As people were winding down from Valentine’s Day, whether it was celebrated with a loved one or alone, there was still one thing for rock fans to look forward to: the co-headline show of American bands Mayday Parade and The Wonder Years at Birmingham’s O2 Academy2 to celebrate the release of Mayday Parade’s new album, Sunnyland. They were supported by Pronoun and Movements.
Mayday Parade decided to team up with The Wonder Years because of the intense amount of energy they bring to the stage night after night. Bass player Jeremy Lenzo told us: “We had such a great crowd response from our last tour in the U.K. that we began planning another trip as soon as we got back in the States. We started chatting with The Wonder Years about touring together because we thought that would make a great package and really bring a lot of high energy to the show.”
Pronoun from New York City were first to grace the stage, starting this energy-fuelled show with a six-song set. They burst on with their single Run, from the album I’ll Show You Stronger released earlier this year. A guitar-and vocal-led song with soft drum backing, it was performed as the lights dimmed and electric blue beams flooded the room.
I had not listened to Pronoun before, and was surprised by the depth Alyse Vellturo had to her voice. Pronoun are usually a one-woman band making big waves as part of the current indie scene in the Big Apple.
Not long after, Movements hit the stage with endless amounts of energy and continued the vibe that Pronoun had created. Intense guitar riffs filled the air to start off the song Third Degree and the crowd roared.
Patrick Miranda showed off his exceptional vocal range and controlled the audience with every word. Once named “Underground Band Of The Year” the group from the wonderfully named small Californian city Rancho Santa Margarita, finished off their set with Daylily, another song from their debut album, Feel Something.
As five microphones were set up on stage, it became obvious that The Wonder Years were close. They arrived with their recent single Sister Cities, and screams and intense guitar riffs filled the room. Everyone’s heart was in sync with the bass and drum beat. Singer Dan Campbell seemed to carry infinite energy throughout the 14-song set, tirelessly jumping, singing, and encouraging the crowd.
Finally, around four hours after starting, it was time for the four-piece band from Tallahassee, Florida: Mayday Parade. Strobe lights penetrated and scanned the room and, with every word being sung back, they could only be performing Never Sure, the second track from the new album. It was incredible to see such unison. Vocalist Derek Sanders controlled the masses with every phrase and hand movement. The audience were his for the night and he was making the most of it.
Another 14-song set later, filled mostly with songs from Sunnyland but also including a great cover of the Gotye song Somebody I Used To Know, the night ended with I’d Hate to Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About.
The chatter of how incredible the gig was filled the room as everyone made their way to the exit. As people were dripping with sweat, smiles plastered across faces, ears ringing, throats sore, voices gone, the enjoyment of the night was apparent. The Academy was soon deserted, but the memories shall never be forgotten.
Live review and photography of Mayday Parade & The Wonder Years at O2 Academy2 Birmingham on 18th February 2019 by Danni Monk.