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Mayday Parade: Oakdale Theater Hartford CT, August 3, 2011

There is something to be said for becoming complacent.  Yup, everything is status quo.  Meh, just another show, just another same old same ol' pop band.  This can go on for a long time until one day it hits you and the world literally stops.

This isn't status quo.  This isn't 'one of the many'.  On Wednesday evening in a half full theater I had the moment of clarity to realize that a band I had seen no less than 10 times was quite simply…fantastic.

There was no flash there was no smoke or gimmick, there was a rock band with a lead singer, who lead them on a musical trip far above mediocrity.  I had seen this band so many times that I had forgotten just what it was, just what that  'it factor' was.  As girls threw themselves over the barricade (none to graceful might I add but a gallant attempt none the less) I realized that Derek Sanders was a sex symbol.  A skinny rail of a manboy with way too much hair flapping around.  Who smiled a bit shyly but knew exactly how to amp it up.  Derek fell in line with my past in that moment.  He was these girls Joey Ramone.

With that revelation the songs became more clear, the tempo more up beat the beat, actually danceable.  Smashing through songs of old such as the opening "Kids in Love" and "Black Cat", to the newness of "Oh Well, Oh Well", it was perfect concise and calculated professionalism.  With a twist.

Derek gave just enough to be bad boy but aloof.  The band tried some silly Pete Wentz-esque guitar twirls but it wasn't necessary unless it was fun for them. 

The crowd sang stronger, and the mood became more participatory and less voyeur.  The one element of these 'pop punk' shows that causes me to wretch the infamous girls shrieks sing along made absolute sense.  Mayday Parade was speaking to them.  They in turn replied in unison.

I almost feel as if I owe this band an apology.  Its similar to not appreciating a friend who has been there all along.  We assume they will always be there but we neglect to give them the accolades they deserve.  The element of attraction that brought us to them to begin with.                                         

 Mayday Parade is a band that I have seen a million times and who I saw for the first time tonight. Straight up friendly fire rock and roll, from a bunch of talented men. Thanks guys, this was a great show. 

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