May 8, 2017

Mayday Parade cause a stir at Toronto’s Phoenix House

mayday parade nightmair creative file photo


Mayday Parade is currently on their tenth anniversary tour of their first album A Lesson in Romantics, and they are going full steam ahead, knocking out a new city almost every night. Lead singer Derek Sanders commented to a crowd hanging off his every word, that, as soon as they’d crossed over the border at 6:30 that morning, he’d felt like a fog had been lifted off his chest; a feeling he attributed to the fact that he was now in a country that did not have such a crazy leader. This statement, as well as his crooning of Toronto (especially since he pronounced it as Torontonians do: ‘To-ro-no’), only endeared the band to their audience even more. Packs of girls around me squealed and hugged one another, jumping up and down, while guys whooped.

As the lights dimmed announcing the band, moody piano music set up their climactic spill-in; the moment they abruptly switched up to high-energy bass and guitar jams was like the flicking of a lighter, igniting the crowd. That wasn’t the last time we’d see the piano though, as Sanders brought it back for his spellbinding performance of ‘Miserable at Best’, a song that particularly resonated with the crowd, and the first song of the set that I could actually hear him sing, even over the audience singing slash screaming along. Although the band is primarily pop punk, Sanders surprised us with a touching, sensitive rendition of the Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ midway through the concert, his smooth, solid vocals carrying hauntingly throughout the hall, swaying the swooning audience. It was very in line with the values he espoused throughout the night, remarking that he felt the world was equal parts good and bad, and that all that anyone could try to do was contribute to the good in the world.

Still, one could tell that the sold-out room was itching for the high-speed tempo; as soon as Mayday Parade ramped it back up to their top notch, people were yelling along the lyrics, bumping and grinding, swinging their arms in the air. A couple of guys in the middle of the audience managed to catch a ride above the crowd, propelled on the arms of other enthusiastic fans, towards the front rows, only to be roughly seized by the security guards and set back down. Still, it was my first time seeing people actually crowdsurfing in real life at a punk concert, so it was ultra cool to witness!

At the end, people haltingly began chanting for an encore. Mayday Parade didn’t make us wait too long though—within a minute, they were back on stage, closing out the night with one last song. Sanders threw out one last thank you and good night, promising us all to be back in Toronto again soon, and the band vanished.

A solid 4 out of 5 for me. This is a band I would definitely follow.

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written by Alaska Rue



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