It’s been a while since the UK arenas have been greeted by co-headliners. In 2014 America received a glorious “Monumentour” (headliners Paramore and Fall Out Boy). It’s only fair that the UK received a smaller dose of pop-punk. After the success of the Spring Fever tour in the US, You Me At Six and All Time Low decided it was high-time that the UK got some attention, even if just to save their adoring fans some money. Three pretty cool bands, one great show.
Walk The Moon are the first band performing this evening, stirring the audience up with some electro-pop. They successfully get the audience moving, including a massive sing along to a cover of The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done”. Ending their set with radio-friendly pop “Anna Sun”, they cannot deny their indie influences.
With the audience all warmed up, All Time Low run on stage. Although in an arena, what ATL do is not out of the ordinary. They shower their excitable audience in sweet pop-rock, but the show doesn’t reach any new heights. A moment of excitement sees front man Alex Gaskarth address the audience as “Wembley”, which leads to a slightly awkward correction later in the set. Yet all is forgiven as the crowd bops away to the new sound of “Something’s Gotta Give” and favourites such as “Time-Bomb”. The set runs smoothly, equipped with standard cheeky jokes and fancy pyrotechnics. Crowned a success, it ends on the high of the classic “Dear Maria Count Me in”. Although musically tight and bundles of fun, one cannot ignore the interruptions of All Time Low’s set due to crowd safety. It’s great to promote the safety of others in the audience, yet surely security should deal with any issues token at an arena gig.
You Me At Six are the final act of the evening, and bring a harder edge to the concert. After the mixed performance of their Alexandra Palace Show back in spring 2014, the band have massively improved as a live act. The set list tonight plays on the strengths of YMAS, performing an array of hits from across the last three albums. Musically the band provides a strong performance, supplying streams of energy and confetti. Josh Franceschi’s vocals sound far more impressive this time round, and the audience appears livelier than ever. Besides another “security pause” and generic “crowd safety” speech, You Me At Six currently seem to be playing to impress. Set highlights including “Reckless” and “Lived A Lie” see the Surrey lads outshine Baltimore’s All Time Low tonight.
Overall, a quality evening filled with talented musicians. Yet, it becomes clear that if both bands wish to continue playing to an arena size, things will need to be stepped up. Whether a new sound is waiting to be discovered or performance reinvented, these bands need to add some spice to their set lists. A bigger venue needs an even bigger performance.