Outside the O2 Academy, the crowd barrier were ladened with duvets and blankets abandoned on a cold Spring evening in Birmingham, however inside was a different temperature altogether on this the sell-out school-night. Playing to a jam packed O2 Academy, support acts Waterparks and SWMRS warmed up the crowd for American teen rock favourites All Time Low encouraging the crowd to clap along and stomp their feet.
The Californian heart throbs SWMRS performed their debut ‘Miley’ – yes it is an ode to the Hannah Montana star – and gained the first casualty of the night being pulled from the sweaty mosh pit at the centre of the stage. “Give it up for security guards!”, as they acknowledged the quick response of the Academy staff, who had already been handing out cups of water as temperatures started to rise.
With purple streams filling the venue and hands in the air and chanting semantically along to the sounds of their idols, a red bra thrown onto the microphone stand with a perfect shot to add to the carnage as the band opened with the energetic ‘Kicking and Screaming’.
The bras kept coming from the teenage crowd as the temperatures soared , as signs filled the arena noticing fans from Spain lead guitarist Zack proudly declared he “… got a hand job in Spain once!”. The Baltimore babes ripped and rocked through an explosive set from hits ‘Somewhere In Neverland’, ‘Canals’ and ‘Backseat Serenade’ capturing the audience of screaming fans.
New song out in June ‘Dirty Laundry’ captured the teenage audience’s mood red lighting, echoing the mood of romance and naughtiness, before slowing down the tempo with ‘Therapy’, reducing half the teenage girls to tears and the rest to sing in harmony with smartphones lighting the arena.
In a finale of “take cover!” the crowd were captivated as the night was drawing to a close. “Birmingham thank you so much for having us tonight..” Alex cried as the stage fell into darkness and the band departed the stage.
Cries of we want more from the crowd resulted in a rapturous encore of ‘Lost in Stereo’ and ‘Count Me In’ with explosive cannons bringing the evening to an end and the leaving the scores of teenage fans returning outside to a sea of eagerly awaiting parents.