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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

All Time Low Bring Some Nostalgia To Oakdale Theatre

In sixth grade, I was just starting to get into music, and my older cousin knew all the up-and-coming artists. He scribbled a few bands on a ripped-up piece of paper for me, which read: "Hit The Lights, The Ready Set, Never Shout Never, and All Time Low." Little did I know how much one of those bands would jolt me into the music world, and ultimately change my view of music forever.

I don't want to sound like an obsessive-neurotic fan-girl, because although at one point, I definitely was, it's turned into so much more than that. My love for this band is far beyond the fan-girl phase; it's permanent. I first listened to All Time Low in middle school, and I remember seeing them for the first time at the Oakdale Theatre's Dome with my best friend, Toni, and cousin. Bras were being thrown onstage, everyone was rocking out, and we sang our hearts out to "Remembering Sunday." But it didn't end there.

My first relationship literally started over "Lost In Stereo," and eventually, I found myself crying months later to "Therapy." I bonded with another one of my friends Lupe over the group, and nearly every year, we traveled to see them together, whether it was in New Haven, Hartford, or even NYC. One of my favorite memories is convincing our friend Alex to see them live, and we drove for hours to the show, blasting the entirety of Don't Panic all night long. Then, there are the countless friends I've made at shows as we waited in line significantly early; once, we were there so early that the venue bought us pizza, praising our love of the band.

It's difficult to describe how much All Time Low's lyrics mean to me. They're the kind of band you can listen to when no matter what type of emotion you're feeling. When I'm down and just need to sulk, there's songs for that. Excited? There's tracks for that too. It's almost like even when no one else could understand what I'm feeling, I could listen to these songs and feel like I'm not alone. And I feel like that's truly what music is meant for.

So, when I attended Oakdale Theatre once again, nearly eight years later, the excitement was still there, but everything had changed. I've been able to see Alex Gaskarth, Zack Merrick, Jack Barakat, and Rian Dawson grow over the years, just hearing the maturity through the songs. I was suprised at how many throwback hits they played - it's safe to say that the crowd went wild as they came out singing 2009's "Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't) and continued with "Stella." Throughout the set, they played oldies like Dirty Work's "Do You Want Me Dead," and Don't Panic's "Backseat Serenade" and "The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver," along with newer tracks like Future Hearts' "Something's Gotta Give" and "Kids in the Dark."

They only played "Good Times" and "Life of the Party" off of their latest record, 2017's Last Young Renegade, but they did make sure to perform 2018's single "Everything is Fine." While the night was filled with natural All Time Low antics - bras being thrown onstage, Barakat making ridiculous "sex voices," and constant jumping around the stage - my favorite part of the show had to be the encore. They proceeded with their second 2018 single, "Birthday" as confetti filled the air, proving that the song is an ultimate jam. Then, I practically knocked the breath out of myself from pure excitement when I heard the opening chords of Nothing Personal's "Lost In Stereo," one of my all-time favorite songs that the band usually never plays anymore. And of course, the night rounded out with their classic "Dear Maria, Count Me In."

When I reveal that All Time Low is my favorite band, I usually receive a reaction like, "oh, I used to like them." And while everyone has the right to their own musical opinion, I would urge those people to listen to their new music. While their old tunes were so jam-worthy, their new work is equally loveable, with so much more maturity in both the lyrics and vocals. As for their live performance, they put on a type of show that just makes you feel good. Their set brought me on a whirlwind of emotions - ending the show on a note that brought such a genuine smile to my face. Years later, they've proven that amid the chaos in the world, at least we have music to unite us.

Rating: ★★★★★

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