I’d title the article with every band that played on the tour, but we’d be here for ever, and although Mayday Parade headlined the tour, I think every band who played deserved as much recognition as the last. There’s a tendency with a tour that includes four bands for the crowd to be disinterested or unenthusiastic about the first few, but that was by no means the case on the Monsters Overseas tour.
Divided By Friday are first to take the stage, right along with the crowd’s heart. They started the evening with more enthusiasm that some gigs finish with, and Jose (Villanueva, vocals) didn’t need to provide the crowd with any encouragement. I’ll be honest – I had been expecting your typical trying-too-hard-to-encourage-a-dead-crowd opening band, so DBF’s talent and crowd’s reaction left me not only shocked, but also with mild regret that I couldn’t join in the party due to the drink in my hand. Moral of the story – don’t underestimate this band.
The band actually got to a point where they couldn’t be kept on stage, and with Jose wading through the sea of clapping hands that the crowd had formed into, it was clear this was only the start. I’m a firm believer that if the people on stage are having a good time, the people off stage will too, and Divided By Friday were so obviously running purely off adrenaline, appreciation and excitement that it was impossible not to enjoy the show. Catchy lyrics made it easy to sing along without prompt, and tracks such as Relapse featured such well-thought-out lines that you felt compelled to listen to them back at home. Keep your eyes of these guys, they’re going places.
Next up were Decade, whom after hearing a lot about before and because of their release of debut album Good Luck, I had high expectations of; high expectations which they did nothing short of excellent justice to. Although at first they felt a little inhibited, it didn’t take long for them to break free of this and put on a show that lived up to all the talk I had heard. A fair portion of the crowd seemed to know all the words to every song, and the rest of the crowd seemed to want to.
Those who couldn’t join in with the lyrics were involved in every other aspect, and somehow the crowd seemed to fill and come to life more as the night went on – how, I do not know. People say the best form of promotion is to play straight to your target audience, and on this logic, Decade had convincingly sold their album to the whole room. As the set went on and lost its inhibitions, Alex’s (Sears, vocals) mood seemed to lift – but then, how couldn’t it when performing to a crowd with some much energy?
Man Overboard were third to the stage with a set list comprising of a wide range of their music over the years, each track as good as the last. Although the show seemed to slow down a notch whilst they were on stage, I think the crowd were at a point by which they needed it, and even then, the room was still alive. These are definitely another band who should provide the tagline “believe the hype”, ’cause they lived up to every positive comment I had heard about them.
My personal highlight from their set had to be Atlas – despite being marginally slower than the other tracks they played, the sincerity and stark reality conveyed through the lyrics was fairly astonishing. They brought another set with the crowd belting out every song, joining in with all the lines that would remain stuck in your head for days after the show had ended. Each and every band of the night had impressed beyond my expectations, and the headliners hadn’t so much as set foot on stage yet.
Mayday Parade – how long have they been around again? Well, definitely long enough to figure out how to assemble a set list of ideals, and long enough to play an entire set of classics. Yet somehow, despite being as well known as they are, they managed to keep the gig on a rather intimate level – the band managed to deliver every song with the excitement of playing it for the first time, but with the expertise of playing for a lifetime. You can’t avoid how grateful the band were to be there, either. Every supporting acting seemed overwhelmed to be playing with Mayday Parade, yet the headliners themselves seemed as glad to be there as though it was their first time selling out a gig.
The set opened with Ghosts, the first track of their most recent album, Monsters In The Closet, and even Derek (Sanders, vocals) seemed a bit blown away by the fact that the whole room was joining in from the word go. When I say that the set list was made of ideals, I mean that it was as though they knew how long it would be before the crowd would be weak from jumping to every song, and knew when to slow it down. After the first five or six songs the set paused for a moment, and then a whisper rallied around the room; “they’re bringing the keyboard on.” After all, what would a Mayday Parade set be without playing the classic Miserable At Best, and reducing everyone watching to tears?
After a few songs accompanied by the keyboard, the pace picked up again and got the crowd off the ground with the famous Kids In Love. Throughout, only a handful of song of the latest record were featured, with a selection from their self titled album and A Lesson In Romantics, plus a few of off EPs; I think this just reinstates that over the years, they haven’t made a wrong move once. They introduce one of the final songs with “this is the first song we ever wrote as a band” and it’s almost impossible not to be moved by the fact that were as appreciative of the crowds back then as they are now.
Closing the set with the incredible Jersey, the audience seem to deflate and dissipate in a state of awe; each and every band exceeded what had been expected. I don’t know who I’d praise highest.