The Dirty Work tour rolled into St. Louis, Missouri for a sold out show at The Pageant April 4, 2011. As headliners, it featured two pop punk veteran bands All Time Low and Yellowcard, neither at their commercial peak, but both still in fighting form and pushing their music in intriguing new directions. They were supported by upcoming acts Hey Monday and The Summer Set. The show was a strong showcase of classic pop punk sounds that left the energetic throng happy. However, 95% of the show was what we've come to expect from the pop punk scene. What was most interesting about the show was that 5% that was genuinely musically different.
Hey Monday's Cassadee Pope Shows Off Strong Vocals
Arizona's The Summer Set kicked off the show with a tight group of songs. Although their music fits the overall uptempo, energetic vibe of most pop punk, there often seems to be a slightly disturbing layer of spite in the words to a number of the group's songs. However, the crowd was pleased with the group's performance as they started to warm up for the acts to come.
Hey Monday followed The Summer Set to the stage. The band is led by 21 year old vocalist Cassadee Pope. Her full-throated vocals and owning of the stage give a memorable focal point for Hey Monday. The group is currently riding high on the success of a new version of their song "Candles" which was recently featured on the show Glee.
All Time Low and Yellowcard Concert Sets
All Time Low
- "Time Bomb"
- "Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)"
- "Jasey Rae"
- "Coffee Shop Soundtrack"
- "Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal"
- "Six Feet Under the Stars"
- "A Party Song (The Walk of Shame)"
- "Under a Paper Moon"
- "Break Your Little Heart"
- "Sick Little Games"
- "Poppin' Champagne"
- "Lost In Stereo"
- "Teenage Dream" (acoustic cover)
- "Remembering Sunday" (acoustic, with guest vocals by Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday)
- "Weightless" (Encore)
- "Dear Maria, Count Me In" (Encore)
- "Lights and Sounds"
- "Way Away"
- "Light Up the Sky"
- "Hang You Up"
- "For You, and Your Denial"
- "Only One"
- "Ocean Avenue"
Yellowcard Delivers Tight, Energetic Set
Yellowcard announced that it had been three long years since they visited St. Louis. Led by Ryan Key on vocals and Sean Mackin on his violin and backing vocals, the group tore into a tight set showing themselves as the true punk pop veterans they are. For the most part, the songs caused the crowd to erupt into cheerful singing along. However, the most interesting musical segment of Yellowcard's performance was the song "Hang Me Up" from their recently released album When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes. All Time Low bass player Zack Merrick joined the group onstage for a somewhat more somber but musically mature performance. The band then headed into "For You, and Your Denial," also from the new album, but, aside from Sean Mackin's gorgeous violin lead-in, it is familiar ground musically. Yellowcard closed with their hit "Ocean Avenue" and the crowd enthusiastically joining in, but it was those moments in which Yellowcard demonstrated they are still maturing as a band that left the most impact.
All Time Low's Intriguing New Directions
Although most of their performance was clearly aimed at pleasing fans, All Time Low had a musical surprise up their sleeves as well. Armed with good looks, boundless energy, and a clutch of crowd pleasing songs, All Time Low know how to make their audience happy. They can tear through three consecutive songs and then make the crowd smile with slightly crude but charming jokes about getting naked and small weiners. As is usual at an All Time Low performance, the band added to their collection of women's lingerie that is chucked onstage to show appreciation for the group. Despite all of this, it was the moment the group unveiled "Under a Paper Moon" from their upcoming album Dirty Work that riveted my attention.
"Under a Paper Moon" lowers the frenetic energy a tiny bit in favor of intelligent lyrics, an engaging vocal workout, and a sense of melancholy that creeps in around the edges. Although the song isn't as radical a departure as the group's just released single "I Feel Like Dancin'," it does show the group is ready to mature and develop musically. All Time Low completed the show with more highlights, their acoustic version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," Cassadee Pope's return to the stage to sing with the group, and of course the closing encore of "Dear Maria, Count Me In." Catch this tour for classic pop punk, and look toward the future with the June release of All Time Low's new album Dirty Work.