Upon entering The Troxy, we are greeted by hoards of people sitting in circles around coats and bags on the carpeted floor. It’s difficult to not step on feet, hands or coat sleeves as you weave your way through everyone to find a good view of the stage. Having moved from Shepherd’s Bush Empire due to their building work, this seems a great alternative venue once inside, if not better.
There’s a subtle buzz in the air, people are excited for Mayday Parade. As the last support band vacate the stage, the shuffling begins, drinks are quickly topped up and the crowd assumes their position. They are ready.
The last time we saw Mayday parade in the UK was 2014, a tour accompanying the release of Monsters In The Closet, an album that saw the band experimenting with a more mature sound. Fast forward two years and they seem to have perfected their craft with the release of new album, Black Lines. This album is at the core of this evening.
The set began solidly, beginning with the heaviest song on the new album, and the first single from it, One Of Them Will Destroy The Other. The room was filled with excitement, the once stationary crowd suddenly becoming a sea of jumping heads and flailing arms. Without a pause between songs, they went into fan favourite, Jamie All Over, and without hesitation, the crowd continued to move erratically, everyone singing wildly to the song from their teenage years.
The first half of the set followed suit, the band’s energy becoming infectious, as they worked their way through new songs, old songs, and some from in between. The first song they wrote as a band, ‘Three Cheers For Five Years’, gets the biggest reaction of the night so far, still a stand out song for them, even after ten years.
It was expected that things would slow down for a while later in the set. Mayday Parade excel at ballads, there’s no denying it. The bouncing crowd fall into sync in the form of swaying arms, lights on phones displayed brightly outright towards the stage during Letting Go and Terrible Things, the former being the newest and surely a staple ballad in the future.
Things don’t stay quiet for too long however as the tempo soon picks up again with Oh Well, Oh Well and Black Cat, before slowing down once more for the song that everyone was probably waiting for, Miserable At Best. This song always has the crowd singing louder than vocalist, Derek, and tonight was no different. He even allowed the crowd to finish the song while they made their way offstage to prepare for their encore of just one song, but a goodie. Jersey is the final chance for the crowd to escape in the music. The last chance to sing a bit louder, jump a bit higher and scream a little more, before they must venture out into the cold to head home and back to reality.
As always, Mayday Parade are a great live band, constantly improving and evolving. We left knowing we’d had a good time, but felt their set could have been longer. With many songs that we are used to hearing live absent from tonight, it seemed the energy in the room didn’t reach the peak it was expected to. It’s always exciting to hear new songs live for the first time, and now with five albums worth of material to choose from, it’s easy to understand why many songs didn’t appear. Black Lines is their most sophisticated album to date and they seem proud of it, so maybe those older songs didn’t fit into the theme of tonight.
Rating : 3/5