All Time Low perform at The Boardwalk on November 8.
Photo by Gabbi Forrest
Shoving about 200 teenagers into a small venue with no barricade between the crowd and the stage seemed like a impossible task for The Boardwalk, but somehow, they did it. When All Time Low, a pretty big pop-punk band from Maryland, announced they’d be gracing The Boardwalk with their presence Nov. 8, kids from all over bought their tickets, eventually having the show sell out completely. The “My Small Package Tour” not only had All Time Low as the main band, but A Rocket to the Moon and City (Comma) State also joined them, and eventually bringing a very small band they call their “mini-me’s,” Before You Exit.
Teenagers from even as far as England started lining up outside the venue at about 2 p.m., regardless of the show starting at 7. In the cold, 50-degree weather, kids sipped Starbucks and energy drinks, made friends with other people around them and watched the drummer for All Time Low, Rian Dawson, play football in the parking lot with other people from the tour.
Finally, the time for the doors to open came and after several burly security guards rearranged the huge snaking line, people started to fill in the small venue. At about 7:45, City (Comma) State came on. Since they are a fairly new band, barely anyone knew who they were and didn’t really get excited. But regardless of the crowd, City (Comma) State put on a fantastic show, and by the end of their set people were bouncing along to the upbeat music.
After some more sound-checks and light adjusting, A Rocket to the Moon made their way to the tiny stage. Way more of the crowd was familiar with the band, so the pushing and elbowing to the front began. ARTTM really played an amazing show, even covering some of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” as an intro to one of their songs. And as the cheering and applause faded as they left the stage, everyone realized that the band they’d been waiting to see for months was on next.
Some security guards came on stage, demanding everyone to step back, step back, step back, saying the show wouldn’t continue until everyone backed up. Their attempts for space failed, as everyone was obviously more concerned with getting up close and personal with All Time Low than getting on the guards’ bad sides. Then, the lights dimmed, and the screaming began. Rian, Zack, Jack and Alex climbed on stage, starting off the set with “Damned If I Do Ya, Damned If I Don’t.” They thanked everyone for coming and asked if it was cool if they played some old songs from their EP’s, like “Running from Lions,” “Circles,” “Jasey Rae,” and a special surprise for all the long-time fans, “The Girl’s a Straight Up Hustler,” where their tour manager Matt Flyzik sang back-up vocals.
After a few more songs, they started talking about the other bands on tour, especially Before You Exit, telling everyone “if you see a bunch of 15 year old Justin Biebers learning choreographed dances, that’s Before You Exit,” and Alex sang some of “Baby.” They played a few more songs, and Alex got his acoustic guitar and played “Remembering Sunday,” and nearly everyone was singing along, phones raised high like lighters. They closed the show with “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” and had a guy from the crowd come on stage to play guitar with them. The band exited the stage, and after minutes of cheers, the crowd started filing out, drenched in sweat and water tossed from stage.
Outside there was about a 10-degree difference, since all the body warmth heated up the venue significantly. Teenagers piled into cars, saying goodbye to their new friends, but some stayed in hopes the bands would come out to sign autographs and hang with fans. According to All Time Low’s Twitter posts, the security wouldn’t let them come out, but they apologized and said the show was the best.
Obviously, this show is one no All Time Low fan will forget for a long, long while.
By GABBI FORREST