Initially buying a ticket to see ADTR for their scheduled date in February with support from my absolute favourites The Story So Far, I was obviously disappointed when they had to cancel a mere hour and a half after doors were meant to open (IT WAS FREEZING COLD AND I WAS SURROUNDED BY CHILDREN DRINKING FLAGONS OF STRONGBOW!) However, I spent my unusual Saturday night off work drowning my sorrows into my 2 for £12 cocktail pitcher, sigh.
However, they rescheduled (without The Story so Far on the bill, to my absolute dismay. I’d only bought the ticket to see them.) and I managed to get the night off (again!). Standing outside the Motorpoint Arena, I was rewinded back to the 2007 me (Double studded belts, fringes, All Time Low merch everywhere!). I was intrigued to see how my night would pan out, more intrigued to see if Jeremy McKinnon was going to bail on us again because he had a mere sneeze or he’d coughed a little too hard. (I was bitter, merh!)
Opening to ‘The Downfall of us All’ (shock!), I was instantly reminded as to why and how much I loved them as a teen. Filling an entire arena, it was a milestone away from their half full Anson Rooms, Bristol performance where I’d seen them last. It was undoubtably a realisation of how far they’ve grown and how big they’ve become.
Admittedly I hadn’t really listened to ‘Common Courtesy’ before hand, I merely turned up because I had the ticket at hand, however, from the opening ‘DUH DUH’ I instantly felt guilty that I’d ranked them so low, considering they were one of my favourite bands growing up. I don’t even remember how or when I got out of touch with them.
From the likes of ‘Homesick’, ‘All Signs Point to Lauderdale’, ‘Dead and Buried’ and ‘Right Back at it Again’, the energy in the room was so strong it crushed my conscience. I danced, I sang, I screamed just like I was that 14 year-old again. The highlight for me however had to be the singalong for the unlikely pick ‘If It Means a Lot to you’.
I’ve seen ADTR 8 times in my life and not ONCE have they played it, and it was just heart-warming. The Motorpoint Arena turned into it’s very own Welsh Choir with slathers of lighters and iPhone torches in the air, a highlight that undoubtably made up for the 6 month delay and the cold I inherited from the hour and a half queue on the way in.
The night was full of unexpected crowd surfing in a blow up ball from frontman Jeremy, to literal crowd surfers (I mean people actually surfing on the belly’s of their fellow gig-goers!) to confetti pouring over the crowd.
A day to Remember have always been touch and go when it comes to live performances. I remember seeing them on the Main Stage at Reading one year and I walked away disappointed and feeling ‘flat’, however not once did I feel disappointed or ‘flat’ with their performance, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen them tighter, with more energy or more polished.
Ending with ‘A Plot to Bomb the Panhandle’ and the line “I’ll make my stand, right here with my friends”, the whole crowd had grouped together to see off one of the best live performances I’ve seen this year. Grabbing my friends by both arms, the room was united, as one, to a band that had well and truly been forgiven and a gig that was well worth the 6 month wait.
I will never ever let you go again.