Live Review: Mayday Parade & With Confidence - Manchester Academy, Manchester 22/09/2017

I was sent to review Mayday Parade at Manchester’s Academy 1 which is the larger of 3 academy venues in the city. I have lost touch with Mayday Parade since my teenage years and therefore was keen to see how The Legends of Pop Punk have matured.

The band have decided to do a 10 year anniversary tour of arguably their best album ‘A Lesson in Romantics’ which paved the way for their success on to many more albums. Having been to a 10 year anniversary tour earlier in the year, I knew tonight was going to be something special and memorable to the fans who have followed Mayday Parade’s career since the beginning of a long and still ongoing career.

Supporting for the night was With Confidence, a fairly new band in comparison to Mayday Parade but a band who still had more than enough experience to command the stage and warm up the crowd ready for the main act. This four piece pop punk band from Sydney Australia had a great opportunity to play a big venue and show what they were capable of to their fans and people who hadn’t perhaps heard of them before.

With the room only two thirds full at this point the band certainly had a strong following within the crowd who had shown up early to catch their performance. The boys had a good setlist playing songs such as ‘Archers’ and ‘Higher’ off of their first album ‘Better Weather’ and then my personal favourite further on in the night ‘Here For Nothing’ which is off of their new 2 song releas. This was my favourite in the set due to the heavier vocals and heartfelt lyrics. In my opinion With Confidence had a great performance and with their fans singing along and dancing throughout. The crowd certainly enjoyed themselves which led me to think they have already established themselves within the short year they have come into the pop punk scene and I can’t wait to see them perform again soon.

With Confidence - Manchester Academy - 22/09/17

On with the main act of the night Mayday Parade, playing their first album ‘A Lesson in Romantics’ from start to finish with a few other popular songs to end the show. Personally I hadn’t heard much from the band for a few years and to see them again play one of the albums I used to love was something I was really looking forward to seeing how the album would sound live.

Starting with ‘Jamie All Over’ the crowd quickly shown how excited they were, singing along and dancing from the first note. The crowd didn't calm their enthusiasm throughout the night and the first thing I noticed about the performance of the band other than everything seeming effortless for the boys, was that the band looked happy on stage. The boys looked at home and for a band who have been together as long as they have this was great to see. On with Black Cat, Jersey and Miserable At Best. All three songs standing out for different reasons. Black cat having an amazing guitar solo at the end, Jersey being a fan favourite with everyone singing along I could barely hear the band and then Miserable At Best being their most emotional song in my opinion with many fans welling up to this one, if you ask a fan which song defines Mayday Parade as a band I think many would say this song.

The set picked up pace with some big songs I’d Hate To Be You, Take This To Heart and Champagne’s For Celebrating before the band played a cover version of Something Corporates - Pop Punk Princess. I didn't particularly like this cover but I did appreciate an acoustic cover, Acoustic songs being I believe where Mayday Parade’s best work lies.

Mayday Parade - Manchester Academy - 22/09/17

The set closed with songs from various different albums. Terrible Things, Three Cheers For Five Years and Kids In Love, with the crowd singing from the start and not letting up with the final songs, the boys closed very strong and with a great performance of Terrible Things a song with an acoustic build up to a full band end this song ended on a massive high. After coming back on a playing Oh Well for an encore the band ended by stating that much more was to come from the band and tonight was a great way to celebrate their first album.

Overall I really enjoyed this gig and yet again another 10 year anniversary tour didn't disappoint. It was a pleasure to see a new upcoming Pop Punk band With Confidence support one of the greats of the genre. My favourite song of the evening was Take This To Heart with the lyrics hitting home for me and the crowd singing along this was a memorable performance of this song. Mayday Parade’s performance was near on perfect and it was a pleasure to be apart of this night, I can’t wait to see what’s up next for Mayday Parade.

Review by Joe Mellor
Photography by Jessie Jones