REVIEW / Mayday Parade, The Wonder Years, Movements and Pronoun / O2 Academy Leeds / February 20th 2019

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You will have noticed from our feed that Em and Ryan were at this amazing gig for the Leeds date, and Ryan had a few words to say about the night! You can read what he thought below, and check out some photos taken by Em both at the same time!


What better way is there to spend a night than surrounded by good friends and good music? The answer is there probably isn’t one, and that’s why I spent Wednesday night at O2 Academy Leeds, taking in Mayday Parade and The Wonder Years on their co-headlining UK tour.

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The night began early, around 6:30pm, with an indie-infused set from ‘pronoun’, an electro-pop artist hailing from Brooklyn, New York. Her soft vocals accompanied by dreamy guitar melodies soon had the majority of the waiting crowd swaying and nodding in time, and watching her made me feel as though I’d been cast as a background character in the Black Mirror world of San Junipero. She’s one to watch for sure, and her next single, ‘i’ll show you stronger’, is out May 24th.

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Then, for a change of pace, we were treated to an energised and frankly incredible set from California post-hardcore band Movements. Still riding off the success of their 2017 album ‘Feel Something’, you can feel a room light up when they walk out onto the stage, and it stayed that way throughout their set, which featured tracks such as Full Circle, the album opener, and Daylily, arguably one of the highlights of the night at the O2. Vocalist Patrick Miranda’s stage presence is close to unparalleled and the control and talent he displayed throughout the performance left me desperate to find out what’s in store for Movements next – I haven’t stopped listening to them since.

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Following Movements, we were lucky enough to experience an hour of music from The Wonder Years. Anyone who knows me will know that I’ll take any opportunity I can to listen to and talk about this band, and tonight was no exception – it marked the ninth time I’ve seen them play (and I finally met Dan Campbell, but that’s entirely besides the point). Opening up with the title track from Sister Cities, the album they released last year that made it onto countless Album of the Year lists, including my own, the band delivered a high-energy mix of some of their greatest successes through the years. They also included a touching tribute to the late Tim Landers of Transit, dedicating Cigarettes & Saints to him as the penultimate song of the set. This was followed by the classic Came Out Swinging, and I’m still sore from crowdsurfing.

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Finally, we reached the highlight of the night for many, in the form of Mayday Parade themselves. The atmosphere in the room at this point was electric, and it stayed that way as the band played their way through a rousing setlist of old and new, all the way from 2006’s Three Cheers for Five Years up to a selection of songs from their 2018 album, Sunnyland. I know I was one of hundreds in that room that related so hard when Derek spoke to us about the ‘emo’ legacy that the Floridian band holds, and I believe his words were “no matter how old I get, I’ll always be an emo kid”. This was quickly followed by an acoustic medley of some classic mid-2000s emo songs, which led into one of Mayday Parade’s most loved emo songs, Jamie All Over.

I know it may only be February, and 2019 holds a whole lot in store for music, for all the bands we love so much and all that we’ll discover in the next ten months, but right now, I’m charting this night up as a contender for my personal Show of the Year. Check back with me in December.


 

If you have managed to catch this tour, let us know how you found it in the comments!

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