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All Time Low: Breaking the fan base mold

By Matt Gantos
On May 1, 2014

It's been a prosperous month for the pop punk scene in the northeast and All Time Low squeezed themselves in on the last day for a performance at Toad's Place in New Haven
"This is the first time we've played here in seven years," said guitarist Jack Barakat. "Back then Alex hadn't even grown his first pubic hair."
One of the benefits of playing at Toads place is that it is small and intimate so there is not really a bad spot to be.
Toad's place is able to bring big venue sound to a small room, which in theory sounds like a great thing. Some bands struggle with this, like Man Overboard, one of the opening bands.
Because of the size of the venue and the structure of the band, their sound came out subpar and to the point where songs were unrecognizable compared to the studio recordings.
Man Overboard is comprised of five members: three play guitar, one is on bass, and everyone does supporting vocals.
This sort of set-up usually creates an overproduction of sound and a difficulty for the sound engineers to balance each instrument and microphone.
Despite the high-energy performance by the members trying to put on a "good pop punk show," it was lacking in quality.
All Time Low had no such problem. One thing about All Time Low is that despite their stereotypes of being a band for 14-year-old girls, they put on a performance that looks and sounds incredible.
Vocals rang in clear and each guitar was audible and well balanced with the drums. It may have been the acoustics of the room, but this show seemed to have the strongest audience feedback in terms of singing along.
Even when All Time Low came to UConn to play a free show on the South Quad they sounded as though they were playing in a real venue with the best possible equipment.
All Time Low even had the same set up as Man Overboard, though one of their performers isn't a member of the actual band.
Although a large portion of the All Time Low fan base is teenage girls, there was diversity amongst the crowd nonetheless. Part of that diversity was the parents, but there were actually a few athletic, well-statured men in the crowd. They weren't just standing there with their arms crossed either as if they were there for their girlfriends. No, these fellows were as into it as anyone, and there is nothing wrong with that.
All Time Low plays a high energy set of poppy and catchy songs. It's hard not to have them stuck in your head from the recording, which then makes seeing it performed live all that much more exciting.
Even the parents got into it for a moment when the band played, "Blitzkreig Bop" by the Ramones, a tribute to one of the distinguished punk bands that played at Toad's in their own time.
All Time Low actually played multiple covers that night including "All the Small Things" by Blink-182 and "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit.
One thing that was particularly egotistical that they did not even wait for an encore chant before returning to the stage. They did the usual gig where they leave, but came back about 30 seconds later, though obviously the crowd would have chanted anyway.
No one seemed to mind, especially since bands always save the best for last. It just goes to show that you don't need to be a teenage girl to enjoy All Time Low.

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