Live Review: Mayday Parade – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle, October 3rd 2010

Having been sold out for months and with kids clutching to the barrier as if their God damn life depended on it, there’s certainly a lot of anticipation around this one, as Mayday Parade and The Maine hit up Newcastle.

With no other supports, The Maine grace the stage at 8pm for an ‘extended set’. In all honestly, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to an hour of their wishy-washy power pop tunes, but to their credit, they did it really well and time actually flew by. While their songs may not reek of substance, they’re pretty fucking catchy, as you’ll be singing along to the chorus of Girls Do What They Want without knowing it. Poster-boy frontman John O’Callaghan – who is at the receiving end of “Take your shirt off!” chants all night – certainly knows how to work the young crowd, and even invites a few lucky ones on stage. Fun set.

Diving straight into their set with Walk On Water Or Drown, Tallahasse’s Mayday Parade are greeted by a raucous reaction, having not played Newcastle since their Give It A Name Introduces appearance in 2008. This band certainly thrive more in a live setting than on record, sounding a lot more beefier and perform with an incredible amount of oomph – pretty much destroying The Maine in all ways. From the likes of Kids In Love to even Three Cheers For Five Years, all the favourites are here, but it’s the piano-driven sob-fest Miserable At Best that steals the show, with the entire room taking over Derek Sanders’ vocal duties for an utterly beautiful performance. This pop-rock style may seem a bit ‘safe’ and ‘redundant’, with so many other bands attempting the same thing right now, but Mayday Parade definitely stand out.

Faye Turnbull.


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