There are very few bands that have stuck with me since I started my concert going adventures over ten years ago. Bands come and go with breakups, line-up changes, deaths, and complete stylistic makeovers. As devastating as it is to see these changes in a band I love, I know that there are always new bands out there just waiting to be discovered and that’s what keeps going to a concert every single night feeling fresh and fun. Last night I got to see one of the few bands that truly stuck with me throughout all these years and it was damn near a religious experience.
The Maine has put out six albums and each one seems to hit me at just the right time. It started with “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” hitting me as I was starting college. With lyrics about trying to find a balance, love and love lost, and trying to be everything everyone wanted, I couldn’t help but get emotionally attached to the poppy album. Listening back to the album now, it feels a little juvenile but, at that time, I was juvenile too and it was the perfect match.
Fast forward to just two years ago when The Maine released “American Candy”. With lyrics about just trying to be okay with being who you are, coming to terms with the fact that nothing in life is perfect, and how you really just need to make the most of life and stop worrying and stressing about everything. If that doesn’t perfectly define this era of my life then I don’t know what does.
Last night The Maine played through every era of my life. They played old songs that took me back to my first year in college and songs that I had just listened to over this past weekend. It didn’t matter what time in my life the song was from or the last time I even listened to the song, I was singing along. Their lyrics had been engraved in my brain whether I liked it or not and as I watched one of my best friends loosing her shit next time, I couldn’t help but do the same.
There were no inhibitions last night. I didn’t care that I probably looked like a complete idiot as I danced around while trying to not spill my drink. I didn’t care about the fact that I have no clue how to dance but I was trying. I didn’t care that the younger crowd seemed to look at my friend Jessica and I like we were the weirdest people ever as we screamed along to the lyrics of the more classic songs. Nothing mattered other than being able to see this band that I had been in love with for so long for the umpteenth time.
Having seen The Maine over a dozen times before, I know what to expect at this point but that doesn’t lessen the excitement. The energy and passion that radiates off the stage from this band is something that’s impossible to put into words. Sometimes I wonder if I only feel that because of my obsession with this band but I’ve seen plenty of bands that had a huge impact on my life and don’t always get this feeling of positive energy and passion.
John O’Callaghan, the singer, is a super positive person but not the naggy type. Sure, he joked with the crowd before singing “Diet Soda Society” about how pop will kill you and it should be all about water and juice, but it wasn’t a lecture. It was a fun little thing that just showed how much personality this guy has. John has the most unique way of dancing across the stage and trying to be “sexy” but coming off more as that awkward skinny kid from high school that never quite fit in but was always a sweetheart. Watching him fail at dancing on stage in front of hundreds of fans always makes me feel like dancing around like an idiot is a fine choice and makes you feel like you’re watching friends on stage, not these musicians that you have put on a pedestal.
As their set ended, John said something that has me questioning if The Maine will continue to be a constant in my life as they have for the past ten years. “… and if we don’t see you again– live your best life possible!” Was that a sign that this band that has been my rock through thick and thin is just about done? I mean, I wouldn’t be able to blame them because these guys are some of the hardest working musicians I’ve seen but it would definitely break my heart. I’m trying not to read into the words that were said or what I think it means for the future of this band but it’s hard when that was one of the last things that was said on stage.
Even though the night seemed to end on a bit of a somber note, the rest of the night was nothing short of a dream. I stood there next to my friend Jessica and we danced like complete idiots as we screamed along to songs of our youth. My friend Bradford, although not as into it as Jessica and I, was bobbing his head along to the songs and having a damn good time. Seeing the Maine is always a treat but being able to see such a great band with two great friends by your side truly changed everything.
I could go on and on about last night’s show but what’s the point. You weren’t there and you didn’t see that smile on my face.
Venue: Skyway Theatre
Sausage Fest Meter- 4 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 18
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Passed Out People – 0
Celebrity Sightings- 0
Overall Score- 9 out of 10
Show on Deck- Marijuana Deathsquads