Review: Mayday Parade in Cincinnati, Ohio

Hannah WilsonConcert Review, Live Music, Music, New MusicLeave a Comment

Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade

If you know me at all, you know how proud I am of being an ex-emo. Well, I guess “ex” is a strong term. After all, I did just drop everything to see Mayday Parade when they rolled into town. And I definitely made the right choice — the emotional quintet brought a whole world of feeling to Cincinnati for the Sunnyland tour.

The Queen City has been lucky to draw the group in various times over the last few years: in 2017 for the Lesson In Romantics anniversary tour, and earlier in 2018 for Vans Final Warped Tour. Each visit carries a different aesthetic but makes fans feel at home just the same. A Lesson In Romantics tour celebrated the past, Warped Tour celebrated the culture, and the recent Sunnyland Tour reminds us of the future. Emo isn’t dead, just changing and growing like the rest of us.

While Mayday Parade is known mostly for their tear-jerking ballads, the biggest chunk of the set brought music we can jump and yell to. My favorite part of the show was a medley of “My Friends Over You,” “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Cute Without the E”. This emo, acoustic medley then went into “Jamie All Over”. Not only was this the perfect summary of emo culture, and really well put together, but then getting to mosh to “Jamie All Over” was the perfect moment. These are the moments that we live for as alternative kids going to dirty concert halls — feeling like one group with one interest, despite whatever differences exist beneath.

Mayday Parade

Derek Sanders, Mayday Parade live in Cincinnati

After all these high energy bangers, we transitioned into the acoustic portion of the evening. The crowd was crying in unison to “Miserable At Best,” “Three Cheers For Five Years,” and “Stay” — three songs that accurately sum up the reputation Mayday Parade has as the most emotionally charged music in the scene.

The classics aside, this date was part of the Sunnyland tour, promoting the sixth full-length studio album by the group. The album came out in the summer of 2018, and includes powerful singles such as “It’s Hard to be Religious When Certain People Aren’t Incinerated by Bolts of Lightning” and “Piece of Your Heart.”  The former is easily my favorite from the album and worked perfectly as one of the opening tracks to the show.

MayDay Parade

Sadly, the US leg of this tour is coming to a close, with the only confirmed tour dates for the year being in Europe. However, I would definitely recommend seeing Mayday Parade next time they’re near, whether you’re spinning the new album or in it for the nostalgia of your emo days. No matter how far away you get from the scene, you cannot deny the raw talent and emotion of this group.


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Hannah WilsonReview: Mayday Parade in Cincinnati, Ohio