Mayday Parade at The Academy, Dublin, Saturday 1st February 2014
As The Academy fills up it’s pretty clear that Mayday Parade’s first time in Dublin is going to be a big one. The support bands take to the stage and each one – Divided By Friday, Decade and Man Overboard- are well received by the crowd. It has to be said, their job is made slightly easier by the fact that this crowd is buzzing and are already going mad for them, singing and jumping along with an enthusiasm that is normally reserved for the main act. Decade are the stand out support on the bill, with particularly impressive vocals and catchy, jumpy songs with a slightly harder edge. Front-man Alex Sears’ successful attempts at getting the crowd going by climbing into the crowd, alongside the band’s energy as a whole makes this set particularly enjoyable. Man Overboard are slightly disappointing tonight, with questionable vocals throughout the performance. What they lack in pitch, however, they more than make up for with their huge energy. With the crowd already moshing and going crazy, the anticipation for tonight’s main act is at an all-time high.
These fans have waited a long time to see Mayday Parade on Irish soil, but now nearly ten years after their formation they have finally arrived. The band don’t disappoint, playing a set full of new songs, as well as some of the older classics.. At first it seems like it’s the latter that are receiving a better reception, with songs like Jersey and Black Cat getting huge reactions from the crowd, however as the concert goes on their new songs start to get a bigger and better response; Hold Onto Me and Oh Well, Oh Well seem to be particular favourites.
Amidst the catchy pop-punk anthems the band strip it down for Miserable At Best with just Derek Sanders (vocals) on stage with a keyboard and Jake Bundrick (drums) providing backing vocals – a particularly touching moment in the set. Unfortunately the atmosphere is slightly spoilt by Bundrick’s wavering vocals. It’s undeniable that they’re not perfect and it feels like it would sound better if it was just Sanders and the audience singing, which is a pity because with the crowd singing their lungs out and the stage dimly lit this is a special few minutes.
As well as Sanders, Alex Garcia is particularly impressive on lead guitar throughout the concert, both his energy and his skill are clear from the outset and throughout.
Unfortunately, during Three Cheers For Five Years off the band’s debut EP there seems to be something slightly off. Throughout its entirety the band don’t seem to be on the same wavelength, Sanders’ vocals are not entirely on point and are hard to hear over the other instruments. Although this could be to do with the sound difficulties that all the bands were having throughout the night, it’s still a pity to see one of their great songs performed a bit awkwardly.
However, throughout the concert, the crowd’s attention and liveliness does not falter – the love is being poured out to the band and this goes by no means unnoticed, Sanders’ smile is unwavering and heart-warming.
Tonight’s show was not perfect, but it wasn’t too far from it. Mayday Parade show that they deserve their place in today’s pop-punk scene and there seems to be little in their way of getting more and more successful.
Mayday Parade Photo Gallery
Photos: Shaun Neary