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Back to the Future Hearts Tour: Review

October 23rd, 2015

     The Shrine Auditorium, a historic Los Angeles venue, was packed with people of all ages buzzing with excitement and eager to see some of their favorite rock and pop bands perform. The loud roar of fangirls and boys filled the space as the lights dimmed and anticipation mounted. ONE OK ROCK, one of Japan’s most beloved rock bands, was the first to take the stage. Starting with loud, echoing beats, the drummer, Tomoya, brought out the band. First, their guitarist, Toru, playing his scarlet red guitar, pumped up the crowd with extraordinary loud riffs. Ryota ran on stage next, jumping up and down, exuberating energy through his bass. Lastly, Taka came running on stage as the fans went wild with enthusiasm.  Let me tell you, this guy can sing! ONE OK ROCK opened the show with their most popular hit, “3xxxv5,” from their US debut album that came out September of this year and though their set was short, they had time to invite Kellin Quinn, Sleeping with Sirens’ frontman, on stage to sing “Paper Planes” which automatically became a crowd favorite. This band may be new to the US, but telling by the reaction of the crowd that night, this band is one to watch. ONE OK ROCK definitely gained more fans from opening this tour!

     Up next was Neck Deep, the North Wales band formed in 2012. This pop punk band, signed to Hopeless Records in August of 2013, had energy, angst, and passion for their music. Opening with “Citizens of the Earth” from their latest album, “Life’s Not Out to Get You” (2015) the crowd went wild. The crowd knew every lyric and was jumping, screaming, and dancing, which seemed to feed the band’s excitement. Guitarist, Matt West, was spinning in circles, shredding each verse and chorus as the drummer, Dani Washington, kept the beat. Lead vocalist, Ben Barlow, was running back and forth across the stage, engaging the crowd. The low bass notes came from bassist, Fil Thorpe-Evans, echoing throughout the Shrine Auditorium and filling it to the rafters with excitement.

     Once again the lights dimmed and this seemed to make the crowd anxious as you could feel the venue shaking with excitement for the next band. Big, bright letters, “S W S” illuminated the stage as guitarist, Nick Martin, rushed on stage. Justin Hills (bass), Jack Fowler (guitar), followed as Gabe Barham (drums) began the heart pounding beat. Kellin Quinn (vocalist) came running to center stage evoking shrieks and yells from the crowd. Starting their set with “Kick Me” off their latest album, “Madness” (2015) they continued by playing old/favorite songs “Tally It Up, Settle The Score,” (2011), “Congratulations” (2013), and “Scene Two: Roger Rabbit” (2012). With exciting plumes of smoke, the pop-rock band put on an incredible show. Towards the end of their set, they invited longtime friend and producer, John Feldmann, to join them while he played the bass on “Don’t Say Anything” (2015). They ended their set with their old hit, “If You Can’t Hang” (2011), and every fan in the house was completely losing their minds.

     Last, but definitely not least, it was time for All Time Low to grace the stage. The crowd became antsy with excitement as the stage crew rushed to set up. As the lights dimmed for the final time that night, Alex Gaskarth (lead vocals, guitar) walked out in the silhouetted light strumming his Fender to the beginning of “Satellites” (2015). The crowd was frantic with excitement and obvious adoration for this band. Jack Barakat (guitarist), Zack Merrick (bass), and Rian Dawson (drums) followed Gaskarth’s entrance mid-song evoking another frenzy of screams. They played a number of great tunes, like hit songs such as, “Weightless (2009),” “Cinderblock Garden,” and “Don’t You Go” (2015). The crowd favorite was definitely “Dear Maria, Count Me In” (2007) where they invited 5 Seconds of Summer’s vocalist/guitarist, Michael Clifford, on stage to play guitar and sing. Ending the evening with a bang, confetti exploded throughout the venue, raining down on all the exciting memories that had been created that night with tiny blue and gold hearts.

     The Back to the Future Hearts Tour was everything you’d expect it to be –hundreds of screaming fans, pop punk music, confetti – and there seemed to be lots and lots of hearts falling in love.

Photos and article by Nicolette Cunningham.