Live Review: All Time Low, Good Charlotte and Against The Current – 10/02/2016 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Live Review: All Time Low, Good Charlotte and Against The Current – 10/02/2016 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

When you get a phone call from All Time Low to ask whether you would reform and head out on tour, are you going to say no? Of course not, Good Charlotte knew this and so the arena tour begins, with the help of Against The Current. Opening night is Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, emotions are high, the arena floor is packed with a younger generation of pop punk rockers and those reliving their early years. Expectations are running rather high, but do they live up to them?

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They have spent very little time rapidly making a name for themselves and in Cardiff, they make it clear as to why they are on the rise. Led by Chrissy Costanza, Against the Current bounce onto the stage with the type of energy that a crowd needs to be hyped with. It is very rare that a voice such as Chrissy’s could work in a pop rock backdrop, however she manages to maintain a level of rock chick prowess that any inner wild child can relate to. They still have a way to go until they reach headline status, however they are heading in the right direction. Demonstrating a “less is more” approach without compromising on showmanship, ‘Running with the Wild Things’ and ‘Dreaming Alone’ are the pleasers of the pack, surely gaining them a few new fans along the way. Let’s hope they keep the momentum going. (3.5/5)

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After a hiatus which saw the Madden Brothers venture out in the world of Aussie showbusiness and Hollywood marriages, it’s an eagerly-anticipated comeback that sees an entire generation of pop punkers rejoice. They were never ones to be taken too seriously in the industry, partly due to their own boyish personalities and well, is pop punk really meant to be taken that seriously anyway? The announcement of their reunion was met with as much cheer as there was face-palming, however with the release of ‘Makeshift Love’ they seem to want to stamp their mark all over the scene again.

When it comes to it, Good Charlotte seem to be lacking a real urgency in putting on a great show. Battling a prominent sound issue, there’s no real flow with some forced filler talk and attempts at essential crowd banter. That’s not to take away from the pure enjoyment at hearing the teenage classics such as ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous’ as well as ‘Girls & Boys’ and ‘The Anthem’. Even ‘The River’ makes an appearance, beautifully belted and surprisingly superb without the voices of M Shadows and Synyster Gates. Maybe they are nervous, maybe they are out of practice, but something is certainly missing and we hope it’s found in time for the next show. (3/5)

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Proving that bigger doesn’t always mean better, All Time Low haven’t quite reached arena status. In fairness to them, they could easily make a bigger impact in an academy – a more intimate, condensed show. Unfortunately arena status means more gimmicks, something that the young crowd laps up and adores, yet for the more “mature crowd” it’s a circus. Fire springs from all directions, lyrics are thrown from the beaming widescreens and the stage banter comes from a playground.

After plucking away for the best part of a decade it would be easy to suggest they deserve to play the big stage, they wouldn’t be far wrong, however something becomes a little lost on this crowd. They play to the ultimate fan girl, Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat are the ultimate hosts, but it treads a fine line between a show and a gimmick.

Musically, vocally, it has to be said they are on point. ‘Runaways’, ‘Backseat Serenade’ and ‘Kids in the Dark’ are the sure-fire success stories of their set as well as their duet with Joel Madden for ‘Bail Me Out’.

Jack certainly makes the most of the flying objects being thrown in their direction and manages to climb upon anything stationary whilst Alex maintains the lead position providing the essential ingredient, with the music along with drummer Rian Dawson and bassist Zack Merrick of course. It’s fun, it’s entertaining but the music is sadly overshadowed. (3.5/5)

3.5/5

Words by Georgie Robbins (@GeorgieJourno.) Photos by Danielle Rose Photography. Taken at Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham on 13/02/2016.