Bristol’s O2 Academy is thin on the ground as All Get Out [7.5] take to the stage, perhaps a more intimate crowd than they’d hoped for, it bothers them little as they rip open the set with “'y Friends' and Nick Hussey delivers almost record quality vocals. The crowd shows up, this is an intimate show no more, unfortunately the audience aren’t here to see All Get Out and it shows in their lacklustre response to what is a truly well thought out set. Still, they hit all the right notes - showing the dynamic contrasts their records are known for can carry over to the stage. Their lighter harmonies could do with some work on this evening’s outing but those harsher moments from 'Lucky Bastard' and 'The Season' give chills to those who recognise them.
Despite an unappreciative audience and a short set time All Get Out score points for doing the job at hand in warming the crowd, and additional points for drummer Gordon Keiter as he smashes his cymbal off its stand in the ending crescendo. With Confidence [7/10] take to the stage next, and on first impressions they look young. The youthful approach plays in their favour though as they get straight to the point of bringing a more consistently upbeat set to the crowd infused with pop-punk influences from days gone by opening with 'Voldermort' from their debut full length Better Weather.
As an outfit they work, frontman Jayden Seeley has enough charisma to make up for guitarist Luke Rocket’s goofy stage persona. By midway through the band’s set they’ve found their fans in the audience. 'Archers' is a song that the crowd know and want to be involved with, not the first time they’ve been swayed in to participating tonight, this is the first time they’ve done so with such enthusiasm.
Staying true to the track list Mayday Parade [8/10] get to work quickly, driving straight in to 'Jamie All Over'. Drummer Jake Bundrick steps up to the plate to replace Jason Lancaster’s vocals performing well beyond expectation, rescuing the entire set from the void absent Lancaster leaves. 'When I get Home You’re So Dead' brings the crowd to new levels of ecstasy, well beyond anything either opening act were able to achieve. Perhaps it comes from such long fermented nostalgia for the album, though it could easily be the raw passion the band have for this record, and it shows in their performance.
Mayday Parade - Photo Credit: Unknown
The anticipation for “Miserable at Best” is noticeable in tonights audience, and as the moment arrives the band depart the stage leaving Derek Sanders and a keyboard to wow the crowd. It serves as a breath taking interval the crowd lap up as imminently as it’s offered. Playing an album in full can be problematic for a live set, but every time the energy in the room starts to ebb the band quickly pick the atmosphere up, a testament both to the bands experience and proof that A Lesson in Romantics serves as a better track list than expected.
As the album ties off with 'You Be The Anchors that keep my feet on the ground, I’ll be the wings that keeps your heart in the clouds' and a massive audience vocal accompaniment the band have some flexibility to finish their set. Opting to celebrate the night with an acoustic cover of Something Corporate’s 'Punk Rock Princess' and a nod to the bands first song together 'Three Cheers for Five Years' both of which are received to ruckus applause. Following the trend of faux-encore’s Mayday Parade return to the stage and close the night out with a single from their self-titled album 'Oh Well'.
For some here, A Lesson in Romantics is the soundtrack to their first heartbreak, to others it’s their safe space from years of growing up outcast and un-noticed, regardless of reasons why it’s clear that for everyone here tonight it’s special. This is a celebration of 10 years of growth, not just for Mayday Parade but for their fans too.