Last year Mayday Parade celebrated ten years of their sophomore full-length ‘Anywhere But Here’, with a handful of shows where they played the record in full. This past weekend they revisted the record once again with a special livestream. This is why it was so utterly lovely.
Mayday Parade have always been very honest about how much change occurred during the time when they were making and touring their second album 'Anywhere But Here'. It was the first record the band had to make as a quintet following the departure of voclaist Jason Lancaster at the beginning of the ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ cycle. It was their first record on a major label, that being Atlantic, and a new adventure in how the music industry revolves and works. It’s a moment in the band’s career where everything was transitioning around them and one that they look back on both with as much pride as they do with trepidation.
The band revisted the album last year for a select few shows to celebrate its decade in the sun and the experience seems to have had quite the effect on them with their latest livestream being dedicated solely to it. It only seems right then that the performance was as much a lovely tribute to a beautiful collection of songs as it was a benchmark for just how far they’ve come in the years since.
There’s something incredibly soothing about the very beginning of this set as the band take to the stage and build up to an exuberant opening rendition of ‘Kids In Love’. An ambience and a beauty that has been added that creates a really beautiful backdrop to these songs and gives the whole show a poignantly dreamy feeling. It’s quickly followed by a symbolic video of a girl running to her room, turning a Mayday Parade record on and shutting out the world before the band tear into an energetic run through of the title track. It’s an image that feels calmingly familiar and something that every single person watching will have done multiple times in their life. Set up with an album like this, made at a time when the band themselves felt lost, it’s as poignant as it is powerful and a reminder that despite our differences we all find escape in the same place.
Another notable quality to these songs is how incredibly tight the band sound whilst playing them. The years spent touring the world and getting into each other’s grooves following this collection of song’s release has helped to unlock so much of what seemed to be hiding in the cracks of the likes of the stirring 'The Silence' and the quivering 'Save Your Heart'. In another world ‘Still Breathing’ would be in every single Mayday setlist without fail and ‘If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?’ manages to sound as utterly vicious and as it does heartbreaking. ‘Get Up’ makes you want touch the sky more even more so than it does on record and Derek Sanders’ voice sounds even more gorgeously affecting as he dons his acoustic guitar and treats us to ‘’I Swear This Time I Mean It’. We’re even treated to the album’s bonus tracks, after a striking 'The End' bleeds into the piano-led ‘The Memory' sending plenty a shiver coursing up your spine and the absolutely huge ‘So Far Away’ seeing the show out with a total bang.
Though one of the most interesting parts of the set comes from the band at the end admitting that a lot of what has made them feel better about some of the songs on this album and that period of time is the love that the fans have for them. That’s what has made them want to revisit it in such a way and made them re-evaluate what they mean and represent for them as the people they are today. The wonderfully vivid storytelling that exists within the band’s songs come into their own in such a romantically visceral way because they know how much those stories mean to people The musicianship on display is second to none, with each member holding an incredible command over their instrument, because they want to do these songs justice for the people that hold them close. That makes for a vital and heartwarming display of youthful abandon and vigour from a band that has inspired those same feelings in millions throughout their career. It's a firm reminder of just how powerful your music can become when you let it out into the world and how important it is to remember the difficult times as much as the good times. You truly never know what you will uncover.
And it goes without saying, but as long as Mayday Parade can make us feel like that then the world is always going to be that little bit brighter.
If you fancy watching for yourself, then pick up a ticket and some special merch from right HERE