The Maine Concert Review – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues – 04.29.15
Fans flocked to Cleveland’s House of Blues on Wednesday night (4.29.15) to see The Maine for the first time since their appearance as presenters at the Alternative Press Music Awards in July of 2014. Though they weren’t wearing big suits (or a dress) like in July, they still brought an energetic and fun night of music and silliness.
Despite the tour being centered around the band’s most recent album, ‘American Candy’ their set featured a blend of songs from all five of their full length albums and even a joking few lines of “Daisy” from the band’s very first EP ‘Stay Up, Get Down’which lead singer John O’Callaghan admitted to being a truly awful song.
The group started the night with new song “Miles Away” from ‘American Candy’ as their large letter “M” logo ignited above the drum kit. Despite it being a newer song fans still belted the lyrics as if they’d known the words for years. After that the band alternated between new songs and old songs, giving an excellent blend of the different sounds the group has experimented with over their nearly eight years as a band. Songs like “Misery” and “My Heroine” from the 2011 album ‘Pioneer’ reflected an edgier and more hard rock sound while “Same Suit, Different Tie” and “Love and Drugs” had a more upbeat and dancey sound to them.
To add the perfect extra touch to their show, the band’s lighting was clearly well thought out and a true spectacle. For some songs, the lights coordinated to the color scheme that went along with the album (i.e ‘Forever Halloween’ was orange, white and black, ‘American Candy’ was blue and white.) Other songs featured bright pulses when the chorus kicked in and flashes with drum kicks, giving the show that little extra kick to make it stand out.
Having seen The Maine before, I knew the show would contain not only quality music but lots of laughs as a result of O’Callaghan’s endless jokes and witty remarks. When he came on stage alone to play an acoustic version of “Into Your Arms” from the group’s first full length album, ‘Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,’ he spent nearly five minutes just speaking to individual audience members and cracking jokes about the strangest things (including Zayn leaving One Direction) and how much he misses old school Kid Rock (featuring a very accurate impression of the singer as well). Little things like this reminded fans that despite the band’s growing popularity with each album, they aren’t the kind of guys to become big-headed; they’ll remain genuine and fun guys that are in this industry for their love of music.
The band neglected to do the stereotypical “leave the stage pretending we’re done and come back a minute later for an encore” thing and played a straight 15 song set. Just before their closing song, O’Callaghan looked out into the audience and thanked the crowd one final time for allowing the band to make their living doing what they love. With his fist held high he said “Life is too short to be normal, so be fucking weird!” O’Callaghan and his fellow band members are the perfect exemplars for this mantra, and that weirdness and energetic lifestyle transfers perfectly into their live shows, making them exciting and memorable for every type of fan they have.
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