The Maine played an intimate show at Dingwalls and I was over the moon to be there. They are a band I have loved and followed the career of since their incarnation 11 years ago, and I have watched them grow and develop as people and as a band. I have enjoyed every show of theirs I’ve been to, with this one being no exception.
As soon as they stepped out on stage there was a buzz in the air as their eager fans welcomed them with whoops and cheers. Not ones to mess about they went straight into the proceedings playing ‘Diet Soda Society’, much to the joy of everyone in the room followed closely by ‘Growing Up’ and ‘Am I Pretty?’.
Once they’d played the first few songs John O’Callaghan, the charismatic frontman addressed the audience for the first time. It was no surprise that he asked everyone to put their phones away and most people obliged, promising us that if we wanted to see videos of them performing the internet was full of them.
Next up was ‘My Heroine’ and it gave Jared Monaco the chance to show off his guitar skills in his awesome solo. On this small stage, the band of five people seemed as cramped in as the audience were, with the crowd trying to fit on the lower level of the venue so they could be close to the action.
The venue was so hot a sweaty that John even joked it was a part of the experience, an interactive experience where we would come out really feeling as sad as they were when they wrote the songs! Never ones to disappoint, the band played a good mix of new, old, and even older songs.
Even though O’Callaghan admitted that sometimes playing one particular song ‘Girls Do What They Want’ gets a little stale, he kept it lively with audience participation pulling up two front row fans, introduced to us as Tim and Finn, to sing the “girls do what they want” and “girls do what they can” parts respectively. The hyped up crowd lapped it up. Not before O’Callaghan waded into the crowd to join us, hitting out the first verse or two knees deep in fans.
Talking between songs was kept at a minimum and as always the band was focused on the music but one little bit of banter had O’Callaghan confess that they were so sick of being called a pop-punk band at the beginning of their careers proclaiming “we’re not a pop-punk band, we’re a pop band”.
They closed the show by playing ‘Black Butterflies & Deja Vu’, ‘Bad Behaviour’ and ‘Ice Cave’ and left it on a nice chilled note, leaving the crowd with a mellow content vibe and feeling fulfilled by the 17-song long set.
The show, in general, was immensely entertaining and although not every song The Maine have released over the years has been a hit, they are all hits to the fans and at times it seemed like there was not a single person in the audience that was not singing along. We were promised that after their upcoming Warped Tour run they were going into the studio to record the next album and I for one cannot wait to hear it, as well as see them put on the spectacular live show they always do when they finally take it on tour.