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All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens Bring ‘Back to the Future Hearts’ Tour to Connecticut

by Jacqueline Stoughton

Upon the release of their new respective albums, popular alternative pop-punk bands All Time Low and Sleeping With Sirens put on a show to remember during their Connecticut stop on their ‘Back to the Future Hearts’ tour.

Crowds flooded the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford Saturday Nov. 20th. The Oakdale has recently become a Connecticut hotspot for concerts having welcomed popular artists such as Zedd, A Day to Remember and Steve Aoki.

Neck Deck opened the show for the co-headlining bands and played hits including, “A Part of Me,” “What Did You Expect” and “Kali Ma.” Although the Wrexham, England-based band is relatively new on the scene in America, they show a lot of potential. Performing with bands like All Time Low and recording collaborations with A Day to Remember’s frontman, Jeremy McKinnon – they’re sure to be well on their way to a successful career.

Sleeping With Sirens followed, performing a very satisfying set for fans in attendance. Opening their set with their first single “Kick Me” off their newest album, “Madness,” charged the crowd with limitless energy preparing them for what’s still to come.

With the exception of songs like “We Like it Loud,” “Go Go Go” and “Fly,” I’m not the biggest fan of “Madness,” their most recent album. Going into this concert, every longtime fan is always worried if they’re going to play too much off their newest album, and not enough of the golden classics from past albums that made them what they are today. Sleeping With Sirens did not disappoint, playing a healthy mix of new tracks, and older classics including, “If You Can’t Hang,” “Tally it Up, Settle the Score” and “Congratulations.”

My biggest critique of Sleeping With Sirens set was when given the choice of playing either, “Iris” or “Scene Two: Roger Rabbit,” they played “Iris.” This was my first time seeing Sleeping With Sirens live, and was especially looking forward to watching them perform “Roger Rabbit.” However, the biggest disappointment of the night was when they made the poor choice to sing “With Eyes to Hear and Ears to See,” acoustic. Isn’t that always the way when your favorite band decides to play your favorite song acoustic style? For future reference, Sleeping with Sirens, this is not a song that is meant to be sung acoustic. Lots of moshing and intensified dancing opportunities were sadly missed.

Finally, All Time Low hit the stage. Unlike Sleeping With Sirens, All Time Low played way too much off their newest album, “Future Hearts.” This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you ignore hits such as, “Vegas,” “Time-Bomb” and “Somewhere in Neverland” the set becomes a nightmare come true for fans who have been following this band since the beginning.

Like Sleeping With Sirens, All Time Lows gave concert-goers the choice to hear “Therapy” or “Remember Sunday.” All the older fans (including myself) tried their best to scream as loud as humanly possible for “Remembering Sunday,” but we were no match for the screeching youthful vocals of the underage group, which made up a majority of the crowd.

“Remembering Sunday” is a staple in every All Time Low setlist. There are some songs that bands just have to play. Panic at the Disco has to play “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” A Day to Remember has to play “If it Means A lot to You” and Fall Out Boy has to play “Sugar, We’re Going Down.” It doesn’t matter how sick of performing this song you are, it must be played. Needless to say, I was at the bar during this portion of the show drowning my sorrows in another Bud Light.

It was an eye opening experience this time around, I’ve seen All Time Low in concert so many times now I can’t even provide an accurate figure. This was the first time I realized what a huge age gap there is within their fan base. While updating social media accounts during a performance of a “Future Hearts” song, my friend and I laughed at two young girls dancing and singing their hearts out while we reminisced how that was us some eight years ago when we first started going to All Time Low shows. When “Poppin’ Champagne” came on – which I was especially grateful to hear since this was the first time I’ve seen this band perform this song in seven years, roles reversed as my friend and I started dancing and singing our hearts out while the two young girls wondered what this song was.

Overall, All Time Low put on an excellent show. I was happy to hear classics including, “Damned if I Do Ya, Damned if I Don’t,” “Dear Maria, Count Me In” and “Weightless.” My only critiques for the boys of the Baltimore-based band would be to never, ever skip out on playing “Remembering Sunday” again, and to always include at least one song from your EP. Because is it even an All Time Low show if you don’t hear either “Jasey Rae” or “Coffee Shop Soundtrack?”

Jack Barakat, guitarist for All Time Low, sings on stage. Photo by: Jacqueline Stoughton, The Recorder