Mayday Parade with support from The Wonder Years, Movements and Pronoun @ O2 Academy, Bristol

Bristol sees the penultimate night of the UK run of dates headlined by Tallahassee rockers Mayday Parade! Our deputy editor Lizi headed across the border to find out how 13 years have shaped the beloved rock band.

Kicking things off early, we see one woman indie rock band Pronoun take to the stage to a small crowd, take nothing away from the act, blame the logistics of having doors at 5:30pm. However Alyse and her backing band got those who made it down early going with some calm, yet slightly energetic indie style bedroom rock. Latest single Stay goes down well with the forever increasing crowd and for an artist who admits she is still finding her feet in performing live, there isn’t much further for her to go to have a fully rounded performance!

Sadly, we missed Movements due to having an interview with the headliners at the same time as their set, however, word from the crowd (and backed up by the last few minutes as we were returning to the venue) is that they put on one hell of a set.

The energy is fully ramped up as The Wonder Years take to the stage. The room is now absolutely packed as an almost sell-out crowd have all made it down and into positions. There’s crowd surfers, consistent jumping and whatever the band demand, the crowd comply with. A love song demands the crowd to hold their loved ones and light the room up and a dedication is made to a departed friend. Musically the band are tight and a dedication goes out to their Welsh fans who made the trip over the border and beloved Welsh music venue; LePub in Newport.

Time for the headliners and Mayday Parade take to the stage and continue the energy with Never Sure, the first track from latest album Sunnyland. Fan favourite and arguably the most popular single Jersey is up next, slightly different to what fans expected as this is usually one to close their set, but who can complain at having a huge sing-a-long so early on in the set? The sing-a-long continues throughout as we are treated to a wide range of tracks from Sunnyland and the rest of the band’s impressive back catalogue. It’s Hard To Be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerated By Bolts Of Lighting (we challenge you to find a better song title than this) is followed by an old favourite in Black Cat. Frontman Derek Sanders slows things down for love ballad Piece Of Your Heart before an acoustic medley of My Friends Overe You, I’m Not Okay (I Promise) and Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team) give us a taste of the famed emo-nite’s in the US, smoothly transitioning into another cult classic in Jamie All Over. The night gets emotional as a keyboard appears on stage and a tearjerking rendition of Stay is followed by Three Cheers For Five Years. The set closes minus the encore as the quintet choose to stay on stage before ending with I’d Hate To Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About.

If you’re looking for a band that bring an absolutely over the top show, then Mayday Parade will not be for you, yet, if you want a band who can deliver a consistent sing-a-long from the entire crowd throughout a full set, with a great stage presence and a true knack for writing and performing incredible tracks, you can do no better than Mayday Parade. There is not one thing to complain about in this set, apart from the fact it wasn’t as long as the crowd (and us) would have liked, but if you can captivate a crowd with minimal stage production like Mayday can, you are winning, and the band, my friend, are well and truly winning based on this performance!

Elizabeth Birt

February 25, 2019

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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