As a rule, All Time Low don’t so much put the ‘pop’ into ‘pop-punk’ as they do take the ‘punk’ out of it. It’s a strategy which has served them well over the last ten years, but although the logic of scheduling them against Rammstein tonight is water-tight – providing a rock-lite option for those with less interest in Teutonic industrial metal – the lack of comparable acts at Download this year means they draw a relatively meagre crowd.
If Alex Gaskarth and co. are bothered by this it doesn’t show, and we get the full All Time Low headline experience – replete with cringe-inducing stage chat that’s so Blink-182 that at times it actually sounds like Mark Hoppus is on stage with them – and the crowd absolutely lap it up. The fact is that All Time Low are very, very good at what they do and radio-ready bangers like ‘Lost In Stereo’ and ‘Weightless’ sound absolutely huge tonight.
There’s a wall of Marshall stacks and blasts of pyrotechnics to go with the massive sound, and as pop punk bands go they’re an incredibly tight, powerful unit. Pulling twenty plus fans onstage to dance, whatever you might think of their songs there’s no denying All Time Low are a LOT of fun.