If you were a teenager in 2011 you probably watched any number of Allstar Weekend videos in the commercial breaks of Hannah Montana – and if you say you didn’t watch that show until the very last episode, you’re just lying. But if you were a teenager like me, you went on your own time to watch even more Allstar Weekend videos and listen to their music. Their debut album “Suddenly Yours” included some absolute pop gold, like tracks “Hey, Princess” and “Come Down With Love”. And I’ll be honest, Zach Porter’s smoldering action in the “Come Down With Love” video was the highlight of my freshman year of high school. But that’s not the peak #tbt level that Allstar Weekend ever hit, which brings us to today’s throwback recap.
In 2012, the band released one of the best pop-summer soundtrack albums to date. “All The Way” is fun, incredibly dance-worthy and wow Zach Porter was just so dang cute. The floppy hair? The screlting high notes? Sign me UP.
I’ve relied on Spotify and other streaming services for 90% of my music for the last five or so years. I had “All The Way” saved the moment it came out and thought I had access to some hidden pop gem that nobody else knew about – which wasn’t entirely untrue. But ever since the band’s split in 2013 there’s been a missing piece in my 12th Grade “Go-To” playlist. Call it a label ordeal or artistic differences, but either way “All The Way” is no longer an option on Spotify or Apple Music. The album is still available for full purchase on iTunes, but it’s the only release from Allstar Weekend that’s not streaming. So now we have two options – we could try to figure out why that is, which probably isn’t all that exciting (in short: they split from their label, formed a new band called The Tragic Thrills). Or we could go through the album and reminisce on all the jams Allstar Weekend provided us back in the day.
If listening to a 20-something girl talk about a band she listened to when she was 16 isn’t your thing, you can peace out now (but also how did you even make it this far?).
Let’s start off with the singles. Allstar Weekend released “Not Your Birthday” as a promotional single for the 2011 movie “Prom” and subsequently sent every teenage girl into a frenzy with the scandalous lyrics “quit your bitchin’” and “nobody gives a damn about the day that you were born”. “Not Your Birthday” was followed by the angsty love ballad “Blame It On September” in March of 2011 and I’m sorry but if you didn’t cry at any point during that song I think there might be something legitimately wrong with you. The song was everything a teenager wanted and feared the most – a perfect summer romance with a time-sensitive ending. It was sad, it was deep, Zach Porter got emotional several times in the video. There was a lot happening in the world of Disney-gone-bad-boy bands. This was the peak of romance.
The rest of the album is filled with songs that give the slightest hint of rebellion and troublemaking, wrapped up in catchy pop chords. Tracks like “Do It 2 Me” and the title track “All The Way” have a more mature undertone within the lyrics, which is one of the key factors that made Allstar Weekend such a hidden gem. They were the epitome of pop, but they had songs that were blatantly about relationships and specifically the sexual aspect of relationships. Allstar Weekend were the bad boys with good intentions that every teenage girl wanted to be real. Personal favorites on the album include “Bend or Break”, “Be There” and “Teenage Hearts”.
Allstar Weekend may have split and regrouped for the better, but let’s be real here – this album is high school summers in a nutshell, and the lack of access is a true loss to my pop-loving soul. So, until it comes back into the streaming world, I’ll be listening to the 90-second previews on iTunes and watching every music video they’ve released on a loop. I’m in my twenties, I swear.