On Allstar Weekend’s headlining tour “All The Way”, they came to the House of Blues in Chicago. With them came Before You Exit, Hollywood Ending, The After Party and Just Left. You can check out our review after the break!
It was finally a beautiful day in the Windy City. It wasn’t too cold outside, which is always good if you plan on waiting in line for a show outside the House of Blues. When I walked inside, it seemed like there were more people there than there were outside. The floor filled up really quickly. Shoulder to shoulder, barricade to the sound board. The area outside of the pit was pretty packed as well. It was hard to pass through the crowd. Even the merchandise area was hard to pass through.
The first band of the night was Before You Exit. They played a roughly half hour long set full of pure entertainment. They covered “Gotta Find You” by the Jonas Brothers and all the people in the crowd knew the words. It was like we were at a Jonas Brothers concert, which I didn’t mind since I have a soft spot for them! Since Sunday was the last day of tour, pranks were being pulled during most of the bands’ sets. On BYE’s last song, Hollywood Ending bombarded the stage, pied lead singer Riley McDonough was pied in the face, while everyone else and the stage were TP’d.
Next up, The After Party. Those guys are some of the funniest and most real guys I’ve ever met. Their set started off with their song “Secret Lover.” A few songs into their set, and maybe this was just me thinking this, but they all seemed a bit drained. Maybe tired, or exhausted. They still put on a good show, though. The last song they played was Britney Spears’ “Oops… I Did It Again.” Like I said before, there were a few pranks going on, so TAP needed one too. During Oops, Before You Exit came on stage dressed as Britney in her video for that song. Skirt, white rolled up button-up top, blonde wig and all. Best prank of the night by far.
Up next was Hollywood Ending. They definitely had a ton of people there for them, and that was apparent by the roar of the crowd. They’re very energetic and you could tell they loved what they do. Like the other bands, they played covers too. The first was “Year 3000” by the Jonas Brothers. Again, felt like I was at a JoBros concert! The next one was a mash-up of “Summer Lovin'” from the movie/musical Grease, and “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. The crowd at that up! They’re really nice guys, and I’m glad they put on a good show.
Up next was a band that knows Chicago well and is signed to Standby Records, Just Left. After not playing any shows since summer, they hopped on the last 3 dates of this tour. They played a 5 song set, 4 songs off of their album “Think Fast!” and 1 track from their “What Goes Around Comes Around EP” called “Jump Ship.” Just Left was the, for lack of better words, oddball of the tour. All the other bands were more of the power pop genre, whereas Just Left is more pop punk. None the less, they came back with a vengeance and rocked that stage. Lead singer Aaron Hill hopped of the stage several times in order to connect to the crowd better. All 5 guys gave it their all. And there was no doubting that. They love what they do, and I’m really glad I know them on a personal level.
The tour headliner, Allstar Weekend, finally hit the stage. They played about an hour and twenty minute long set full of screaming girls, crowd surfing, song wheels, high energy and love. In total, they played 20 songs. Their stage wasn’t set like most bands. The drums were set at stage right. Lead singer Zach Porter was in the center. And bassist Cameron Quiseng was on stage left. The guitar and keys were set in the back. As they started their set, you could feel the energy in the room. The floor was shaking, even all the way in the back where I was standing. Zach and Cameron looked like they were having the time of their lives, dancing and smiling the while set. During their song “Hey Princess,” I turned to the right and noticed a mother singing along and dancing like crazy! Definately made me smile. About mid-set they played their cover of Chris Brown’s hit “Yeah 3x.” Easily recognized, very well done. Next they took out a wheel full of their songs and songs they covered.
The first song spun was “Sorry…”, which was my absolute favorite song of the set. There was something about it that made me love it. Also it is still stuck in my head. So catchy. So wonderful. A few songs passed, then Zach picked a bunch of fans to come up on stage. There were probably about 20 fans up there, and then he called his Dad up on stage. That whole song was so cute, with the fans up there and his dad. It was sweet of Zach to do that. Next was their song that was mashed with Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” where Zach jumped off stage, landing into the arms of his loyal fans. Crowd surfing the night away, while still hitting every note. Throughout the set, the teen girls in the crowd insisted on Zach taking his shirt off with “Take It Off!” chants. He respectfully declined, saying that his grandmother was going to see this on Youtube later. Around 9 o’clock, the band left the stage. To be expected, “one more song” chants arose. Zach came back out and gave a speech about how thankful he was for his fans, and how that was the best tour ever. They played a few songs. The last song of the night was their hit single “Party Like Its Not Your Birthday.” All of the bands then joined them on stage. The room began to shake again. It felt like a rave with all the lights and dancing.
Information about the review…
Tour Review: All The Way Tour feat Allstar Weekend
Reviewer: Michaela Kramer
Tour: Allstar Weekend, Before You Exit, Hollywood Ending, The After Party and Just Left
Date: February 26, 2012
Venue: House of Blues in Chicago, IL