Gig Review: Mayday Parade / The Wonder Years / Movements / Pronoun – O2 Academy, Leeds (20th February 2019)

The only problem with 6pm doors at gigs is that it’s very rare that many people manage to get there in time. Pronoun were the first band of the night to take stage and were not deterred by the amount of people in the venue. Wearing contrasting overalls, with lead singer Alyse Vellturo standing out in white, she said a quick hello before the band went straight into their first song. After a couple of songs, I’d say that there were some sound levels that weren’t quite right, as from where I was in the venue, I could barely hear Vellturo’s vocals over the bass (although I’m no sound technician!).

Pronoun (c) Jack Barker

The ever growing crowd were definitely enjoying the set as after every song there were loud cheers, especially after their new song “Wrong”. Ending the set with “Stay”, they seemed to have altered the bass as I could actually hear Vellturo’s vocals. For Pronoun’s first time in the UK, I’d say they definitely impressed the crowd.

After a quick stage change, it was time for Movements. There was a loud cheer as the band took the stage, it was clear they had some fans in the crowd. “Third Degree” was their opening song, which had fans in the middle of the room singing along and also saw the first crowd surfers of the night. With a quick shout out to the crowd, lead vocalist Patrick Miranda thanked the growing crowd for getting there early before shouting “If you know it, help me out!”.

“Under the Gun” was definitely one of the heavier songs of the night and Miranda was definitely full of energy. With a show of hands from the audience, it seemed that about half the crowd has seen them perform before and it seemed like they had some new fans. Ending their with “Daylily”, the fans continued their singing along with the band’s energy not faltering for one moment.

Movements (c) Jack Barker

Next up were The Wonder Years from Pennsylvania and the venue was definitely filling up now. Lead singer Dan “Soupy” Campbell bounced on the stage and the band went straight into the title track from their latest album, “Sister Cities”. Instantly, crowd members were sitting on shoulders and belting out the lyrics back to the stage. Although the crowd were already energetic and didn’t seem to need any motivation, Campbell demanded “When we jump, you all jump!” to which they had no trouble obeying.

During the beginning of “Dismantling Summer” the crowd were singing the lyrics so loud I’m not sure if Campbell was actually singing! With a speech about being at the gig with somebody that you love, whether it was a partner, friend or family, they began “Flowers Where Your Face Should Be” which was definitely a crowd favourite. Once again, getting the crowd rowdy by shouting “JUMP JUMP JUMP!” at the beginning of “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then”, all I have to say is well done to the security guards because the amount of crowd surfers during this song was mental!

Four songs before the end of the set, Campbell took a break to explain that they are used to being the final act of the night as they have been touring for so long and that they are not doing an encore. Before the final song of the set “Came Out Swinging”, Campbell stated that “The last song is the thing we’re going to remember” and the fans definitely did not disappoint with their constant enthusiasm.

The Wonder Years (c) Jack Barker

With a huge cheer, it was time for Mayday Parade. Beginning with a song off their new album Sunnyland, “Never Sure” had tons of phones in the air recording the opening song of the set. Derek Sanders quickly asked, “Who’s ready to have some fun tonight?”  before moving into a classic “Jersey” that had the whole room singing. You could definitely tell how many long-term fans were in the crowd when “Black Cat” and “Anywhere But Here” had the whole venue bouncing.

They slowed the set down for “Piece of Your Heart” with Sanders getting the crowd involved singing parts of the song back to them. Soon came the chants of “YORKSHIRE” which are standard at any gig in Leeds before Sanders asked “Leeds, do we have any fans of emo music?” which received a huge cheer from the crowd. They then played a medley of “My Friends Over You”, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Cute Without the ‘E'”, reaching out to every emo kid in the venue. Playing a cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye which featured on Punk Goes Pop – Volume 5, once again showed how committed the band’s fans were as it was released in 2012.

Before slowing the pace once again, Sanders announced that “This is the best show of the tour so far, and its not even over!”. “Sunnyland” was next, which again, had a lot of the crowd filming them perform their new music. With Sanders playing the piano, “Stay” had the crowd mesmerised with all concentration on the stage. Taking it back to the very beginning, to the first song the band wrote for their debut EP Tales Told by Dead Friends, “Three Cheers for Five Years”, I think the crowd realised that there wasn’t too long left of the night as they went wild.

With a thank you from the band, they left the stage to get ready for a quick encore. Stating that “Tonight is one of those nights that you don’t want to end”, Sanders continued with a message to anyone that is struggling with anything like depression or anxiety, “we love you very much and we need you guys” receiving a huge cheer from the slowly depleting crowd. The final song of the night was “I’d Hate to Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About” was definitely a crowd pleaser with the final mosh pit of the night forming.

Photos by Jack Barker Photography

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments