So over the weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing a very talented group of boys play songs. These boys are from a band called The Maine.
I’ve been a fan of The Maine since 2008 when Can’t Stop Won’t Stop came out, and this last Saturday I got to see them on their sold out Toronto show on their American Candy Tour.
Oh what a night.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
The Danforth Music Hall
Despite the unimaginable complications to get down to this venue it still turned out to be an incredible night. I’m not going to lie though, the mission really put a damper on my mood to enjoy a lot of the music.
I’ve never been to the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto before, but it’s a great place. The acoustics are amazing first of all. The band sounded so good. Venues I’ve been to before distort sound, but here they came out crystal clear.
Let’s started with the first act: The Technicolors. They played some great tunes to move along to. I didn’t know who these guys were before I came to see The Maine, and I’m still not really sure who they are other than a band from Phoenix, Arizona. I’m not even going to begin to try and figure out what songs they played since I don’t know their titles, but just know they were some upbeat, get off your feet jumping tunes. It was definitely a good way to start off the night.
Intermission, with tear down and set up for the next act happened.
The second act I introduce you to Knuckle Punk, a band from Chicago, Illinois. To be honest, I didn’t care for their music, but the boys in the band were cute so the bad equaled out the good here. Their punk rock crazy antics were fun to watch. The lead singer didn’t stand still for more than thirty seconds it was great live entertainment.
Just a side note, I didn’t take any photos of the opening bands, I regret it a little bit, but I think I had more fun this way.
The second intermission, tear down and set up for act three.
In the third act we have Real Friends. Now I’ve seen these guys at Warped Tour, and I think they do a good job of entertaining a crowd. I can tell you that I know one of their songs, Late Nights in My Car, and even that I don’t know all the words to, but hey it’s something. The crowd really got into it, mosh pits started, mosh circles and crowd surfing. I enjoy watching people have a great time.
Now it’s the last intermission, where we get ready for the main attraction.
(That pun wasn’t intended but hey, it’s funny)
Lights dim for what we’ve all come together to see. I’m wedged up against so many people that I can’t move, my feet are stuck against the barrier holding us all in. It isn’t until The Maine walk on stage that room is made. People start pushing to get into the middle where they can get a better view. Me, I’d prefer to just get close to the barrier so I can be at the front that is all I care about.
Lights start to flicker, as we’re all entranced in a blue hue. The guitar kicks in and then the drums and we’re all sent into a wave of screams as Miles Away begins. From there we move into red hues and Run begins. The crowd gets a little bit crazier.
John O’Callaghan, the lead singer, comes to center stage, asks the audience if they’re having a good night, and asks the crowd if people are enjoying their lives, and where they are. I have to chuckle, since I’m here sitting on the unemployment line.
He continues after all the cheers; forget it all, throw the textbooks away and just forget it all. His speech was a lot more elaborate and better than my recreation of it, but it was a ‘you had to be there’ sort of moment.
That’s when Growing Up started, and personal note here, this song has a tremendous effect on me since the album came out back in 2010. Love the song, and love the message. Then bam the lights dim, then flash and Inside of You starts up, another great from their Black and White album.
We are basked in red hues once more as the first chords to Misery begin. The crowd got excited. I always seem to get the pleasure of having someone who is high on something that wants to move their arms, when there is no room to move them so I get hands in my face. Not the most enjoyable thing in the world, but you learn to live- by moving as far away as possible from them. I just wasn’t fortunate to move far enough away.
My Hair is the next song they play, and it gets the crowd so amped up. John moves back and forth across he stage crooning about his hair. Which by the way he cut since the last time I saw them live, he looked better with the long hair in my opinion.
I didn’t think they were going to play, but they do, My Heroine. People are moshing, and dancing because the band wants to see our moves.
John calls up to the balcony to ask if they’re having a good time. Their screams are heard, people are trying to answer back, but John tells them he can’t hear them, with a laugh, but he tells them he hopes they’re having fun.
English Girls, the first single off their new album American Candy, explodes. People go nuts. Girls screaming, girls screeching, people all moving, bouncing, jumping, moshing. Not one person is standing still, and there isn’t a person who isn’t drenched in sweat just like the band.
A minor intermission slows everything down. The place is covered in blue light, as John comes out with an acoustic guitar. Girls scream, they think they know what song he’s about to sit down and sing. Jokingly John states they are going to play the first song they ever wrote, a song called Daisy. Then he calls bullshit on it, and tells the girl who guessed the song that she was right, “can’t get anything past you,” he says as we all laugh.
He tells us we need to love ourselves before we love someone else and he strums the first chord to Into Your Arms. Someone brings out a lighter, and of course John has to comment on this when he says you only have a lighter because you smoke pot. Some guy nods in the crowd. John admits to smoking pot, but he gives a message to everyone. “Everyone should smoke pot at least once in their lives.”
We cheer and the Into Your Arms starts. I personally love the way he croons this song live. He sings it differently then the studio recording and it sounds magical. The crowd sings along, and at times all you can hear is the crowd, one group of people simultaneously singing the words. John thanks everyone for helping him sing along.
From there John says he’s had a sing stuck in his head all day, by someone Canadian. Then he drops one of these, “Look at this photograph” and the crowd is a mixture of applause and disgust. It’s funny because he even tries to impersonate Chad Kroeger’s voice.
From there somehow we end up in a cover of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, where they do a pretty good cover of The Rolling Stones.
They announce the next song is Love and Drugs. The whole show has been this crazy light show so when they play American Candy the lights are dim, and blue, red, and white throughout the song. The crowd goes even more, and yes they can get crazier than they’ve been, people are loosing their shit. The band are loosing their shit onstage, it’s a colossal mess of people just loosing it.
And boy do they loose it. Garrett Nickelsen, the bassist, takes the mike, and just let’s loose, screaming Let’s Eat, Let’s Eat Grandma. He just went to town screaming, and chanting, and dancing. It was, I don’t even have words, it was just something you had to see for yourself because it was just that hilarious and that good.
Sadly the night had to come to an end where they ended it on a poppy tune as they called it, Right Girl. No one wanted the night to end so everyone sang at the top of their lungs, and moved with the greatest energy possible.
Afterwards things started flying, picks, water bottles, drum sticks- I almost caught a drum stick, it was coming right for my head, but someone outstretched their arm and bam it was gone, just like that.
It was a bat shit crazy night, one that won’t be forgotten any time soon, by both the fans and the band as they tweeted out afterwards, “We will be hanging out inside tonight. No words. Crazy show. Shit”
I can’t wait for them to come back to rock some more. The Maine are definitely a band you should see live, especially if you’re a fan. They are unstoppable at putting on a performance you won’t forget. Truly amazing night.