BY CHARISSA CHE
Even for an all-ages show, opening doors at 5:30 seems a bit early. But then again, there was an unusually lengthy line up on the night of Thursday, July 13 at The Complex: four punk acts old (see: early 2000s) and newer in total. It was more or less a one-night festival.
Altogether, the openers ranged from the screamo kind of punk to the more melodic, and of course there were lots of “Ooos” and “Whoas” to fill up the empty spaces and reel the crowd’s interest back in whenever it was receding. The Wrecks refreshingly started off their set with, “Raise your hand if you don’t know who the f— we are!” Pretty much everyone raised their hands and screamed enthusiastically.
The main distinguisher between them and Waterparks was probably the more danceable, sing-along vibe of the latter – and how the Awstin Knight’s hair and his guitar were the exact shade of mint green. Concert ensemble game on-point, and refreshing to boot. It was interesting just to watch the lead singer perform: when he wasn’t wailing, he was a bit awkward at getting everyone to wave their hands, and a review of my photos confirmed as much.
SWMRS was more entertaining fare, and had more of an infectious pop-punk sound that their predecessors. Cole Becker came out in a patterned black-and-white dress. Met with his pale face and hair, he was a veritable presence to behold: an androgynous, unblinking, and slinking (see: occasionally smiling) aesthetic and art form all by itself.
The show was making remarkable good time, with relatively short breaks in between acts. In contrast to the last 3 bands, who had a dull black sheet as their backdrop, All Time Low played in front of an elevated LED screen that alternately flashed their Alex Gaskarth’s ageless face and their band logo. To my pleasant surprise, “Damned if I Do Ya (Damned if I Don’t)” was their second song, and right then and there, my teenage self was sated. As anticipated, the headliners gave us the campier stuff of their earlier days as well as the more melancholy numbers from their latest, Last Young Renegades.
Click here to view more photos from the show.