Mayday Parade bring out the pop-punk nostalgia in London

Their show at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town had everyone delving in memories and singing their little emo hearts out. 

It’s been ten years since Mayday Parade’s debut studio album A Lesson In Romantics was released. That’s ten years since the Tallahassee pop-punkers brought their catchy emo rock to our lives and they haven’t been the same since.

So on this September night in London, Mayday Parade take us through the entire debut record as well as some additional birthday sprinkles in the shape of tracks like 2011’s Terrible Things and a cover of Something Corporate’s Punk Rock Princess. 

The predictability of the night’s setlist is what makes it so charming. In general, not a very desirable fact to have at a gig, but when it’s an album you hold as dearly as the 2,000+ people in the room do, it generates excitement and fills the room with appreciation.

Things kick off with Jamie All Over and Black Cat which even though they’re of course the first two tracks on the record, also make for perfect opening tracks to set the nostalgic mood at a ten.

You know that phrase “I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying.”? Yeah, that pretty much sums up everyone listening to the lyrics of Miserable At Best resonating against the haunting piano melodies. The melancholic, heartfelt ballad echoes through the room and is met with voices shouting along – goosebumps all around.

As the band launches into the final song on the album, You Be The Anchor That Keeps My Feet On The Ground, I’ll Be The Wings That Keep Your Heart In The Clouds frontman Derek Sanders proclaims “I knew this would happen. I knew this would be the best night of this tour. Listen, I know there are people here that struggle with some things. But I want you to know that you matter. Everything matters. And the most important thing is to be a good person. I love you all, thank you.”

With a promise to meet again in another ten years and do it all over again, Mayday Parade dive into an acoustic set with a cover of Punk Rock Princess by Cali pop-punk band Something Corporate. The cover is followed by 2006’s Three Cheers For Five Years and Stay from their 2011 self-titled album.

“Since we’re in London and this is the last show, can we play two more songs?” Derek demands as he kicks off the encore with Kids In Love and finishes off a truly nostalgic celebration of the band’s debut record with Oh Well, Oh Well.