Take Action Tour spreads awareness through music

Sam Leon

The members of Mayday Parade brought a great deal of energy to their show at the House of Blues, where they rocked out for the annual Take Action Tour. Photo credit: Sam Leon, contributing reporter

A packed House of Blues buzzed with electricity last Sunday night Feb. 21, where the Take Action Tour was taking place. While most everyone was attending to see the bands, they also helped a good cause simply by buying a ticket since Take Action donates 10% of ticket sales to non-profit organizations.

Once the concert got under way, Stereo Skyline, There For Tomorrow, and A Rocket to the Moon each played three quick sets.

Next, the pop/rock group Mayday Parade started in on their first song. Their upbeat songs and catchy choruses really got the crowd moving. One thing that was very noticeable was that each and every member of the band brought a lot of energy. They were very active on stage, which involved thrashing their guitars over their heads and moving all around the stage.

Given how important Mayday’s energy was to their performance, it was nice to see a completely stripped down version of “I Swear This Time I Mean It.” Having lead singer Derek Sanders onstage alone with his guitar brought a nice change of pace to the set. It was quite evident that many Mayday fans were in the crowd, as many audience members sang along to this acoustic version of the song.

Afterwards, the liveliness of the set resumed with full strength, and the audience got even more into it. As one crowd surfer after another was pulled down from right in front of the stage, Mayday played a string of energetic songs. The song “Black Cat” really stood out to me because of its extremely catchy guitar hook. Mayday then ended their set with their most popular song, “Jamie All Over,” which I also feel is their best song.

Overall, Mayday’s stage presence was incredible, but what made their set impressive was that they had great music to back it up.

As the stage was set up for We The Kings, there was a brief video presentation about the Take Action Tour. It explained that Take Action sheds light to young people on important issues and how everyone can make a difference. Issues from depression to volunteerism have taken center stage since it was founded in 1999.

Then, 12-year-old Patrick Pedraja took the stage for a brief talk about Driving For Donors, an organization he founded when he was diagnosed with Leukemia. A friend of Pedraja died because they were unable to find a matching bone marrow donor. This is when he realized the importance of people signing up to the National Marrow Registry, where there is currently a critical shortage of minority donors.

We The Kings is probably best known for the two hits singles “Check Yes Juliet” and “Heaven Can Wait,” which both made the Top 40.

However, they did not benefit any from having to follow Mayday Parade. For one, their music is simply not as fast and as in your face as Mayday’s is. Part of this may have to do with only have four members as opposed to five, though the main reason is simply having a different style of music.

Although their front man Travis Clark is very charismatic, performance wise, they could not match the explosiveness and intensity of Mayday Parade. That is not to say that We The Kings was not able to get the crowd rocking with “She Takes Me High” and an impressive array of songs.

A highlight of the show was a surprise guest appearance by Demi Lovato for a duet with Travis Clark on the song “We’ll Be A Dream.” Apparently, Demi’s fans had found out through Twitter that she would be performing, and they had come out to the show simply to see Demi.

While following Mayday Parade was a tall task, We The Kings was able to deliver with a very strong performance that really rocked the House of Blues.

If you would like to find out more information on how to be added to the National Marrow Registry, visit www.marrow.org/JOIN. To support Driving For Donors, please text ACTION to 85944 to donate $5.