Live Review: Mayday Parade, The Maine, Have Mercy and  Beautiful Bodies – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London – 05/02/2016

Live Review: Mayday Parade, The Maine, Have Mercy and  Beautiful Bodies – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London – 05/02/2016

11 years into the sadness and Mayday Parade are still a relevant piece of the scene puzzle. Their endless thirst for reinvention alongside a reliable streak of high caliber song writing has seen them come back over to the UK to a rapturous reception every single time, with tonight at the lavish theatrical surroundings of The Troxy being no different.


Photo by Danielle Rose Photography. View more photos here.

First things first though, with Beautiful Bodies taking to the stage possessing a spritely spring in their step. Though their youthful exuberance could be taken as cute and endearing a string of technical difficulties, a shoddy sound and ultimately a lack of memorable or even interesting tunes make for an awkward start to proceedings. (2/5)


Photo by Danielle Rose Photography. View more photos here.

Have Mercy follow and deliver a billowing set of broken-hearted emo and make the most of their anomalous place on the line up. Though the wrong crowd and all-consuming surroundings of the venue don’t do any favours for the band, they still play with the same level of shirt tugging poignancy and heartfelt grit that they would in a 100-cap room and most definitely set a few ears onto a new branch of musical discovery. (3.5/5)


Photo by Danielle Rose Photography. View more photos here.

The Maine bound on the stage to a heroes’ welcome and go on to paint the stage pink with their sugary sweet pop rock. Though they play with the confidence and flair of a headline band, their time in the limelight is overall forgettable and doesn’t seem to deliver on the level that the band probably hoped they would. (2.5/5)


Photo by Danielle Rose Photography. View more photos here.

The journey that Mayday Parade have taken over their 11 years of existence is one of resilience but also one of musical experimentation and the two ends of the spectrum are apparent in the first two songs of their set. The darkened boom of ‘One Of Them Will Destroy The Other’ that then leads into the spine-tingling euphoria of ‘Jamie All Over’ show both sides of the coin that is the band in 2016 and is also the most rousing intro that they could possibly muster.

This trend of two worlds working in unison seems to follow the band through the night. Newer cuts ‘Letting Go’ and ‘Keep In Mind, Transmogrification Is A New Technology’ have the masses swaying and singing in equal measure with a universal acceptance of who the band want to be these days. Ultimately, though, the classics rule tonight and Mayday use this to their advantage. An inch-perfect and wholly touching ‘Three Cheers For Five Years’ has every 25-year-old teenager dabbing at their eye while the bounce-back anthemics of “Oh Well, Oh Well” has feet off the floor from front to back in a resiliently moving manner.

Watching Mayday Parade is always an emotional venture and none more than when vocalist Derek Sanders takes a seat behind his piano. The tender heartbreak of ‘Terrible Things’ leaves the room silent and sombre while ‘Miserable At Best’ provides one of the biggest sing-alongs that this venue has probably ever seen. Finishing things off in the best way with a glorious rendition of ‘Jersey’, Mayday Parade continue their long streak of consistent greatness. With the right mix of old classics and new age future favourites, the band still have the power to change a crowd from a jubilant chorus to a blubbering mess in the flick of a switch. For a band of this breed to be so deep into a career and still possess that sort of power is something to be celebrated and remembered, and here’s hoping that the Mayday Parade legacy may long continue. (4/5)

3/5

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Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog) Photos by Danielle Rose Photography and taken at O2 Institute, Birmingham on 29/01/16