Mayday Parade held a concert on Nov. 15 at The Fillmore Charlotte. Mayday Parade is a band that began in Tallahassee, Florida in 2005, following the merger of two bands, Kid Named Chicago and Defining Moment. The band is known for their emo-rock sound and for writing songs about love, loss and heartbreak. Personally, I learned about them in middle school when I was at my all-time emo-est. At that time, I was incredibly thankful to have a band to relate to at such a personal level. At the concert for their latest album, “Sunnyland,” all I witnessed were grateful fans having a good time with a band they clearly hold close to their hearts. Between sets, I interviewed multiple fans to get a feel for what Mayday Parade means to their fans and their experiences with love.
I asked Traci Hayes what Mayday Parade means to her and her experiences with heartbreak and love, to which she answered, “They just know my soul.” I can certainly relate to this; many of their songs are about loss and give you lyrics to explain the emotions you can’t explain. For example, in one of their most popular songs “Miserable at Best,” the second verse says, “Everything I would give, is everything you couldn’t take, cause nothing feels like home, you’re a thousand miles away.” These lyrics are insanely relatable for someone going through a rough time with someone they love. These lyrics explain what it’s like when the person you love is simply not someone you’re meant to be with, for whatever reason, yet you love them all the same. These emotions are not simple; they’re very complex. Love is not always full of emotions we are easily able to communicate with words, but Mayday Parade’s lyrics explain these emotions beautifully.
I asked Kevin Camacha what Mayday Parade means to him, to which he said, “They remind me that it’s all temporary.” This is another thing I can understand. Mayday Parade’s lyrics are not only relatable but by being relatable, they provide the listener with a sense of hope. This band has been through what you’re going through, and they are still here to tell the story — so it’s all temporary, and it’s going to be okay.
For some people, Mayday Parade not only explains their feelings in all their complexities but simply provides them with a sense of nostalgia few other bands can match. In their song “I’d Rather Make Mistakes Than Nothing At All,” the band seems to reflect on a relationship that’s gone wrong in the past. One of their lyrics says, “All these days have turned these months into a year, and I’ve been spending every second wishing I could disappear.” These lyrics seem to reflect. Reflection is a common theme in Mayday Parade lyrics, as seen in another song of theirs, “Call Me Hopeless But Not Romantic,” the song begins with the lyrics, “I can’t believe that so much time was spent on my own,” and continues to say “Is it just me or has the time we spent come undone? I know forever is not what you meant.” These lyrics are reflecting on a relationship in the past, which is something most people can relate to on some level. The lyrics combined with the tunes of these songs remind many people of their past-selves and past relationships like it does for the teacher, Grace Batten, who attended the “Sunnyland,” concert. “They take me back to days of no worries,” Batten stated. Jessica Brown, a teacher that attended the show with Batten, stated that it reminded her of when she was 16 and used to listen to their music with her friends while driving in their cars. This sense of nostalgia is unique because these people are still attending Mayday Parade’s show years later — while in their 20s — to feel that nostalgia I am referring to. They were comforted by Mayday Parade’s lyrics at one point, and now use their music to remember “days of no worries.” They do this so much so that they’ve stayed fans of Mayday Parade for 7+ years, and it brought them to the “Sunnyland” show in Charlotte that night.
“I would tell them thank you and that they don’t know how far their music reaches,” Camacha said when asked what he would tell the members of Mayday Parade. This answer was similar to anyone interviewed at this concert. When asked, everyone said in some form or another, that they would say “thank you” to the band that seemed to be everyone’s lifeline. It seemed that “thank you, Mayday Parade” were words that ring true for any Mayday fan. Whether they bring you an immense feeling of nostalgia that you need to get through the day to day, like they do for Batten and Brown, or whether they remind you of how temporary life’s troubles are, like they do for Camacha, they give you a reason to say “thank you.”
Despite the fact every fan listened to Mayday Parade for a different reason, they were all thankful. These fans listened to Mayday Parade for different reasons; they listened for different things. Some listened for hope, like Camacha, while some of them listened for relatability. Some of them have listened to every song Mayday Parade has released, while some only listened through to certain albums. Some attended this concert craving old songs, while some attended desperately wanting to hear the new ones. However, what all these fans had in common was their love for a band that brought them immense happiness through music. I think that’s something we all can agree that we need, so thank you, Mayday Parade.
Featured photo by Pooja Pasupula.