The lights finally go down and the crowd erupts into a chorus of cheers as the beginning of a song echoes throughout the venue. Mayday Parade takes the stage with their song “Jamie All Over” and the fans go wild. Derek Sander’s vocals are crystal clear as Jake Bundrick’s percussion accents the song perfectly. Brook Betts’ and Alex Garcia’s guitars compliment each other against the sound of Jeremy Lenzo on the bass. And who could overlook the beautiful harmonies that Brook and Alex create alongside Derek’s voice? The band sounded even better than they do on their albums which is something I thought was impossible. The group looked professional and solid while also having a fantastic time which is all you can really ask for when you go to a show. You want your date of the tour to be the best and most memorable for the band and I truly think that Mayday Parade will remember last night’s concert in Michigan for a long time, as will the fans that sang and danced in the audience.
As a long-time fan of Mayday Parade I’ve heard every song off of their 5 studio albums as well as their songs from their eps, deluxe editions of albums, and covers for “Punk Goes” countless times. Last night, though, was my first time seeing the band live and I had the time of my life. I say this after legitimately every single concert I go to, but Mayday Parade is one of the best if not the absolute best live band I have ever seen. There are so many factors that went into making last night’s show absolutely perfect, but I can sum it up in one word. Passion. The overwhelming passion that filled the room was enough to make me cry. I’ve never cried at a concert, but last night there were multiple times that I tears welled up in my eyes. I wasn’t sobbing, but there was a point where a tear rolled down my cheek. I’m crying right now even writing this. While the band does have some of the most tragically beautiful lyrics I’ve ever heard I wasn’t emotional because the songs made me sad, rather I was presented with so many heightened feelings inside of me that just needed to be released. I think that’s how pretty much everyone in the room felt.
Clip of “I Swear This Time I Mean It”
Back to that special word. I have honestly never seen someone sing as passionately as Derek did last night. Every single ounce of his soul was poured into his performance and it was noticeable. That’s what differentiates a good performer from a great performer from a fantastic performer. His raw emotion was beautifully heartbreaking and insanely uplifting all in the same moment. Every word, every note was packed with an intensity that I hadn’t witnessed before. Through each song whether it be one of their fast paced songs with lyrics that cut deep in the quickest of instances or one of their acoustic songs that resonate within your soul for days afterward the same ferocity was present throughout the entire show.
Clip of “Terrible Things” in which the lights behind Derek look like actual angel wings.
The band played all of my favorite songs including “Oh Well, Oh Well”, “Stay”, “When You See My Friends” and a song that they claimed they had not played on tour for 7 years “I’d Hate To Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About”. One of my favorite moments was when the band was performing “Miserable At Best” and Derek asked the crowd to keep singing as the group left the stage. The venue was lit only by the lights of cell phones and the ending chorus of the song rang through the room in perfect unison as every single fan finished singing the song together.
This clip of the crowd singing doesn’t do the atmosphere justice, but it was a cool experience!
Kevin from This Wild Life and me!
The three opening acts on the AP Tour, As It Is, This Wild Life and Real Friends are also noteworthy. Each band brought something different to the stage. As It Is brought a youthful energy that set the tone for the show while This Wild Life serenaded the crowd with songs as perfect as lullabies. I don’t remember too much of Real Friends’ set because I was otherwise occupied by trying to keep myself intact as the crowd around me went absolutely insane, but from what I do remember they were energized and excited to be there which made for the perfect mix of opening acts for the concert to end all concerts.
I had to include this clip of “Oh Well, Oh Well”. I’m not sorry.
If you have a chance to make it to the AP Tour before it ends in November I recommend it 100%. It was a fantastic show and I am still reliving it. Until next weekend!