The Maine

Venue: Queen Club Singapore at Orchard Plaza, Singapore
Date: 23rd June 2017
Promoter: Upsurge Productions
Review by: Anna F.
Special Thanks: The Upsurge Productions team

It almost felt like (black butterflies and) déjà vu seeing The Maine perform live once again, since they played here just two years ago. This time around, the Upsurge Productions team was prepared with complimentary snacks and drinks for anyone who was breaking fast that evening – a lovely gesture, might I say.

Before the show started promptly an hour after doors, fans were greeted with a full-body scanner, and I didn’t think I’d be so happy walking through it – glad to know security is being stepped up at shows, what with everything that has been going on in the world as of late.

Formed in 2007, the Arizonian natives took to the stage dapperly dressed. Made up of frontman John O’Callaghan, rhythm guitarist Kennedy Brock, lead guitarist Jared Monaco, bassist Garrett Nickelsen, drummer Pat Kirch and Andrew DeStefano on the keyboards, guitar and everything in between, The Maine put on a show centred around positivity, letting loose, and celebrating both the ups and downs in life.

With crew members hopping on and off the stage multiple times, it was evident that they were paying attention to every little detail, and making the most of the venue they were working with. Despite initial sound issues and the awkward placement of high tables and chairs near the front of the stage, the crowd continued roaring ebulliently, and free from worry. It was obvious that everyone surrendered to just letting go while being enraptured by the lanky and insanely handsome frontman, whose mic stand was adorned with a rose and a sunflower.

The quintet, currently embarking on the Lovely, Little, Lonely World Tour, recently celebrated 10 years as a band before releasing their sixth studio album in April this year. Their first album released entirely independently, Lovely, Little, Lonely talks about the trials and tribulations of youth transitioning into adulthood.

“Bad Behavior,” “Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu”, and “Do You Remember? (The Other Half Of 23)”, the album’s singles, gave the illusion that it would be a fast-paced collection of tunes. Instead, the record is a balance of both up-beat jovial rhythms, and tender vulnerability, boosted by the lyrical and vocal acrobatics of O’Callaghan.

Judging solely from the response to the release of the first tracks off the record, I doubt the question “do people like me?” ever crosses their minds. The crowd turnout too, was testament to the fact that their fans will stick around, for worse or for better. And since there seems to be nothing stopping the alt-rockers, I’m sure there will be more to expect from here on out.

They played both new and old tunes, including “My Heroine”, “Am I Pretty?”, and “English Girls”. The only thing I’m really sure of, although I’ve been unsure of almost everything lately, is that throughout their performance, they made it a point to include every member of the audience, such that no one was feeling lonely, or used, like confetti for the gathering.

“We’ll make sure that it’s not two years until we see y’all again. But if it is, you behave yourselves, okay? Drink your milk, eat your vegetables, we’ll see you soon,” John hilariously added, before they closed out the set with the feel-good “Another Night on Mars”, off their fifth studio album, American Candy.

In the span of 90 minutes, The Maine reminded us to live in the moment (instead of through our phone screens) and do the things we talked about but never did before, all while giving us something to remember. From Pat’s frenetic drumming to Jared’s crisp shaker prowess during “Take What You Can Carry” to John’s ever-charming quirky shimmies (which were only met with bashful giggles and laughs), it was altogether mental.

And I’m positive everyone left feeling so much more than okay all over.

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Here’s to now
And to nothin’ else
In the crowd
All by yourself
To the lows and every high
The hellos and the goodbyes
In this moment, I could die with you
Yeah, right here with you

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