With Milestones & Knuckle Puck
Date: April 7, 2017
Venue: The House of Blues
City: Anaheim, CA, USA
Highlight: Acoustic performance of “Miserable at Best”, “Terrible Things”, and Cover of “Yesterday” by The Beatles.
Reviewed By: Alice G.
It’s been ten years since “Miserable At Best” left us all heart broken for the first time, and in true emo fashion, an anniversary celebration to mourn was necessary. We took out our eyeliner, donned on our best band tees and hit the road. Downtown Disney served as a good home for the House of Blues for many years, but as it grew it had to be relocated. HOB is now found at the Anaheim Gardenwalk. Meet and Greets were held before the show, and we had the pleasure of joining in. The VIP ticket holders were carefully escorted into the lobby where they got to mingling with the band members. After a short, slightly awkward minute everyone was talking, taking pictures, and having a good time with new friends. Frontman Derek Sanders lead a little story time, talking with the group about how he prefers to be barefoot when performing, and how he still gets excited every time he gets to go out and share the Mayday Parade sound with the fans. Everyone on the tour was happy to be in the California and enjoying the warm spring weather, smiles all around, everyone was ready for a good show.
Milestones was up first. They hit the stage with lots of energy and really got the crowd energized with their addictive alt pop-punk sound. Milestones is from North West, United Kingdom and currently part of the Fearless Records family. With a warm welcome from the audience, they set the bar high for the evening. After a quick introduction and praise for the American West Coast, they powered through a couple of songs off their debut EP ‘Equal Measures‘. The passion from these new faces was evident in every note and hook. After an energetic set, a quick farewell, and a promise to meet again soon, the lights faded and the curtains closed.
“Do Your Ears Hang Low?” echoed out as Knuckle Puck took the stage. They wore their hearts on their sleeves as they spilled raw emotion across the stage. Knuckle Puck is making it big in the pop punk scene and are known for keeping the crowd engaged, and never giving less than 100% when performing. The feel of a house show took over and mini pits started. Water bottles began to fly and hats were lost. They played their most beloved songs and the fans went hard. They then thanked the crowd, and the bands touring with them and played their last song.
An intermission that crept by slowly, and felt like ages, was the only thing standing between us and Mayday Parade. At last, the curtains opened revealing a set decorated as the album cover. The city buildings in the back, with lights adorning the stage.
They played through the “A Lesson in Romantics” album in its entirety. The crowd was highly energetic and the love tangible as the night went on. From upbeat energetic tracks like “Black Cat” to “Jersey” the fans sang along to every word. A piano was brought forward and all hearts swelled with anticipation. Trying to be vague, Derek could not hide the fact that “Miserable At Best” was next. The audience went quiet as piano notes danced throughout the venue.
“The familiar melody began and everyone sang along with passion, all the voices became one. You could practically feel the heartbreak in the room.”
The end of the album came too soon. The crowd shushed, not knowing what to expect next. Derek shared an heartfelt speech about spreading love and being kind day to day despite everything happening in the world. When it was announced that the night was not over, and that the music would continue they crowd cheered loudly.
Mayday Parade continued on with the acoustic vibe, as fans desperately tried to guess what song was next. Softly the notes to “Terrible Things” began to call out. Sadness began to build, growing more and more intense as the song reached its climax. The guys thanked the crowd and asked if they could continue things slow. Lights went out and a spot light lit up Derek as he strummed his guitar and began to play “Yesterday” by The Beatles. Afterwards the energy was revived as they continued playing favorites like “Three Cheers for Five Years” and “When You See My Friends”. The band then said their goodbyes and the crowd cried, thinking the night was over. The band walked off stage, but the curtain did not close. Some fans left (most likely to avoid traffic) but the others knew better, and began to chant for one more song. After a couple minutes the band graciously walked back to the stage. After a few more “thank you’s” were exchanged, and the promise of a 20th anniversary get together was made, they played one last song- “Oh Well, Oh Well” which ended the night on a high. The lights went out, and the house lights came on as fans collected themselves and headed home with warm hearts.