By Jess R and Allan Maxwell
Starting the night, I was unsure if many people would be at the show due to how few people were waiting outside in the queue and then when I got inside eventually it seemed like even less. I thought to myself maybe they were coming later on in the night, maybe during The Wonder Years; however that wasn’t really the case. The venue filled out a bit when the first support band pronoun (sic) came on and then for Movements it was about the same. People seemed to squish together a bit more during The Wonder Years although it didn’t seem like that much more people than what was there for the other bands earlier on. When their set finished many people moved back or left and there was a long wait between The Wonder Years’ set and Mayday Parade’s.
It was interesting watching openers pronoun come on to the stage with the singer wearing a bright white jumpsuit and bassist and guitarist wearing dark blue and black jumpsuits while the drummer just wore a black t shirt and dark coloured trousers. The set was quite enjoyable to watch, and the band had a slight ‘new wave’ sound to them with the simple pop melodies and use of crunchy guitar tones to carry the melodies. There was a constant side to side moving from the guitarist and bassist as they moved around the stage ever so slightly. With contrasting rhythms on both of the guitars and the drums and bass contrasting as well; it allowed for great listening as nothing was really the same onstage. The music felt very atmospheric due to the ambiance of the lights as well as the singer’s short staccato melodies and the pause sections for specific instruments during songs.
It was clear from the moment the previous band had walked off the stage that the crowd were hyped for Movements, with various members of the crowd chanting “here we fucking go” as soon as the lights went low for the band to come onto the stage. There was a lot more connection between the band and the audience, although the movement onstage at times was limited with the guitarists only moving back and forth in a line from their amps to the front of the stage as well as their singer moving around occasionally. Movements was definitely more of the sound that I was expecting to hear as a support band for Mayday Parade, with them having more pop punk-based songs and slightly more aggressive vocal tones. By the time they had hit two songs in to their set people had already began crowd surfing and the singer urged for people that were there to see them to “come forward, everyone will get over it soon”. There was nonstop jumping from the crowd at various points throughout their set and crowd surfers occasionally, however it wasn’t ideal due to how spaced out people were and many surfers got dropped. As the set progressed the people that knew Movements got quite passionate with their singing and for the final song ‘Daylily’ people got rather emotional with some people close to crying.
The crowd chanted “here we fucking go” and screamed when The Wonder Years started, and as soon as they did so the crowd started jumping and singing to the song. Heaps of energy and movement on stage the lights flashed heaps and people crowd surfed on the first song. The crowd were wild as the singer jumped around the stage and the other band members were rarely ever on the stage standing still for more than a moment. Dynamically all of the instruments and sections within the songs were really strong and different with the vocalists and the three guitars as well as the bass. It was a really fun set to watch due to the constant movement and the lights. So many people were screaming and crowd surfing which was quite chaotic due to so many people trying to make it to the barrier then getting dropped as they were so close. Although it was an enjoyable set to listen to at various points in the set it became difficult to watch the band due to the lights flashing bright white matching the drummer’s double kicks, which was pretty much constantly during most of the bands songs.
Before playing the song ‘Dismantling Summer’, frontman Dan Campbell told the crowd that “when we jump you jump” which had everybody going from the moment the song started and again during the chorus sections of the song as the band were jumping along too. There were various crowd surfers going at a time which wasn’t reasonable considering how spaced out people were within the crowd and many people within the audience at the front were being crushed and couldn’t hold up the people due to the amount of them coming at once. However, when the band played ‘Raining in Kyoto’ in dedication to their friend, the audience toned it down with the thrashing and sung passionately along with the band. The band members all still seemed to aggressively play as the singer laid on the floor and sang for a few moments, so it was clear that it was a very emotional time for them.
For a brief moment, the singer spoke yet again to the audience and he said the following: “I’ve started thinking maybe we’ve wrote too many songs about death and it’s not always easy to sing them especially when you lose a friend and you’re singing these songs and all you can think about it during every verse and this is a song about how you don’t lose somebody once, you lose them again and again and again. Through every post, moment, eulogy it’s again and again. But we wrote those songs so we’ve gotta sing them. This song is called ‘Heavens Gates’.”
Once again the singer spoke with the crowd and he asked “who is here with somebody that you love? We are going to play a love song and I want you to hold on to somebody that you love or hold on to the light”; if you turned to look at the crowd there was a sea of white lights shining and lighting up the scene and others swayed along to the music with their loved ones in their arms.
Next song ‘Don’t Let Me Cave In’ had everyone jumping as the lights flickered a million times yet again but the fear of being crushed by another crowd surfed was real as the double kick pounded. The fear was obvious in others as they looked back too and a mosh pit started. Between the band and the audience, the interaction was really well performed and the crowd’s willingness to be involved was strong the entire set.
When the lights died and the music stopped for between the set changes the crowd automatically started chanting “here we fucking go”, although it was chanting in to separate sections and slightly out of time with one another. As soon as the band came on the audience suddenly sprung back to life after the incredibly long wait between the sets. The first song Mayday Parade played was their song ‘Never Sure’ and it had the people that knew it singing and dancing along, however when they played their second song ‘Jersey’ there was a release of multiple high pitch screeches of excitement as singer Derek Sanders began to sing the first line. This burst of energy from such a classic Mayday Parade song caused the audience to get very involved in the performance and brought a closeness between the band and the audience that there was slightly lacking in the first track of the set. By the second song for Mayday there was crowd surfers and this continued throughout the set various times although it wasn’t as intense as ‘The Wonder Years’ until the final song of their set.
The lights and the movement between the band members were intense with constant movement between both which made the performance fun to watch and occasionally difficult with the lights being so bright and flashing white every other second. There was strong interaction between Derek and the audience with him pointing at specific members of the audience during certain parts in songs as well as making eye contact with crowd members. This connection between the band and the audience was such a key part in Mayday’s performance and during the older songs that were played it certainly caused the crowd to be more emotional.
Songs such as ‘Black Cat’ certainly pulled a the energy up for many people within the crowd as it was announced they, of course, would be playing new songs and old favourites throughout the night. However, after ‘Black Cat’ Mayday toned it down slightly and played their song ‘Piece of your Heart’ which saw Derek with a guitar to sing, and said that he’s going to sing a part of this song and have the crowd sing it back to him. The crowd kept up singing their “ohh” section within the song and the interaction was really taken well by all members of he audience.
Derek kept his guitar on whilst the other band members changed instruments and he did an unsuspecting compilation of various “emo” songs as the frontman declared that he will always be “an emo kid”. This included songs such as ‘My Friends Over You’ by New Found Glory, ‘I’m Not Okay’ by My Chemical Romance and ‘Cute Without the ‘E’ by Taking Back Sunday before following into the chorus of one of their most well-known songs ‘Jamie All Over’. Derek then handed the acoustic guitar which he had been playing to a stage crew member and the rest of the stage lit up as the band began to play the classic song. The song consisted of the crowd being pointed at to sing a lot and it was the loudest they had been up until this point in the set.
Once the song had ended the crowd started up again their famous Glasgow chant and the band stopped and smiled lovingly at the phrase. After that they jumped into an older cover they had done of the pop chart hit ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ which was featured on the Punk Goes Pop Compilation album. It was unsuspecting to be heard but it was certainly well received by the audience and it was very connecting as there was talk around that many people had wanted to see this song live. The energy was carried on through to their song ‘Anywhere But Here’ which has the crowd going wild as many people crowd surfed yet again and people got pushed roughly against the barrier due to the mosh pit which had been formed.
Shortly after the end of that song a speech was made by Derek, as he yet again appeared with an acoustic guitar on, which was as follows: “12 years ago we played at a place called King Tuts, yeah man King Tuts. Then afterwards we went over to The Garage, however you want to pronounce it, we got nice and drunk, we hung out with some of you local folks. I remember thinking the Scottish accent is nuts but it’s fun and I love it you know. Every time we’ve come through you guys have always been so cool to us, you’ve always shown us lots of love so thank you very much, that means the world.” Then he said that they were going to go into a slower song and began playing their album title track ‘Sunnyland’, which Derek stated that they had only played this song once before live. The song received a beautiful reception of a swaying crowd and peaceful singing as the emotional song was performed.
Only a handful of songs remained on the set list at this point and they played some crowd favourites such as ‘Stay’, ‘Three Cheers for Five Years’, ‘Oh Well, Oh Well’ and then an encore of ‘I’d Hate to be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About’ all which went down exceptionally well with loud screams of excitement from multiple audience members as the songs all began. All of the band members enthusiastically thrashed about the stage the entire set and had synchronised head banging during the breakdowns of all of the songs. ‘Stay’ was incredibly beautiful with Derek taking to yet another instrument and playing the piano as he sung the heartfelt song. Overall it is clear to see the connection and the emotions between the audience and the band members at all times during the set which causes it to be a very intimate experience for all within the room.
With all of the differences between the four bands which had played that night it was a wonderful night and the audience seemed to really enjoy the whole show. It was evident that some people preferred ‘The Wonder Years’ to the other headliners ‘Mayday Parade’ as various people left between the set change however the connection between the people that remained at the venue was still as strong as before. It is certainly a night I would go back to if I had the ability to do such a thing as it was an emotional and moving experience between every act that had performed.