Mayday Parade brings the nostalgia

Alternative rock band Mayday Parade took the stage at the Masquerade on Feb. 9 as a stop on their world tour commemorating the 11th anniversary of their Self Titled album, their third studio release. // Photo by Sloan Salinas Student Publications

American rock band Mayday Parade took to the stage in downtown Atlanta last Wednesday night as a stop on their latest world tour — but this isn’t just any tour. This year, the band celebrates the 11th Anniversary of their Self Titled album, released in 2011. 

Hours before the doors even opened, fans were lined up outside The Masquerade, and the air buzzed with excitement. Many people in the line had grown up listening to Mayday Parade, whose emo-inspired rock sound guided them through good and bad times. 

For these fans, the night was set to be a nostalgic dream come true, as the band had a very special plan for this tour: they were going to play their entire Self-Titled album, all twelve songs, from start to finish. 

The show began with two openers: pop-punk bands Magnolia Park and Real Friends. 

Both groups delivered spirited sets that left the crowd energized and ready for more. Before long, it was time for the headlining act. 

The stage had been set with a backdrop depicting an ornate cathedral, and stained glass window panes and electric candelabras were spread across the stage. The crowd cheered in anticipation as the venue lights dimmed and a soft, gentle-sounding instrumental tune played from the speakers.

Calmly, lead singer Derek Sanders strolled into view, standing solo at the microphone as he began their first song, accompanied only by a single piano track.

Immediately, the crowd was singing the words with him. 

As Sanders reached the end of the first verse, the shadowy figures of Alex Garcia (guitar), Brooks Betts (guitar), Jake Bundrick (drums), and Jeremy Lenzo (bass) took their places right on time to launch into the song’s lively second verse.

As the band played, jumping around the stage, something specific stood out about their appearance: despite stage lights being notorious for how hot they can be, all 5 members were dressed to the nines in 3-piece suits. 

After the first song during a short interlude, the singer mentioned the style choice, saying “what better way to celebrate [the album’s anniversary] than to dress up in fancy suits and play the whole thing.” 

As the show continued, the members shed their long-sleeved jackets but their formal attire still added a layer of memorability to the occasion, further creating the celebratory feeling that people associate with typical anniversaries.

Each song the group plays has its own sound, from loud electric guitars to soft, wistful piano. 

Though different, they all blend together in a cohesive setlist, an album that feels timeless and expressive.

Just as promised, the band played through every song from the Self-Titled album, as well as a few songs extra, and not once does the crowd’s energy falter. 

Audience members ranging from as young as ten years old to prople well into adulthood were dancing to every song, crowd-surfing, and singing at the top of their lungs. 

The lights are bright and colorful. 

There are smiles on every face, and for many, it’s like reliving a piece of their childhood and getting to share it with everyone else in the audience.

Such a special performance from a band that has been influential to so many for over a decade is truly indicative of the power that music has.

Mayday Parade has been on the music scene for years, and if Wednesday night’s show proved anything, it’s that they plan on staying.