Exactly two years after I watched Mayday Parade headline The Foundry in Philadelphia, the band moved downstairs to its larger counterpart, The Fillmore, to transport the audience into Sunnyland, the backdrop of their newest record. 2018 marks Mayday Parade’s thirteenth year together as a band, and despite non-stop touring and six album releases through it all, the band has managed to build and grow their following, as their fans have grown with them.
Opening with “Never Sure,” the first track off Sunnyland, the audience was immediately thrown into the heart of Mayday Parade: biting lyrics masked with bubbly major chords and quick drum beats. As they played through songs off the new album all the way back to their first release A Lesson in Romantics (one of my favorite records of all time), they ensured that no matter when you became a Mayday Parade fan, you would be able to scream along at some point during the set. Between songs, lead singer Derek Saunders even acknowledged a few fans in the front row who had flown all the way from Amsterdam and the UK to follow the tour, proving the longevity and dedication of their fanbase.
Mayday Parade are a major player in the second wave of pop-punk, following the success of bands like blink-182 and Yellowcard. To pay homage, and because as Saunders described, “I’ll always be an emo kid,” the band launched into a mashup of “My Friends Over You” by New Found Glory, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance, and “Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)” by Taking Back Sunday. The crowd was extremely pleased by the mashup, and sang their hearts out to the classics.
My favorite part of every Mayday Parade show is when a piano is rolled onto stage, and the show slows down for a short interval. Following “Looks Red, Tastes Blue” (which I’ve listened to probably 100 times since the concert, it is phenomenal), Saunders and drummer Jake Bundrick played through the hard-hitting trio of “Three Cheers for Five Years,” “Miserable at Best,” and “Stay.” The crowd was the loudest it had been all night for “Three Cheers” and “Miserable.” My favorite moment of the night came during the final chorus of “Miserable,” during which Saunders leaned away from the mic and allowed the audience to sing, as Bundrick joined in with beautiful harmonies to accompany the audience.
Closing the show before the encore with “Stay” allowed for a phenomenal build, as the band joined back in to strongly contrast the softness of the moment before. Their encore of “Oh Well, Oh Well” was received incredibly well, and despite having to stop their set for the second time that night due to an injury, the crowd stayed engaged with them, ready to close out the show with a bang.
Mayday Parade are one of the bands I will never tire of seeing live. Whether I see them play a shortened Warped Tour set in California, or see them headline a 2,500 person venue in Philadelphia, you can guarantee that I will always be in the crowd screaming my heart out to “Jamie All Over,” with the biggest smile on my face.
Setlist: Never Sure // Jersey // Satellite // When I Get Home, You’re So Dead // Hold Onto Me // Piece of Your Heart // I Swear This Time I Mean It // My Friends Over You / I’m Not Okay (I Promise) / Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team) Mashup // Jamie All Over // Somebody That I Used To Know (Cover) // Anywhere But Here // One of Us // Looks Red, Tastes Blue // Three Cheers for Five Years // Miserable at Best // Stay // Oh Well, Oh Well (Encore)