SAN FRANCISCO -
It’s already November. Well, let’s get started then, shall we? The Glamour Kills Tour, this year headlined by Tallahassee, FL natives Mayday Parade, stopped through San Francisco on November 11. The bill included support from Man Overboard, Cartel, and Stages & Stereos.
First band up: Stages & Stereos. The band had great sound. But the crowd absolutely sucked. Nobody moved around (none of this was the band’s fault, mind you). They breezed through a nice pop-rock set for a half-hour to kick things off right. All the band members had energy and moved around, which was nice to see. S&S were also joined by Alex Reed guitarist for (the now disbanded) Go Radio. It turns out that the band is fronted by Daniel Lancaster, the brother of Jason Lancaster, who was the front man for Go Radio and, at one point in time, co-vocalist for Mayday Parade. It’s funny to see how everything comes full circle.
Fifteen minutes after their set finishes, and Cartel takes the stage. One of my favorite pop-punk artists. Loved them since the “Chroma” album. As soon as they started, a very high energy crowd suddenly appeared out of nowhere, with songs to match that energy. Vocalist Will Pugh delivered his vocals passionately. Guitarists Nic Hudson and Joseph Pepper played through each song with intensity and crunching guitar tones. All of this was rounded out by the solid drumming of Kevin Sanders. Their set included songs from nearly every album they’ve released, a must-see show for any Cartel (and pop-punk) fan.
Man Overboard (other than MP) seemed to be the main reason that every one was there. Holy hell. Once these guys started, I was afraid the barricade was going to topple over into the photo pit. Lots of energy from both the band the crowd, MO proved that they’re not just another band jumping on the pop-punk trend. Their set consisted of songs from both of their albums (including the recently released “Heart Attack”). The energy from the crowd and band dwindled slightly (only slightly) as the set progressed, but it honestly wasn’t that big of a deal. The songs were still good stories to listen to.
Finally, Mayday Parade takes the stage amidst a roar of cheers from the crowd. Everyone piles on top of one another to hear what vocalist Derek Sanders is about to sing into the mic…. “There’s a ghost in my bedroom…”, the lyrics to the song “Ghost” are the first to kick off their set, and the fans scream the words right back to him. “Ghost” is the first track off of the band’s newest album “Monsters In The Closet” (which they are currently touring in support of). Once it ends, the band wastes no time launching right into “Jamie All Over”, the first song from their critically acclaimed record “A Lesson In Romantics”. A very cool moment during this song was when Daniel Lancaster (who provided the original guest vocals for this song) came out and sang them. Throwback!
Mayday played a stellar set. I love seeing them because I always know that I’m going to get a good time. There were some very memorable moments from this show, particularly because it was in a more intimate venue this time around. Brooks Betts and Alex Garcia’s guitar work is incredulous in that small of a setting, and was the envy of probably every guitar player in the building that night. When Sanders takes the stage to play piano and sing “Miserable At Best”, I actually saw people starting to…cry. It was honestly a beautiful moment. It reminded me that we’re all human, and that things like music have the power to move us like that.
Another notable moment: the song “Stay” (from the band’s self-titled record). There’s a moment when the bridge to the song kicks in, and everybody screamed the word “stay” back to the band. Betts and bassist Jeremy Lenzo exchanged a smile with each other when this happened. A smile that said “This is why we do what we do.”
One more important moment from this show was Sanders’ speech to the audience on self-harm. I want everyone here who has struggled with depression, suicide, whatever demons you may have to go on to YouTube and look up his video. Listen to his words. This is a band that has been through hell and back. They know what they’re talking about when they say that everything is going to be okay. If you ever need to reach out to anyone for comfort, know that you can always turn to their music. They’ll be there for you. In full force. P