ARTISTS: ALL TIME LOW / MAYDAY PARADE / LAURAN HIBBERD
PHOTOGRAPHER: MAXINE THOMAS
REVIEWER: MAXINE THOMAS
On November 1st, 2023, it was finally Australia’s turn to welcome back Baltimore’s pop punk heroes,
All Time Low. From starting at the 3-tier club Metro City in Perth to finishing off a fantastic tour in
the sold-out venue of Fortitude Music Hall, Australian fans did not hold back showcasing how much
the four Baltimore Boys had been missed. Joining Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson and
Zachary Merrick on the Australian leg was none other than UK’s Lauran Hibberd and Tallahassee,
Florida’s Mayday Parade.
Being Lauran Hibberd’s premiere in Australia, the English singer-songwriter did not hold back being a
firecracker onstage alongside her fellow band mates Jess Baker (Guitar) and James Porter (Drums).
The alternative, indie band based their entire performance around the idea of “who the f#ck is
Lauran Hibberd?” which added a comical aspect to Hibberd’s stage entrance and presence. Hibberd
also made an appearance during All Time Low’s ‘PMA,’ adding her own twist onto Heather BaronGracie of Pale Waves vocals. Performing high kicks and stage antics with Barakat and Gaskarth, you
can understand why All Time Low brought Hibberd on a world tour. From middle fingers being raised
to getting down and dirty with her guitarist, Lauran Hibberd is for sure a name Australia will not be
forgetting anytime soon.
There was no being ‘Miserable at Best’ during this tour with the return of Mayday Parade since their
“11th Anniversary Self-Titled Album Tour” back in 2022. Footwear was an option for lead singer
Derek Sanders as he pranced around the stage barefoot. A very nice touch for escaping the
Australian tradition of The Shoey. Mayday’s setlist had an array of classics such as “Oh Well, Oh
Well,” my personal favourite “Piece of Your Heart,” and “Jamie All Over.” “Miserable At Best”
brought a tear to fans eyes as Sanders and Jake Bundrick (drums) harmonized together behind the
piano whilst “Jersey” had fans going wild in the mosh pit with some ending up on shoulders. Mayday
Parade really showed that ‘emo music was still alive in 2023 [Sanders]’.
With fans warmed up from the killer opening acts, it was time for them to be reminded what it was
like to feel alive again. After 5-6 long awaited years thanks to Covid-19, All Time Low rocked the
stage in five states across the country, each having their own unique and memorable moments.
From shoeys in Perth, to teddy bears being concussed in Adelaide, to cakes being punched and
thrown into crowds in Melbourne, to wild mosh pits in Sydney and finishing in Brisbane with a soldout room singing the “Round the Twist” theme song, you can really say this tour was one of chaos.
Opening the show with classic “Lost in Stereo” and ending with the all too familiar “Dear Maria,
Count Me In,” All Time Low had fans old and new hooked from start to finish. With having three
albums released as well as collaborations and singles between the two Australian tours, the
Baltimore pop-punk band had a lot of music to cover whilst also keeping in old classics. I 100% rate
the setlist a 10/10 with the array that was covered in the 23-song setlist. Fans left the shows falling
more in love with the songs than they were before hearing them live.
Following this tour gave me the opportunity to chat with All Time Low and ask them some questions
about fan inspiration and stage design.
Q: Knowing that you guys have such an influence on people creatively, when you started this band
did you ever think you would have such a large scale of creative influence on fans?
Jack Barakat: No, we were so young and dumb.
Alex Gaskarth: No, there is no thought about that kind of stuff. I mean, it’s always just really
flattering to be honest. I find it very cool there is a little community that’s been built around this
band and that a lot of people use the space to kind of create really interesting and amazing things
around this band and the world.
Q: When it comes to designing the tours, how do you make financial and creative decisions?
Coming to Australia and having a much bigger cost than touring the US, you have to make
sacrifices in order to meet the touring requirements, how do you go about making those
Alex Gaskarth: I mean honestly, it’s just about scaling. We kind of blew it all out in the States and it’s
a lot less freight. You kind of work with what’s available.
Jack Barakat: But also like the production we had in the US would not fit in this room. We wouldn’t
be able to do it in here (Hordern Pavilion). So, you have to figure out a way…
Alex Gaskarth: Yeah, we come up with a show concept, we come up with the biggest one we can
dream up and then we kind of scale it from there. All through the US Tour there were some shows
where we couldn’t do the full rig and we had backup rigs and a B-Version and a C-Version. This is
kind of a derivation of the C-Version with the face and everything.
Jack Barakat: If you have a KISS production and a Nirvana Production, we’re somewhere around (the
Rian Dawson: One thing a lot of people don’t realise too is that what you see on stage except for our
instruments and (the light up face) is all rental. So, we do five shows in Australia, to rent video for
every venue or everything like that, the cost of it is astronomical for five shows where in US we play
thirty and you can kind of stretch that a little bit more.
Alex Gaskarth: And you’re taking it everywhere in the States whereas here we’re flying so everything
gets rented locally which is a way different ball game.
All Time Low wrapped up their touring for 2023 in the sold-out Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane.
They look forward to making a return soon where we could possibly see them on a future Good