By: Savannah Cotton
It may have been a frigid November night in Philly but the energy I felt as I walked into the Theatre of Living Arts was palpable. While passing the merch tables and into the standing area, all I could smell was equal parts alcohol and sweat. Emo Night Brooklyn, a self-proclaimed duo and monthly NYC staple, were the nights DJ entertainment playing everything from Bowling for Soup to My Chemical Romance.
Girls were screaming and jumping in groups, probably drunk or excited, maybe both. The guys were standing pretty still, some were screaming along, others were probably suckered into coming. Despite standing in the very back, observing thoughtfully, and singing along to each song in my head; I still found myself in the line of moshes, being pushed and bumped into. The precedent of the rock show to come had been set.
When the main show, the big band, the reason everyone was there, Mayday Parade, started getting ready to grace the stage that’s when the real pushing and shoving to the front truly began. I made my way to the front to get a good look at the details of the drum set and designed rug but I was swiftly blocked by a tree of a girl.
She screamed that her (alleged) VIP purchase meant no one was permitted to get in front of her, because, well, we mere fellow attendees hadn’t paid as much as her. I thought to myself, ‘Well, okay then. That isn’t how a rock show works’ but I guess she felt entitled. I was there for free so, with a smile on my face, I figured I’d let her do her own thing.
When the band finally walked out on stage everyone made an even harder push to the front, making everyone bump into someone. I feel like it is fair to say Mayday Parade’s first ringing chord melted the anticipating crowd.
Original releases flowed out of the band like an old memory and then, almost at the spin of a dime, I noticed an unexpected shift. They were playing other songs, cover songs. They played: Good Charlotte, The Killers, My Chemical Romance, Sum 41, and Dashboard Confessional. It might have been more but I was so shocked by the amount of songs they played in total, that honestly, I couldn’t keep up with everything.
You could tell the crowd was connecting to the lyrics, which are amazing and very emotional. They were shouting them back at the band and even though we were in a small venue, crowd surfers were carried forward at lightning speed. The security guards at the barricade couldn’t even keep up.
Mayday Parade announced their closing number and I was filled with inexplicable dismay thinking, ‘It can’t be over yet!’. But before long the crowd started their inevitable chant, “One More Song! One More Song!”
After a strong two minutes the packed audience was still going strong. Mayday Parade eventually found their way back on stage and played the nights perfect east coast closer, “Cause Jersey just got colder and/ I’ll have you know I’m scared to death/ that everything that you have said to me was just a lie until you left/ Now I’m hoping just a little stronger/ hold me up just a little bit longer/ I’ll be fine/ I swear/ I’m just gone beyond repair.” The sound and emotional lyrics of their hit song “Jersey” took everyone back to 2007 and no one wanted to leave the unseen time machine.