Mayday Parade Rocks Alumni Hall
When the show was first announced, I found myself reminiscing of the good ol’ days of high school, jamming out to A Lesson In Romantics while updating my Myspace. No doubt the show conjured up similar memories in the minds of its college-aged audience members — and there were a lot of them.
Concertgoers were lined up from the HUB lobby all the way down to the bookstore entrance before the doors opened at 9:30. Students stranded in State College during the canning weekend were out in force on Saturday night.
The Maine began the evening with an energetic set featuring catchy tracks like “Right Girl” and “Into Your Arms.” Between songs, frontman John O’Callaghan riffed with the audience about Penn State, appreciating the beauty of our campus, and took the entire extended intro of “Misery” to clear the confusion over Penn State’s dry campus policy. He really wanted a beer.
While The Maine got a great response from the crowd, it was clear that the majority of the people were there to see the headliners. The last time Mayday Parade came to Penn State was the 2010 Movin’ On Festival, where they co-headlined with Less Than Jake. Since then, they have released the critically acclaimed self-titled Mayday Parade and are fresh off a UK tour following Warped Tour 2012.
As anticipation built and the lights dimmed, Derek Sanders took the stage, playing the solo keyboard ballad “Stay” in an intimate and emotional intro. A couple minutes into the song, the rest of the band joined the stage as the noise built up and the crowd got into it.
Whatever the band did, the crowd was very pleased and enthused. Shouts of “I fucking love you!” and “We Are” chants were abundant throughout the show. The audience was upbeat, but not out of control. There were no mosh pits or crowd surfers, just harmonious singing and some light headbanging.
Mayday Parade played a surprisingly varied set, featuring old and new songs, and contrasting slow, emotional ballads like “Anywhere But Here” and “Stay” with upbeat, driving punk rock tracks such as “Jersey” and “Jaime All Over”. Sanders again took the solo stage with his acoustic guitar for “Terrible Things”. The band left us with an encore of “Three Cheers For Five Years”.
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