Let me take you back to 2012 when Psy’s “Gangnam Style” took over the charts, “The Avengers” movie fought its way up box office ranks and Barack Obama won re-election. At the same time, a middle school version of myself listened to a band called All Time Low. I’d heard of the band before, but this marked the time I dug deeper into the music.
After years of listening to their music, keeping up with the lives of band members and watching music videos on repeat, I scored the opportunity to attend my first All Time Low show. Better than that: I met the band Monday, April 9.
That night, the band performed at Knoxville’s The Mill and Mine alongside opening acts Dreamers and Gnash. The venue filled with longtime fans and newcomers – all there to celebrate a shared love of great music.
The Meet and Greet allowed 84 lucky fans to take a photo and talk with band members Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Zack Merrick and Rian Dawson before the show.
“Do not say something stupid,” I said to myself as I stood in line. I anxiously awaited my turn, and as I rounded the corner, I could not help but to break into a ridiculous grin.
I hugged each of the guys and told them I had listened to their music from middle school until now. They asked if I attended school in Knoxville, and I promptly cheered “Go Volunteers!”
I gladly volunteered my time to listen to their music.
All Time Low’s music, often categrorized as “pop punk,” can be compared to bands like Fall Out Boy, 5 Seconds of Summer and blink-182. Like other bands, their music evolved a great deal but continues to please fans old and new. Enduring music makes for a great band, and the opening acts sounded like they will also please crowds for years to come.
Dreamers and Gnash, both great openers, warmed up the crowd with a mix of new and old music. Both thanked All Time Low for bringing them on Part II of “The Young Renegades Tour.” Gnash’s performance his hit song “i hate u, i love you,” which peaked in the top 10 on the Billboard charts in 2016, lived up to the hype as a crowd favorite.
I never imagined I would meet a band whose music I had loved since before I turned 13-years-old, let alone stand front row for the concert. From my front row position, I immersed myself in nostalgia as the band performed hits from at least five of seven studio albums including “Somewhere in Neverland,” “Lost in Stereo” and “Dirty Laundry.”
This concert marked the first time All Time Low has played in Knoxville in the band’s 15-year history. The guys released their most recent album, “Last Young Renegade,” in mid-2017. The release came after a move from Hopeless Records to Fueled By Ramen early last year, as Alex Gaskarth mentioned in an interview with Alternative Press.
My middle school dreams came to fruition with good friends and good music. As a group, we laughed at their jokes, fittingly cried during “Therapy” and begged the band to throw guitar picks our way. The band left Knoxville after the show, continuing on with the rest of the tour. But, they left me quoting the song “Good Times.”
“I’ll hate the goodbye, but I won’t forget the good times.”
I hit an all time high.
Thanks for stopping by, All Time Low. I hope we meet again.
Featured Photo: Ainsley Kelso
Edited by Lexie Little