“Who here likes emo music?” Mayday Parade singer Derek Sanders asked the packed crowd at House of Blues San Diego on Oct. 14, two days before their set in Orange County.
And it was safe to assume — even before Sanders asked the question and before the cheering that followed — that the genre was the exact reason people spent a Sunday night out instead of resting for the work week. As shameless emo kids who probably still have our wrist cuffs and all-black clothes from high school hidden away somewhere, we there to get our emotions wrecked. Bring on the stereotypical songs of lost love and feeling hopeless.
Following openers William Ryan Key (formerly of Yellowcard) and acoustic-duo This Wild Life, Mayday Parade took the crowd through an hour-long set that included numbers like “When You See My Friends,” “Three Cheers for Five Years” and “Oh Well Oh Well.”
The quintet also included a set of acoustic covers, including “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance and “My Friends Over You” by New Found Glory. To the delight of local fans, they also played their rendition of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which they recorded for the Pop Goes Punk compilation with Vic Fuentes of San Diego-fronted band Pierce the Veil. Because of the show’s location, fans had anticipated Fuentes making a guest appearance for his verse but were ultimately let down when Mayday Parade played the song without him.
While the covers were welcomed by the crowd and were a different kind of addition that got even the newer fans singing along, playing so many of them seemed to take away from the overall 17-song set. The band has released six studio albums and two EPS since 2006, so it was disappointing they didn’t use the time to dive into more original material.
What makes Mayday Parade stand out among similar acts is their songwriting abilities, which arguably have not been compromised even as the band has grown to be as successful as it has been. A decade ago, their 2007 release, A Lesson In Romantics, 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. Their latest disc, “Sunnyland,” which was released in May, has also garnered favorable reviews from various outlets.
The group is a force to be reckoned with, with a strong stage presence, clever lyrics and one of the best light shows — with rainbow-colored hues — in the scene. Our emotions were indeed wrecked in the best possible way.
Mayday Parade will continue its “Sunnyland” tour at the House of Blues Anaheim tonight, Oct. 16. Tickets are $29 plus fees. For more information, click here.
By day, Brittany covers hard-hitting city news in San Diego. By night, she’s prowling the Orange County music scene, and is usually a regular attendee of local ska and punk shows. Reporting and music have always been Brittany’s passions. She wrote for her middle school and high school newspapers and studied journalism at Cal State Long Beach, where she graduated in 2012. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her French Bulldog, watching probably too many Disney movies for someone her age and napping.