Everyone has that band that means the world to them, and for me its All Time Low. It’s the classic story of how their music has helped me through some of the toughest parts of my life since age 13. On the Last Young Renegades tour with The Wrecks, Waterparks, and SWMRS they stopped in Minnesota’s own St. Paul at The Palace Theatre, and that is where my life changed. This show was the second time I’ve seen SWMRS and i believe the 9th time i’ve seen All Time Low. Being able to photograph the band that kickstarted my interest to become a music photographer was a dream come true, they’re honestly the reason I’m doing what I’m truely passionate about.
The Wrecks from Los Angeles kicked off the show, and having never heard them before i was definitely impressed. The first song of theirs i spent searching for the photo pit which was quite an adventure, leading me through V.I.P doors and up elevators and eventually ending up backstage and all the way to the green room. I was in the completely wrong place, especially when the photo pit isn’t too hard to find. After making my way to being able to shoot i was able to see the wonders of this band. I’m not sure how many people knew their songs but they sure had the whole crowd involved and captivated by the performance. Before ending the set the lead singer Nick made his way to hop over the barricade into the crowd, which personally i feel is a tad risky for an opening band if the crowd isn’t into it, but they all pulled it off so well.
Waterparks was back in MN after being here at THE GARAGE back in February, so this was a bit of a step up from then. There are only three of them and sometimes that can be intimidating being on such a large stage, but man did they make up for it. They had constant movement all over the stage, there was never a dull moment. After breaking a guitar string an impromptu intermission ensued, and became the perfect opportunity for them to practice some light stand up comedy.
SWMRS was the first band i had the opportunity to shoot in a photo pit, so i was excited to see them again on a much larger stage and after about a year of me doing concert photography. The one thing i love about them is that they are always crazy and energetic on stage, they all have a really good collective vibe and it shows while preforming. They played some new songs but mostly the ones off of their latest album Drive North, which i happened to be screaming along to while capturing their set.
On my way to this show i was ridden with anxiety, because it’s a lot of pressure to photograph a band you’ve loved since your early teens. But as soon as the lights dimmed and they’re very impressive stage display of graphics and videos came on, all of that went away. They all came out on stage and the crowd (including me) went crazy. They start off with “The Last Young Renegade” a song off their latest album, and releasing blown up condoms into the crowd. This was the set everyone was anticipating so they didn’t need to warm up at all, everyone was already going wild. The energy kept high as the night continued, All TIme Low played a wonderful mix of their songs like “Vegas” off of their first hit album So Wrong it’s Right and even some like “Guts” and “Time Bomb” off of Dirty Work which is an album they generally don’t care for themselves. Since i’ve seen them a few times before this i knew the drill for “Time Bomb” they always take a short break and ask for fans to help them sing up on stage, and for the first time in 5 years of seeing them play live, i was one of those fans. It’s so crazy that they put out an album when i was 15 that helped me through the hardest part of my life, that now when i’m 21 i was able to experience one of those songs first hand on stage with them. I was able to hug Alex quick before being escorted off stage by security and that is just insane to me. After announcing their last song they add “we have three more songs if we get an encore, but that’s up to you” and of course an hour and half long set wasn’t enough and we all begged for more. They have been playing a three song encore for a while now and it’s great because it’s like unlocking songs, they’ve stopped adding “Dear Maria” (probably their most iconic song) into their normal set and it’ll be forever an encore song. And i plan to hear it every time.