APRIL 13th 2017

Review by Lana Muirhead
Photos by Peter Ruttan

Photos: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/a-lesson-in-romantics-10th-ann-tour/

On the ten year anniversary tour for A Lesson In Romantics, Derek Sanders (lead vocals, piano, acoustic guitar), Brooks Betts (guitar), Alex Garcia (guitar), Jeremy Lenzo (bass, backing vocals), and Jake Bundrick (drums, backing vocals), hardly looked out of high school, let alone old enough to have a ten-year-old musical child. Regardless, they rightly played the album, cover to cover.  For those of you familiar, this release introduced the world to “Jamie All Over”, “When I Get Home You’re So Dead”, “If You Wanted A Song Written About You All You Had To Do Was Ask”, “Miserable At Best”, “I’d Hate To Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About”, and so on and so forth.  And no, I’m not making this up: Mayday Parade arguably has the consistently longest song titles in the business.

The band then moved on to part two of the set, where they got into notables “Terrible Things”, “Three Cheers For Five Years”, “Keep In Mind Transmogrification Is A New Technology”, “Kids In Love”, and encore/closer “Oh Well, Oh Well” (in short).  Sanders had the occasion to demo his musical ambidexterity when a piano was brought out on “Miserable At Best”, and took the stage solo with just an acoustic on “Terrible Things”.  Though he was in the spotlight most of the time, he could not detract from the skills of his bandmates, who worked together seamlessly.

Lenzo and Bundrick lent their pipes on multiple numbers all while keeping the rhythm in overdrive.  Betts and Garcia traded off through the set to allow one another to tune or adjust and it was then that I realized that despite the baby faces, this was a seasoned rock band.

All members were jumping, weaving amongst one another, and actively engaging the wide-eyed crowd.  Stylistically the band is very pop-emo/pop-punk and every song had a happy, hopeful beat.  I felt like I should have brought a set of pom-poms instead of a very used beer coozie.  While I like my musical waters tainted with more mud and murkiness, I had to applaud the band’s consistent positivity.  I do feel bad for the day when the die-hard fans realize that life will kick you in the balls then push you in the dirt while you’re down, but hey: what’s the harm in letting them have their one night? The band reminded me of a very surface version of Nothing More (sonically), but dressed in Green Day skin and Fallout Boy accessories. On top of it all I had to thank Jebus I wasn’t afflicted with epilepsy, since the set had more lights than a Beyoncé special on steroids.  They did have a killer backdrop though, and I welcomed that distraction to deter from the jock group-love and terrible, rhythm-less white girl dancing going on around me.

Overall, the sound was great and there was no competing for sonic presence.  Mayday Parade was absolutely an entertaining band to watch.  That said, seeing them once was enough for this metal maiden; I needed to creep back into the shadows, sacrifice some baby seals, and call on some devils after that pep rally.