A Lesson in Romantics Tour
by: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
Last weekend, we had the chance to see Mayday Parade for their 10 year anniversary tour of A Lesson in Romantics in Nashville, TN. It was an absolutely incredible show. Mayday was my second concert ever when I was 16, and ALIR was easily my favorite record growing up (it still remains in my top 10 albums of all time). This was such a nostalgic show to attend, and Mayday Parade was back and stronger than ever. UK pop-rock band, Milestones kicked off the show. I had never heard of them before, but I was instantly a fan. It was their first time in the states, and they owned the stage. My favorite from their set was "Call Me Disaster," but I was digging all of their pop-punk tunes.
I was very excited for the next band, Chicago pop-punk favorites, Knuckle Puck. It's always a party when they hit the stage; crowd surfing galore, and people singing along to every song. I'm a newer fan of Knuckle Puck, but I've had the chance to see them live a few times. Joe is so great at interacting with the audience, and he will make you want to crowd surf or circle pit, even if you typically don't.
The moment we've all been waiting for is finally here.... Mayday Parade. I still can't believe that A Lesson In Romantics is 10 years old. This album has gotten me through the best and worst of high school, college, and life in general. I used to see Mayday with friends who are now out of the picture, and now I sing every word at the top of my lungs with my very best friend, Travis. It was only right that we went all out and bought VIP tickets so that we could get the re-packaged ALIR gold Vinyl, the perfect collector's item.
As promised, Mayday Parade played A Lesson In Romantics in it's entirety, from front to back. All 12, brilliant songs. From the very first note of "Jamie All Over" to the very end of "You'll be the Anchor...," this was literal perfection. Ten years later, and everyone still knew every single word and sang along louder, screamed a bit stronger, and held each other a lit bit tighter. It's hard to pick a "favorite song" when the whole album is incredible, but "Jersey" and "Jamie All Over" will always be right at the top of the list. We all knew many tears would be shed as a piano came out and Derek sat in front of it. "Miserable at Best" is another one of my favorite Mayday songs, and I still bawl my eyes out every time. The crowd sang along in unison, it was absolutely beautiful. More tears were shed during "You'll be the Anchor," another powerful, Mayday song that tugs on your heart. Next thing we knew, all twelve songs of A Lesson in Romantics had been played in full. 2007 never felt so good, and Mayday Parade left the stage.
...but it's not over. Derek takes the stage with an acoustic guitar. The first song he starts out with is a stripped down cover of "Yesterday" (The Beatles). Chills from head to toe, it was breathtaking. It's always cool to see an artist that you admire pay tribute to another artist, as well as show off their raw talent in such a simplistic way. This transitions into "Terrible Things" (Valdosta), another song that brings tears to my eyes (yes, I cried a lot at this show...). The rest of the band slowly takes the stage to finish this song. A "MP" banner drops from the back, and it's such an overwhelmingly powerful performance; so dauntingly beautiful. This part of the set was emotional and breathtaking.
Mayday Parade went on to do some other favorites like "Three Cheers For Five Years" and "Kid In Love," and a few others. The encore was "Oh Well, Oh Well" (and was amazing!). This show really demonstrated why a band like Mayday Parade is still a band. They put out a fantastic album 10 years ago that people still listen to and know every word to. They are still releasing amazing music (Black Lines, 2015 / New Music TBD). I still listen to them now, and I'll be listening to them ten years from now. I am very grateful for all of the memories they have brought me, and can't wait for what's ahead!