With a new album coming out on April 7th, The Maine have embarked on their Lovely, Little, Lonely world tour with Beach Weather and The Mowgli’s. I saw them play in Portland at the Wonder Ballroom on April 4th.
The opening sets from Beach Weather and The Mowgli’s were a delight. The Maine does a great job of bringing bands on tour that can appeal to fans of all ages. This is especially fitting because something they mentioned throughout the night is that they don’t care how old you are, how you ended up at the show, or if you know the words, they just want to have a good time with everyone who happens to be present for their set.
Since I began listening to The Maine with the release of American Candy in 2015, I’ve slowly learned more about how DIY this band is. One of the most impressive aspects of their show was the stage setup, which I learned, through their Miserable Youth video series [S1 & S2], was all their own ideas and execution. The amount of thought that goes into shaping their stage production around their most recent record is unparalleled. Red and pink flowers covered a lot of their gear, and their guitars were customized with floral accents. Lit up trees and clouds gave the flowers a place to belong, and tied the whole look together. With every song they played, the lighting changed to match the respective album cover; so, even though the stage setup was for Lovely, Little, Lonely, the lighting acted as a means of time travel as we all sang and danced our way through songs from nearly all of The Maine’s releases. When they slowed things down for “Raining In Paris” the lighting became very minimalistic, and the clouds looked like they were part of a lightning storm which was the perfect way to reflect the candles on Imaginary Numbers. Like icing on a cake, topping off the visual side of their performance was John O’Callaghan’s floral suit, accompanied by spiffy looks from the rest of the band as well.
The Maine tackled the challenge of making a setlist that, in just one hour, covered the entire spectrum of their discography. They opened with “Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu,” and then made their way back to “We All Roll Along” and “The Way We Talk.” If you’ve ever seen The Maine, you’d know that one of John O’Callaghan’s favorite things to do is interact with the crowd. They actually structure it into some of their songs, so that way he can stop singing and have certain members of the crowd sing or dance like he did during “My Heroine.” They do all of this without ever getting out of sync. As could be expected, they played “Girls Do What They Want,” and brought a fan on stage to sing it with them. O’Callaghan kept checking in with every part of the room throughout their set to make sure everyone stayed in the moment.
The Maine played five songs from American Candy, four from the new album, and one or two from every other release. They were noticeably observant during the new songs as they gauged the reception of their newest creations before the release day. I was in front of guitarist Kennedy Brock during the show, and although he had a smile glued to his face for most of their set, he was radiant when he heard people singing along to the new songs. Though The Maine just reached their 10 year anniversary, they still possess the energy of a young band. They aren’t tiring out by any means. It took me awhile to understand what 8123 is all about, but now I see it in everything this band does. The Maine does everything that they do because they love it, and express nothing but genuine gratitude towards anyone who happens to also enjoy what they do. The room shared a pure moment of love as friends held hands and put their arms around each other during the closing song, “Another Night On Mars.”
From the first time I saw The Maine up to now, I have confidently said that they are the best live band. The Lovely, Little, Lonely tour reinforced that label, and I wish I could see them play all the time. If you haven’t seen The Maine live, it’s time you see what their live shows are all about. Find all of their tour dates at themaineband.com/tour, and be sure to check out Lovely, Little, Lonely tomorrow, April 7th.