Three courses of pure pop punk goodness are due to be served up at Southampton Guildhall this evening. Fans have been salivating at the doors of the venue since 10am, wrapped in duvets to protect themselves from sub-zero temperatures. As they pile inside, the hysteria mounts, with high pitched screams rippling through the building every time a roadie appears on stage.
Tonight’s starter comes in the form Poughkeepsie quintet We Are The In Crowd. Their old school Fall Out Boy-esque sound , although lacking in much originality, perfectly whets the appetite of the eager crowd. It would be easy to compare leading lady Tay Jardine to a certain Paramore frontwoman, but truth is, the similarities are uncanny, with the two sharing an almost identical vocal style and image. However, something is missing. Tay lacks the stage presence and certain je ne sais quoi of Williams. At times she is almost inaudible as she squeaks into the microphone.
The Maine are unfortunately tonight’s main course. They serve up a bland and over-cooked performance, choosing to mainly play their newer middle-of-the- road material. They drag on for a dull 45 minutes and, at times, it feels as if no one has told them they aren’t actually headlining this evening.
Eventually it’s time for everyone’s favourite course, dessert. All Time Low are met by a shower of bras as they take to the stage. They deliver their famous sugary sweet pop punk with a hard to ignore swagger, spooning on all their big hits such as ‘Timebomb’ and ‘I Feel Like Dancin’’. However, like most desserts, it’s all over too quickly, as frontman Alex Gaskarth announces that they will have to cut the set short. It was clear right from the start that Alex was struggling with his voice and his distress is heart breaking to watch. Jack Barakat, with a cheesy grin that could rival Elmo, does his best to boost moral, covering for his bandmate’s lack of stage banter. But Alex is determined not to disappoint and does his best to get through a solo performance of ‘Remember Sunday’, leaving the stage with fans adoringly chanting his name. Although 20 minutes early, their encore makes up for their short set, with a trio of classics; ‘Weightless’, ‘Lost In Stereo’ and ‘Dear Maria’. It may have only been a fleeting visit but All Time Low don’t depart without leaving a tip for the fans, as they announce they will be returning to the UK next summer. So get ready to book your table for what is sure to be a big festival appearance.