Mayday Parade, This Wild Life, William Ryan Key, & Oh Weatherly
Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak, MI – 11.2.2018
Photographer: Robert Sherman
The climate had just begun to turn from borderline summer to full fledged fall in the State of Michigan, signifying the start of sweater weather for Michiganders, and the perfect weather for pop-punk legends Mayday Parade to grace the Royal Oak Music Theatre with their presence.
For the second time since the release of the bands sixth studio album Sunnyland, the Tennessee-based band made their way up to the mitten in support of the record, bringing along This Wild Life, William Ryan Key (formerly of Yellowcard), and Oh Weatherly as support for the tour.
The last time Mayday Parade came around was directly after the release of Sunnyland, and the set list for that show featured heavily on tracks from their recently released work, but Friday’s show in Michigan was completely different.
Despite being named the Welcome To Sunnyland Tour, only four tracks off of the record made it onto the setlist. The most popular cuts from emo cult classic A Lesson In Romantics were played including, “Miserable At Best,” “Black Cat,” and “Jersey”.
Lead singer Derek Sanders led his band through songs from each of the bands six albums, especially “Three Cheers for Five Years” from their debut record Tales Told By Dead Friends.
What impressed me the most about Mayday Parade’s set was the joy that all of the members seemed to be experiencing on stage. For a band that has been operating consistently for over twelve years, it is refreshing to see a band being physically appreciative of the opportunities that they have created for themselves, as well as for the fans they have created and held onto for over a decade.
Between his obligation of singing his songs, I caught Sanders peering out into the crowd multiple times with a huge smile on his face, like it was his first time playing to a nearly sold out theatre.
But before Sanders and the rest of Mayday Parade took the stage, they took the opportunity to slow the evening down with two acoustic acts. This Wild Life took the stage as direct support on the night, playing cuts off their most recent release, Petaluma, as well as others and a medley cover of “All The Small Things,” “All The Small Things,” and “First Date,” originally by blink-182.
During “Hold You Here,” lead singer Kevin Jordan and instrumentalist Anthony Del Grosso picked out a lucky couple in the front row, instructed the crowd to form a circle around the two and asked the two to slow dance to one of the only love songs the duo have.
Formerly of the now deceased Yellowcard, William Ryan Key continued his climb into acoustic arrangements in his post-pop punk vocalist career, performing his newly released solo work. I have to admit, seeing WRK playing alone on a stage just much slowed down music, wearing his heart on his sleeve, as well as being completely vulnerable after traveling the world for 20 years in a successful rock band, was oddly refreshing.
Starting out the night was Oh Weatherly, who I honestly wasn’t too impressed with, as they sounded and looked, like a complete carbon copy of Mayday Parade.