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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review: All Time Low and Yellowcard, The Pageant, Monday, April 4

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 11:44 AM

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Yellowcard went on to play two songs from its first album following its recent hiatus, When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes. While "For You and Your Denial" sticks to the fast-and-furious tempo and vague-yet-histrionic tendencies of the past, "Hang You Up" deviates slightly from the pop-punk formula with a more measured pace, mature lyrics and pulled-back delivery by vocalist Ryan Key. It's a melancholy tune, but less melodramatic. What angst there is feels earned.

Then came All Time Low. Last time ATL played in town, it easily sold out the Firebird. Here, the quartet got to employ all the showmanship at its disposal: a large stage to skip across, light-boxes and a drum platform off which to jump and of course, a substantial light show. The melodic caffeine rush never lagged for 90 minutes, though lead singer Alex Gaskarth and guitarist Jack Barakat (he of the bra-laden mic stand) built in plenty of time for goofing off and stage banter, which included lots of references to audience members getting naked and "going down" on each other - in the grand tradition of Hoppus/DeLonge wiener jokes.

All Time Low pulled most of the songs from 2007's So Wrong, It's Right and 2009's Nothing Personal; the lyrics contained light-hearted (but often bratty) details of young romantic attachments couched in racy references. At times, the band's sarcastic, upbeat tone reminded me of Fountains of Wayne's "Stacy's Mom" and the band Bowling for Soup, but ATL is much too aware of how cute it is to really compare to those puckish, self-deprecating bands. Before the regular set-closer "Therapy," ATL even delivered its own Lady-Gaga-style PSA: "Believe in whatever you want to believe whoever you want to love...We do what the fuck we want!"

What can I say about the state of modern mainstream-ish pop-punk? To paraphrase Dazed and Confused, these bands keep getting older, but their fans stay the same age. What has changed in the last six to ten years? Well, um, not much. Just me.

So, young readers, tell us which music you love and why. The catchiest shit belongs to you now.

Yellowcard setlist: 1. Lights and Sounds 2. Way Away 3. Breathing 4. Believe 5. Light Up the Sky 6. Hang You Up 7. For You, and Your Denial 8. Only One 9. Ocean Avenue

All Time Low setlist: 1. Time Bomb 2. Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't) 3. Stella 4. Jasey Rae 5. Coffee Shop Soundtrack 6. Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal (??) 7. Six Feet Under the Stars 8. A Party Song (The Walk of Shame) 9. Under a Paper Moon 10. Break Your Little Heart 11. Sick Little Games 12. Poppin' Champagne 13. Lost In Stereo 14. Teenage Dream (acoustic Katy Perry cover) 15. Remembering Sunday (acoustic, with guest vocals by Cassadee Pope) 16. Therapy Encore: 17. Weightless 18. Dear Maria, Count Me In

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