It’s been 10 years since Mayday Parade released its debut record, A Lesson in Romantics. For many fans in attendance who presumably grew up from teenagers to adults since they first listened to the album at the band’s show at Soma in San Diego on April 4, the songs still hold a strong relevance.
The disc was celebrated as Mayday Parade, the emo/pop-punk quintet from Tallahassee, Florida, signed to Orange County-based Fearless Records performed A Lesson in Romantics in its entirety, alongside up-and-comers Milestones and Knuckle Puck.
The tour, which began in late March in Louisiana and ends in late July in Florida, also includes Southern California stops in Los Angeles and Anaheim.
Opening up with the record’s first track, “Jamie All Over,” Mayday Parade at the San Diego stop took the crowd through mostly vengeful songs about heartbreak, like “I’d Hate to Be You When People Find Out What This Song is About” and “Black Cat.”
What makes Mayday Parade stand out among similar acts is their songwriting abilities, and arguably, much of their best work comes from A Lesson in Romantics. A decade ago, the album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, staying on the list for six weeks, and also garnered recognition from the New York Post and MTV.
And it was appropriate that a tour celebrating such an album’s anniversary would have some of the best stage effects Mayday Parade has included to date. As the band played, about a dozen beams of light in yellow, blue, white, red and green hues moved in every direction. (Signs displayed around the venue warned attendees about the strobes but also described them as “fucking awesome.”) And about a half-dozen platforms adorned the stage for the musicians to perform on.
As the band played songs like “If You Wanted a Song Written About You, All You Had to Do Was Ask” and “Take This to Heart,” fans continuously crowd surfed and screamed the lyrics alongside singer Derek Sanders, who shared vocal duties throughout the set with drummer Jake Bundrick and bassist Jeremy Lenzo.
Mayday Parade didn’t slow down after A Lesson in Romantics’ successful release adding four more full-lengths to their discography in the coming years and likewise, the show didn’t decelerate after the band finished performing the album live.
Songs like the upbeat “Kids in Love” off 2009’s Anywhere But Here and the mostly acoustic “Terrible Things” off 2011’s Valdosta EP also got the crowd dancing and singing along.
“I hope you guys got good things going on in your lives,” Sanders said near the end of the set to his fans, encouraging them to look on the positive side of life.
To some, this could be looked at as ironic since most of the people in the crowd now in their early-to-mid-20s were presumably emo kids dressed in black and filled with teenage angst when they likely first heard the band a decade ago.
And like the fans, the band also grew up, ending their set with one of their best written songs, “Oh Well, Oh Well,” off the Mayday Parade’s 2011 self-titled album, which could give A Lesson in Romantics a run for its money.
“Oh Well, Oh Well” sounds upbeat at first listen but cleverly displays a person going through the stages of grief after a failed relationship.
Still, that didn’t stop the crowd and band from dancing throughout the song, ending the night on a high note that never really dropped to begin with.
Mayday Parade will continue their tour with stops in Los Angeles on April 5 at the Regent Theater DTLA and in Anaheim at the new House of Blues on April 7.
For tickets to either show, visit maydayparade.com/#tour.