A Parent's Perspective "ALL TIME LOW & MAYDAY PARADE” Show Review
ALL TIME LOW and MAYDAY PARADE have been synonymous with the pop-punk and emo genre for nearly the last 20 years cranking out hits from the respected genre including Miserable at Best and Jamie All Over from Mayday Parade and Weightless and Dear Maria, Count Me In from All Time Low, the latter of the two songs recently gaining viral traction on Tiktok for its "It was never a phase" challenge videos.
The "newest" band on the bill for All Time Low's "Tell Me I'm Alive" Tour is Fueled By Ramen newcomer GAMES WE PLAY who have been hot on the scene since 2018 dishing out a bit of the old school meets new school pop-punk influence infusing melodic pop-punk/emo hooks with backtracking and a hip-hop type feel all to their own.
JUNE 7th, 2023 PITTSBURGH, PA: All Time Low along with Mayday Parade and Games We Play rolled into STAGE AE in Pittsburgh, PA. The line was already around the corner when I arrived with the first scheduled band to start at 7:00 PM and doors opening just an hour prior.
The indoor/outdoor venue of STAGE AE is basically one of a kind, operating year round with a split indoor stage with balcony and pit area for the harsh winter PA months and a huge outdoor lawn area with seating and standing room all general admission minus the VIP areas for the nice, warm summer months. The show today, would be outside.
GAMES WE PLAY took the stage, the 3 piece band opened up with their latest single and title track from their 2022 album GET A JOB to a roaring Pittsburgh crowd then diving straight into track DEADBEAT from the same album.
Lead singer/frontman Emmyn Calleiro then asked the crowd if anyone has ever heard of Games We Play before, then saying "Even if you don't know us you'll know this song" before breaking into an insane cover of The Killers "Mr. Brightside", asking for the audience to singalong before "trying something" where he threw his wireless microphone into the crowd allowing fans to take turns singing most of the song before asking for the mic back and catching it onstage bursting into the chorus of The Killers classic.
If that wasn't enough, the band dove straight into KRISTINA from the aforementioned 2022 album then played a fan favorite HEY BEN which Games We Play collaborated with HOODIE ALLEN on, a song about a girl being with two guys and neither of them knowing, and then one finding out and telling the other. The set ended with what I can only describe as one of the best written pop-punk songs of 2022, "I Hope You're Happy."
If you were at that show and weren't a fan of GAMES WE PLAY then you definitely left a fan after watching that performance.
Intermission time. Fans flocked to bathrooms, food and drink vendors and merch booths before Mayday Parade took the stage. The Tallahassee Florida pop-punk quintet took the stage opening up with Three Cheers for Five Years, taking it all the way back to 2005's Tales Told My Dead Friends EP. The band then kicked into Oh Well, Oh Well, opening track from their 2011 self titled album both tracks being fan favorites.
Lead singer Derek Sanders asked the crowd in between songs if they heard their latest single "More Like A Crash" to a huge crowd pop before diving into the track that just dropped less than a few months ago. After the song Derek thanked fans for singing along and saying how amazing it is that even though the song was out for a only a few months that everyone knew the words.
From there on in the set, it was nothing but an onslaught of Mayday Parade hits, playing "Anywhere But Here" from the 2009 album of the same name, launching then into Gotye's cover of "Somebody That I Used To Know".
Derek took the helm behind a piano that was wheeled out onto the stage playing their heartfelt ballad "Miserable At Best" to which every person in attendance including Stage AE staff I saw singing along to every word.
The piano was quickly wheeled backstage before Mayday Parade launched into the tracks "It Is What It Is" and "Piece of Your Heart" which were straight back to back. The band announced that they had two more songs left before asking the audience to sing along, playing a throwback "Jersey" from 2007's breakthrough album A Lesson In Romantics before closing out with "Jamie All Over" from the same album.
After the final intermission, All Time Low took the stage. First lead singer/frontman Alex Gaskarth took the stage and sat behind an upright piano scattered in red roses playing the first half of "Tell Me I'm Alive", the track that the entire tour is named after before being greeted on stage by his remaining three bandmates. The band jumped into "Break Your Little Heart", a fan favorite from 2009's Nothing Personal album. The band played yet another new track from their 2023 record of the same tour name entitled "Modern Love" while teasing fans with a snippet of the track "Stella" from Nothing Personal mid-song before diving back into Modern Love.
One of my favorite All Time Low songs "Somewhere In Neverland" was next from 2012's "Don't Panic" record, right into "Are You There?" and PMA, a track collaborated with Pale Waves on the single recorded version of the track.
"Something's Gotta Give", "Clumsy", "Do You Want Me Dead", and "Dark Side of Your Room" were next, all slammed into one after another. The band played "Dirty Laundry" and "Basement Noises" before a small fight broke out in the crowd, causing singer Alex and guitarist Jack to halt playing and ask the fans involved in the altercation if everything was okay.
The quick resolution coupled with fast response from Stage AE staff allowed the band to continue into a fitting next two songs "Therapy" followed by "Calm Down". Jokingly after Calm Down the band started breaking out into an impromptu horrible (on purpose) rendition of Smash Mouth's All Star.
All Time Low finished the set with "Time Bomb", "Lost In Stereo", and "Sleepwalking" before exiting the stage. By now fans know what encore's look like, so they stuck around for the band to re-emerge from behind the stage to carry on with a final encore of three tracks, all All Time Low classics, "Weightless" followed by "Monsters" where Alex broke out into Blackbear's rap part, and closing out the set with "Dear Maria, Count Me In."
All Time Low exited the stage and as fans made their exit, Emmyn from Games We Play took photos and gave high fives to exiting fans by the merch table while All Time Low took the time to throw drumsticks and guitar pics out to fans over the security barrier.
What an incredible show. It's insane to see how all of these bands have grown and continue to grow, considering I first saw All Time Low perform nearly two-decades ago in a Denny's parking lot. I'll always champion all three bands and love every new step they take as musicians because remember, "It Was Never A Phase".
ALL TIME LOW is on tour now with MAYDAY PARADE and GAMES WE PLAY!
- You can check out tour dates, photo gallery, and more below!
You can check out more info in the links below:
ALL TIME LOW
GAMES WE PLAY
(SUBSCRIBE TO THE POP-PUNK DAD SPOTIFY PLAYLIST)
CHECK OUT the bands I've featured here:
The Pop-Punk Dad features bands from all around the globe. Email me awesome bands at: ThePopPunkDad@gmail.com