The Toronto punk-rock scene was definitely taken by storm this past Wednesday evening. Arriving just on time to the Phoenix Concert Theatre, I was pleasantly surprised by the abundant amount of fans (of all ages) still piling into the venue and was quickly whisked back to a past life of waiting hours in the ever-changing Canadian weather to see my favourite band. It seemed like so long ago that I saw Mayday Parade open for All Time Low, so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see them perform once more so many years later. The energy in the room, however, was at an all time high. Taking a quick look at the front row, you could see the eager looks on the faces of the devoted fans.
Dimmed lights gave way to a screaming crowd, and I realized that the first opening band to come onstage was actually Pvris (pronounced Paris), a rock group led by leading lady Lyndsey Gunnulfsen. Their gritty and alluring style won the crowd over, and their set just seemed to ooze teenage angst. It was cool to get to see two opening bands with incredible lead vocalists who were women (girl power!).
The next band to wow the crowd was Major League. Hailing from New Jersey, this 4-piece band won the crowd with their lyrics and vibe from the moment they stepped out onto the stage. Though I had never really listened to them prior to this concert, I was genuinely into their sound, albeit the fact that it reminded me of several other punk rock bands.
The energy shifted in the room when the final opening band for the night took the stage. It seemed that the majority of the crowd was not only present for Mayday Parade, the headlining act, but also for Tonight Alive. Deafening screams resounded as the band made their way onto the stage, and frontwoman Jenna McDougall marked her spot at the front of the stage. These Aussies definitely gave Toronto some of their love from down under, that’s for sure. Their interaction and love for the crowd was evident. Everyone belted out the lyrics along with the band and several songs down the line, they ended on a high note with their song ‘Lonely Girl’.
Finally, Mayday Parade blessed the crowd with their presence. The old saying ‘no shoes, no shirt, no service’ came to mind when frontman Derek Sanders came out wearing no shoes, and it was cool to see that he’d rather make himself comfortable then give into the norm. My whole body was vibrating, not from the speakers I was situated near, but from the movement of the crowd jumping up and down. Performing a very dynamic set list, from singing old classics like ‘Terrible Things’ and ‘Miserable at Best’ to newer songs, they gave the crowd exactly what they wanted. I was touched when Derek began to tell the audience to always keep fighting and living, and it showed me just how much their music resounded to many young adults lives. Their set brought back many fond memories and the encore kept the fans satisfied long after they were done performing. All in all, it was a night full of nostalgic music and long haired punk bands – not bad for a middle of the week concert.
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Review by Lauren D’Souza |