Leading up to the release of Sunnyland, I interviewed Mayday Parade guitarist Alex Garcia for FlippenMusic. Much of our conversation was about maintaining relevancy in a scene that thirsts for nostalgia. Interestingly enough, on the band’s first headlining tour supporting the new album, they incorporated an acoustic medley of popular “emo throwback” songs.
I’ll always be an emo kid at heart…
frontman Derek Sanders declared to the Portland crowd, who answered with cheers. Derek began, “You were everything I wanted…” the opening lines to the chorus of New Found Glory’s 2002 smash hit “My Friends Over You.” After finishing the chorus, he continues with the hook from another familiar song: “I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” a 2004 hit by the iconic My Chemical Romance, and finally, culminating the acoustic medley by asking, “Why can’t I feel anything from anyone other than you?” Which, of course, is from 2002’s wildly popular emo jam: Taking Back Sunday’s “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team).” Of course during the entirety of this medley, the crowd is singing along to every word. Derek then asks, “What about this one?” and begins to sing arguably Mayday Parade’s most popular song: “Jamie All Over,” to which the crowd continued to sing the words back with extra vigor. After a chorus, Sanders sets down the acoustic guitar and the band plays the full song.
With “Jamie All Over” being released on the band’s first full-length album in 2007, Mayday Parade, in a way, joins that league of bands like NFG, MCR, and TBS in this era of nostalgia. Perhaps in a slightly different era with a 3-5 year gap between releases, but comparable nonetheless. It’s hard to disagree that A Lesson In Romantics, this debut album by the pop punk legends, is the fan favorite—of the 17 songs on the set, four came from this album. Refreshingly, four also came from the latest, Sunnyland, and they all went over well with the audience, including the set and album opener, “Never Sure.”
The band managed to sprinkle in at least one song from every album into their set, and also included a fan favorite from their debut EP in 2006: Three Cheers For Five Years. They played it acoustic, however, a nice nod to Fearless Records’ Punk Goes Acoustic, Volume 2. In another nod to Fearless’ ever-so-popular Punk Goes… franchise (Mayday Parade has been on six Punk Goes… releases), the band played their feature on Punk Goes Pop, Volume 5: a cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Personally, I could have done without this, as they did the cover medley, which was a great transition into “Jamie All Over,” but a full cover felt like too much. They could have easily pulled a crowd-favorite original from their 6 album catalog instead.
It’s not often you have a band in this scene maintain relevancy over the span of 10 years and six LPs. Though Mayday Parade’s first album still holds strongest among many fans, it’s clear they continue to resonate with their audience and expand their reach. The band’s songwriting is key to their growth and success. With something new from each release, Mayday Parade stays exciting, vulnerable, and determined.
For more information on Mayday Parade’s Welcome to Sunnyland Tour, click here.