Mayday Parade // Real Friends // As It Is // Live Review // The 02 Institute // Birmingham

It’s been a while since I’ve done back to back shows, so after editing last night’s photos I dived on a train once again to the home of metal for yet another night of Pop-Punk and Emo bangers as Mayday Parade hit the O2 Institute for the 11th anniversary of their self titled album with support from As It Is and Real Friends. Getting to the venue two hours before the doors, I joined my partner and friend in the queue to wait to collect my pass.

After collecting my pass, I had a quick smoke before heading into the pit for the first band of the night, Brighton Pop-Punk 4 piece As It Is. Tonight’s a weird show for me, despite how big all the night’s acts are, I’ve never heard of any of them. To say As It Is went above my expectations would be an understatement as they proceeded to offer one of the best opening sets I’ve ever seen. With great energy and showmanship, the band’s tightness is what truly stood out to me. As they finished their set, the crowd went into a frenzy and I headed to the smoking area to cool down before the next act. While waiting, only one thought was in my head sand that was “how the hell is that set going to be followed”



Up next we’re Real Friends, the Illinois Pop-Punk quintet. As expected from a pop-punk act, those in attendance were gifted another great set of anthemic choruses, energetic jumping and emotional verses straight from the heart. Cody Muraro, the band’s vocalist definitely stole the set thanks to his great stage presence which meant my eyes stayed glued to the stage for the whole set. A great example of everything needed in a frontman.



Finally, after a short change over we had the main act for the night, Emo Pop-Punk legends Mayday Parade. These are a band I don’t know exactly how I missed during my teen emo phase, but somehow I never even heard of them until applying for this show. Damn what a first impression. Celebrating the 11th anniversary of their self titled album, Mayday gave a perfect example of what it takes to reach this level. Every moment of the show was incredibly tight, everyone had phenomenal stage presence and it’s obvious just how much this show means not only to the fans in attendance but to the band as well. There’s nothing like seeing a band that has perfected their craft, and perfect is putting this set lightly.

After Mayday finished their set, I headed back to the station just once again, happy to have seen a night of such great acts all on top form, and from the buzz the crowd all collectively shared, it’d seem like everyone in attendance would agree as well.



Review & Photography: Dan Stapleton