“That is one emotional dude” remarks the man standing behind me. Known for powerful vocals and sometimes tear jerking lyrics, I had the privilege of seeing Mayday Parade on their ten year anniversary tour for A Lesson In Romantics, their debut album.
I knew Mayday Parade had a loyal following, but I was blown away by the packed house upon arrival. Not only that, but demographics caught my eye — sure, you can’t escape the fact that young girls were flocking there by the masses, yet the crowd also carried a decent amount of diversity, showing how Mayday Parade’s music can carry an impact on all walks of life. For example, even college kids boasting rappers on their shirts were passionately singing along to Derek Sanders vocals.
Speaking of impact, emotion was not lacking from the set. As you could expect with lyrics such as “without you, I’ll be miserable at best” and “it seems that I’m sick and I’ve only got weeks,” melancholy ballads are sure to bring the whole crowd to an emotional state. These are nicely contrasted with more upbeat tunes about being young and in love, taking the audience on a journey of the ups and downs of romance, things everyone can relate to. This makes the show carry like a story, pulling us all into the woes of love — what makes this band special to see.
Something that always catches my eye during a band’s performance (which you can probably gather from my reviews of The Front Bottoms and Here Come The Mummies) is an aesthetically pleasing stage setup. We get somewhat of a melancholy, city block vibe as Mayday Parade takes the stage — complete with a backdrop of city windows, and streetlamps that lit up during the powerful ballad Miserable At Best. This echoes the dark city buildings and famous tuxedo-clad figure with a red umbrella on A Lesson In Romantics, fully encapsulating the crowd in this album.
Something that I appreciated, and is different from most album tours, is that the band included other favorites that did not appear on A Lesson In Romantics. Once they made their way through the tracklist, in order, we were treated to such classics as “Three Cheers For Five Years” (which has a stunning acoustic version, you can find it here) and some of their most popular songs, like “Kids In Love.”
All in all, this show was a nice trip down memory lane for longtime fans of the pop-punk staple, Mayday Parade. What was special about this performance was the story-telling like atmosphere that comes from a combination of the backdrops and the woeful lyrics. I would definitely recommend checking them out if you haven’t already, from A Lesson In Romantics to their newest release, Black Lines.
Hannah is an accidental internet meme, drummer, loud talker, and proud owner of a purse that functions as a working analog clock. She got the media writer gene from her dad, PF Wilson, another writer for Pop Culture Beast. Her favorite bands come and go on a seasonal rotation, but Marina & The Diamonds and Say Anything are here to say. She’s probably watching The Grand Budapest Hotel right now, but if she isn’t, she’s out photographing rock concerts.