Thursday night was the first time I've ever been to Koko in Camden. I thought it was a really great venue, with plenty of places to stand if you wanted a good view of the stage from above. The queue was pretty huge when we arrived as it always tends to be for Mayday Parade, so when we actually got in, we only caught half a Blitz Kids song (although this sounded pretty cool!) and decided against going down on the main floor. Instead, we headed upstairs for a great balcony view and the bar.
After a quick equipment change, out came American Band A Rocket To The Moon. They said it was their first time in the UK, but it seemed like they were already very well known - the girl next to me was clearly VERY excited, as were most of the crowd down by the stage. And I have to say I could see why immediately. Their songs were catchy and memorable, and after coming home and listening to a few of their tracks again, I can say that the live performance outshone their recorded material and gave it a little extra oomph, which to me is always a sign of a band who are going to do well. I must now immediately go and buy their album as I'm completely hooked. To see them on their first time in the UK, is something a bit special I think - I'm pretty sure they could sell out a headliner next time. 9/10
After ARTTM came New York band, We Are The In Crowd. Again, they were good, but something didn't quite gel right with me. A female lead singer was something a bit different, but I wasn't that keen on their ripped jeans look. Their sound was ok, and I thought that their extremely tall guitarist had a great voice, and the lead singer was pretty good as well but it didn't blow me away like ARTTM had. I didn't find the songs as memorable or as catchy. Still, I thought that they were ok as a support act, but I wouldn't go to see them again specifically. 7/10
Finally after a long wait (for no apparent reason), Mayday Parade took to the stage. I'd been a little disappointed in their October shows last year, but at the end of the day, I love their music and albums so decided to try again. Given that we were up high, we had a better view, and also I think the sound was better from up there. They started well, smashing through their songs, the energy of this band is just crazy, and the fans feed off it too. I was, as usual, particularly impressed with the drummers arms flying all over the place, but also the fact that he did a good amount of the backing vocals. They included 'Terrible Things' from their 'Valdosta' EP, which was a nice touch to freshen up the set a little, and again a really great song - but really, they have two albums worth of amazing material to choose from, so I don't really feel like the shows are too similar. Thankfully they'd ditched the part of the show where they would stop a song halfway through to get the audience to shout out (which attracted boos from the audience last year). Towards the end, I did feel like the lead singer was starting to run out of steam a bit with the vocals, but they slowed it down and sang the crowd pleaser 'Miserable at Best' pretty well. Next time I'd love to hear 'Save your Heart' as I think it's also a beautiful slow song that would make a bit of a change.
I think it was an improved show from last year, and my cousin was really impressed, this being the first time she had seen them; she said she was immediately off to listen to their music again. One thing though, whenever I see Derek, I just want to chop all that long hair off - I like to see a singers face while they sing, dammit! 8/10