorously chant their name for an encore. As suspected, they could not end the night without their two top hits off of “Future Hearts”- “Kids in the Dark” and “Something’s Gotta Give.” Their top-selling hit from seven years ago, “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” closed the show, bringing the band full-circle. After returning from their 2012 acclaimed album, “Don’t Panic,” All Time Low is back, posing a greater threat to every other band in the pop-punk scene. “Back to the Future Hearts Tour” proved to be even more incredible than their tour earlier this year, offering both new and old songs to the crowd. You didn’t have to be a die-hard fan to enjoy this show; the only requirement was a great taste in music.

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