Commence swooning … now.
Armed with power chords and the power of pop culture, co-headliners All Time Low and Plain White T’s played to a sold-out Kendall Hall crowd on Saturday, Nov. 20, likely instilling jealously in many a little sister.
Students had no trouble singing along to the College Union Board’s annual Fall Concert, as lyrics to “Hey There, Delilah,” and “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” among many other hits, were belted out with the passion of vocal sessions held alone in the car with the windows rolled up.
Despite the seating, All Time Low turned Kendall into a high-octane pop-rock-palooza, at the request of lead vocalist Alex Gaskarth. Dressed in, appropriately enough, a plain white tee-shirt, the singer asked a question to which he already knew the answer.
His inquiry: “Is it cool if we have a dance party right now?” was met with plenty of cheers as students bounced around to the hooks of “Damned if I do ya, (Damned if I Don’t),” “Break Your Little Heart,” and “Weightless.”
More or less, everything the group said was met with support, including Gaskarth’s “Remembering Sunday,” the lone acoustic song of the night, and guitarist Jack Barakat’s desire to experience “four years of college in one night.”
The band’s teen-level energy and on-stage antics were a welcomed reward for the slews of fans who stood outside the Brower Student Center as early as 4 a.m. to purchase tickets .
Despite college students not being All Time Low’s primary audience, the band welcomed the support.
“A lot of our crowd is kind of younger, so whenever we book a college show, we are always a little apprehensive about it, but I was stoked,” drummer Rian Dawson said.
“Our fans are growing up, just like we are!” Barakat added.
The group also expressed its excitement to play a show with Plain White T’s again, joking that they only seem to tour together outside of the U.S.
“They’re like the kid we don’t talk with in school, but secretly hang out with anyway,” Gaskarth joked.
All Time Low plans to release a new album sometime next year.
Plain White T’s immediately engaged the audience with its opening song, “Our Time Now.” The opening “oh’s” of the song featured in promotions for ABC Family’s “Greek,” were chanted in unison, as well as
several other tunes played throughout the set. The Chicago-based group played fan favorites including “1,2,3,4,” and “Hate (I Really Don’t Like You),” in addition to a few new tracks off its new album, “Wonders of the Younger,” which will hit shelves Dec. 7.
When asked how the new album differs from past projects, vocalist Tom Higgenson said, “It’s our biggest step forward. We took a lot of chances this time around, we did a lot more experimenting musically, lyrically, thematically and I think all of it worked out for the better for us.”
As the band’s set went on, and each time vocalist Tom Higgenson was handed an acoustic guitar, it seemed as though the time to sing along to “Hey There, Delilah,” was approaching. Plain White T’s saved its monster hit for the finale, and Higgenson encouraged everyone to sing along, although that was quite unnecessary. Higgenson’s voice and guitar were drowned out by a sea of voices emanating from seats.
Before the show, Plain White T’s were ready to hit the stage.
“We haven’t played too many shows this year because we’ve been recording a new album, so this being one of our first shows back, we are excited,” said Mike Retondo, bassist.
Opening for All Time Low and Plain White T’s was MuteMath, an electro-rock quartet based out of New Orleans. The group performed several singles from its self-titled album and 2009’s “Armistice,” but what won over the crowd was a stage show best described as organized chaos. Before one song, drummer Darren King poured a bottle of water onto his drum kit, causing rhythmic splashes as he played.
King also used the stage itself as a drum, hammering away just in front of the front row. Vocalist and keyboardist Paul Meany also joined in the bedlam, doing a front flip over his piano, running through the crowd and allowing a female fan to play his synthesizer.
Bobby Olivier can be reached at email@example.com.