Concert Review: The End of the World Tour

Pop-rock band Mayday Parade is currently headlining the “End of the World Tour” featuring support from We The Kings, The Downtown Fiction, and Anarbor. The tour stopped at LA’s El Rey Theatre on Saturday night and played to a sold out crowd. For lovers of the pop-rock-alternative genre, the lineup was stellar and the show was thoroughly enjoyable. The crowd was dominated by the expected bevy of screaming teenage fangirls shouting “I love you!” at band members during every set. However, there was also a larger number of twenty-somethings than normally seen at this kind of show, due in large part to We the Kings and Mayday Parade having been around since 2005. Kids who were fans in middle school and high school are now college-aged or graduated and out in the “real world”. It was refreshing to see an older demographic represented, and it definitely made the atmosphere much more chill and less of what you’d expect to see at a Justin Bieber show. I did not get to see Anarbor’s set, but the other 3 bands put on great shows. They all did a great job of mixing old favorites with newer releases, engaging the audience, and keeping the energy level high the entire night.

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The Downtown Fiction frontman Cameron Leahy has matured a lot, both in appearance and musical ability, since the first time I saw TDF play. He has held onto the boyish charm and outrageous stage demeanor that made fans fall in love with the band when they first came out, but it is clear that he has spent a lot of time focusing on growth as an artist and lead singer. The band now has more than 5 tours, 2 EPs and a full length record under their belt, giving them plenty of material and experience to work with. Highlights of the night included crowd favorites “I Just Wanna Run” and “Thanks for Nothing”, as well as lesser known gems “Get It Right” and “She Knows”.

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We The Kings performed next, a personal middle school dream come through. Hearing songs like “Check Yes Juliet” and “Skyway Avenue” are an auditory throwback to braces, awkward middle school dances and permanent angst. Travis Clark performed with his usual gusto and windly untamed mane of fiery red long curly hair that renders him almost indentical to Shaun White. One of the best parts of Travis as a frontman is how he manages to engage the audience and make everyone feel like they’re friends. He does not talk at the crowd, he talks with them. The band played a few songs from each of their 3 albums, pleasing fans from every phase of their career. Favorites included new single “Say You Like Me”, “We’ll Be A Dream” (unfortunately sans Demi Lovato but thankfully still thrown in there), and covers of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. The latter was my favorite part of the set–it’s one of the first rock songs I remember hearing, and hearing the older members of the audience all screaming the words in unison provided a feeling of unity that only a good rock song can provide.

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Mayday Parade closed out the show and kept the audience pumped up until the very end. They started off with “When You See My Friends” off of their recently released self-titled album, then performed hits “Jamie All Over” and “Kids In Love” back to back. Like the previous two bands, Mayday combined old favorites with newer tracks. Lead singer Derek Sanders slowed it down for a soulful rendition of fan favorite “Miserable At Best”, which he accompanied on keyboard. The set ended with “Jersey”, an unexpected but effective closer to a great evening of music!

*pictures via user littlemisskate on buzznet.com (http://littlemisskate.buzznet.com/user/)

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