The excitement felt by fans nationwide had been building up for months prior to the beginning of the You Me At Six and All Time Low co-headliner which kicked off last Monday at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, and finished up in London at The O2 on Saturday. We got the chance to go see the show on the formidable Friday 13 at Manchester Arena, and find out what all the fuss was about!

As a sold out show it was no surprise that leading up to doors, the area surrounding Manchester Victoria station and the arena was swarming with teenage girls in brightly coloured skinny jeans. In their 11 years as a band, Surrey quintet You Me At Six have accumulated quite the fanbase in their time as a band. All Time Low have worked equally as hard since they first started coming to the UK with the likes of The Audition and Cobra Starship, with it not being long before they moved from support slots to sold out headlining tours. The two together was set up as a match made in heaven, with many fans being crossovers meaning that two birds were being killed with one stone, so to speak.

Cincinnati quartet Walk The Moon opened up the show, and it was clear from the get-go that they were put in place in order to get the crowd energised and motivated. All Time Low have done it before by having The Summer Set as openers, and so have You Me At Six with the likes of We The Kings and The Skints. Bands like that may not necessarily preach the rock gospel, but they do a damn good job of making sure crowds have fun by getting their dancing shoes on. Walk The Moon were no exception, and even sparked sing-a-longs with their widely-known single ‘Shut Up and Dance’, and their cover of The Killers’ ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’. The arena’s capacity were eating it up, and everyone was distracted enough that it didn’t feel like long until it was time for All Time Low to take to the stage — and some even looked disappointed that Walk The Moon were finished!

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It was obvious that All Time Low were set up to be at a disadvantage when it came to this tour — a shorter set, less of a budget and the first spot every night, which was most surprising. Generally at co-headline tours, the bands will switch every night so that some nights one will headline, and the next, the other will. That was not the case with this tour; You Me At Six played the final slot every night and All Time Low took their position in what made their fans feel like they were just a second support act. In fact, some arenas even advertised them as that on their set times notices!

The Baltimore quintet played a 15-song set, consisting of what you’d expect when attending one of their shows. ‘Stella’, ‘Weightless’ and ‘Therapy’ all made an appearance; there was nothing particularly special about the set compared to what they’ve done before other than that there was an addition of the band’s latest single ‘Something’s Gotta Give’. With the way they performed, you wouldn’t think they were ‘co-headlining’ an arena — just playing the stage at Manchester Academy down the road, like they’ve done so many times before. Sadly, it’s not their fault, but whoever decided how things would play out and put You Me At Six at an advantage over their American friends. Instead of a co-headline, it felt more like a battle for attention.

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You Me At Six made an impressive entrance, and their performance had all the pyrotechnics and confetti that anyone could wish for (but hey, where were those things during All Time Low?). They strived through the usual suspects — ‘Reckless’, ‘Underdog’ and ‘Bite My Tongue’, as well as some older tracks that were clearly meant to make the show memorable by creating a special atmosphere. By midway through their set, it was a surprise if anyone could even remember they had just watched All Time Low as You Me At Six totally stole the show. Their fans as opposed to the band themselves had been drawn the short straw, because while All Time Low had been treated as a support band, their fans were given access to meet and greets, pre-sale tickets and early entry meaning that ‘Sixers’, as they’re so lovingly called, had to fight through the crowd to get anywhere even remotely near the front.

Josh Franceschi and co. haven’t really played to UK audiences in a while, and they definitely went out of their way to make sure their audience was captivated, which while All Time Low did have a chance to do, they didn’t get the opportunity to kick it into overdrive and really show what they could do with such a large space. An encore (again, something limited to You Me At Six only) consisted of ‘Lived A Lie’, and everyone in the arena was on their feet, celebrating what seemed to be a successful evening — that is, if you weren’t an annoyed All Time Low fan.

Photo’s by Kelly Hamilton.