Mayday Parade and The Wonder Years. If any bands can make a co-headline tour work, it’s this pair. They’ve grown exponentially from their early years but manage to effortlessly stay true to their roots. Filling their sets with favourites old and new, the penultimate date of their UK tour was a brilliant one, to say the least.
Pronoun (6.5), the solo project of Brooklyn’s Alyse Vellturo, was the first to appear on stage at the O2 Academy. Attendees were still slowly filtering through the doors but Alyse and her band gave everything to their set. The airy brand of pop couldn’t compete with the heavier guitars of Mayday Parade. Despite this, Pronoun’s distinct confidence and enjoyment caught not only our attention but the attention of all present. With a polite and captivated audience, Alyse and co. were able to fly through songs with eclectic influences; from the riff-heavy ‘stay’ to the delicate ‘just cuz you can’t’, Pronoun offered something for everyone, proving themselves to be an interesting choice for an opener.
Signing to Fearless Records after a single local show, one can’t help but expect big things from Movements (7). The live show they put on for us was a good one, let down only by their generic pop-punk style. The band had an abundance of energy, big riffs, and a group of devotees singing every line back at them. The Californian quartet managed to fly through their set with ease.
Not often do support bands get mass singalongs – and this happens even less often when it’s not yet 7pm - but Movements miraculously managed this. Vocalist Patrick Miranda roamed the stage, often holding the mic out to the crowd. ‘Colorblind’ and ‘Daylily’ were fan favourites with their intricate elements contrasting the heavier edge. Movements left a full room smiling. They performed admirably and energetically; everything but their generic sound left a lasting memory.
Off the back of their hugely popular sixth album Sister Cities, The Wonder Years (8) were the perfect choice to accompany Mayday Parade. The O2 Academy stood to attention as soon as the six from Pennsylvania appeared on stage. From the opening bars of ‘Sister Cities’ to the last few of ‘Came Out Swinging’, singer Dan (Soupy) Campbell bounced around the stage.
Perfectly balancing the old and the new, The Wonder Years managed to get the whole room involved for the first time that evening. An epic sound and Campbell’s diverse vocal range was all it took to get Bristol jumping. While only a few years apart, the difference between ‘Dismantling Summer’ and ‘Raining in Kyoto’ was clear. The Wonder Years have grown with their audience to create a sound that is loved by both new fans and old.
As always, we were provided with an exciting show filled with The Wonder Years’ signature explosive energy. The band’s enjoyment shone. Campbell, ever the showman, was clearly having a blast as he jumped and twirled around the stage. The effortless encouragement of crowd-involvement was the cherry on the top of a pretty perfect show.
Opening with ‘Never Sure’, Mayday Parade (8.5) effortlessly got the room singing at the top of their lungs. With a sound that can only be described as “huge”, the five stole the show. Frontman Derek Sanders played his part with ease, getting the room singing, laughing, and jumping with little effort. The beautiful ‘Piece of Your Heart’ got everyone singing wonderful harmonies. The Florida five-piece quickly followed this up with an interesting mash-up of our favourite emo songs. ‘My Friends Over You’, ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’, and ‘Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team)’ were the talking points of the evening. Armed with just an acoustic guitar, Sanders executed these short covers brilliantly.
And these weren’t the only covers we were treated to; Mayday Parade brought the O2 back to 2012 with Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’. Their acknowledgement of their earlier days was a nice touch, but Mayday Parade proved themselves to no longer be the emo kids you once knew.
Old songs and new stood comfortably side by side. The tracks from 2018’s Sunnyland seemed more polished and perfected, yet this did nothing to make old favourites seem tired. From start to finish, Mayday Parade treated us to a wonderful night of live music, studded with moments of nostalgia. We all left thinking of what it would be to be 15 again.