All Time Low at the 3arena, Dublin, 16 February 2016
Before Good Charlotte‘s arrival onstage at Dublin’s 3arena, the crowd are shown a nostalgic collection of videos from early on in the band’s career – reminding everyone just how long they’ve been around. It may, then, feel strange to have them supporting an act who cite them as a major influence. However, once Good Charlotte take to the stage, any and all feelings of pity definitely go out the window. Benji Madden’s vocals are as good as ever, if not better, and along with Joel Madden, they definitely entertain the crowd. Although the other members have plenty of energy, none of them are given a real chance to shine – it is definitely the Benji and Joel show. Starting with The Anthem, Good Charlotte deliver pop-punk anthem after pop-punk anthem.
It may a while since Good Charlotte visited these shores, but in recent years a Dublin crowd has never had to wait long to see All Time Low, with them pretty much making it a tradition to play here once a year. It is impressive than that they manage to keep on bringing in the fans, and put on a different show every single time. No matter how many times you see All Time Low, no two shows will be the same. This time they are back, for the first time in 3arena, with bigger production than they’ve ever had on an irish show (including some impressive pyro and visuals). The one thing hasn’t changed is that All Time Low aren’t here to disappoint.
From the outset, a lot of the show consists of new songs from their 2015 album ‘Future Hearts’, starting with Kids in The Dark. The newer songs aren’t bad, by any means – I they are just more straight up pop, a result of All Time Low’s recent collaboration with 5 Seconds of Summer which saw them reach a whole new crowd.
But new direction or not, All Time Low still find time to include Coffee Shop Soundtrack from their very first EP – ‘Put Up or Shut Up’ – a little dedication to the fans that have been there for longer, and also a credit to how good some of the songs they were writing at 17-18 were.
With great personalities, the band’s banter with the crowd is (as always) very funny, and less cringeworthy than it used to be – it seems that the band are maybe (finally) starting to grow up a rely a little bit less on jokes about boobs. The show also has some really moving moments, such as acoustic renditions of Therapy and Missing You, which both include some heartfelt introductions. Also, as tonight marks the last night of this leg of the tour, the whole crew is invited on stage. After a lovely speech by singer Alex Gaskarth thanking the crew, the crowd sing happy birthday to their Tour Manager.
Tonight shows a band that have grown and improved as musicians and performers. Not shying away from trying something new but keeping in touch with their roots, All Time Low are always a pleasure to watch.