The Maine Brings All The Feels To The Varsity Theater


Saturday night was one of those shows that I just needed. I’m in the midst of another mental breakdown after getting pre-approved for a house loan. To say I’m overwhelmed by the thought of owning my own townhouse and the whole house search would be an understatement. The amount of stress I feel about the whole idea of it is so much that not even a day of binging old school Disney shows could help me. What I needed was a night of drunken shenanigans surrounded by the best of friends while listening to a band that has been with me since my angsty teenage years and that’s exactly what I got.

Los Angeles based Twin XL kicked the show off just after 7PM and instantly lifted a weight off my shoulders. Their music was upbeat and optimistic and the energy they brought to the Varsity Theater was positive and free feeling. Although I had never heard of Twin XL prior to the show, I was instantly in love with everything about the band and their set. Beyond the band itself, I was floored to realize just how many people were singing along to every word of their set like their life depended on it. Sure, I was at the show solely for the purpose of seeing the headlining act but Twin XL made sure that people like me still paid attention to them and they did it without asking for the audience’s attention. It has to be rough opening for a band like The Maine which has such a cult following but it couldn’t have been a better fit for Twin XL. I’m already craving another show from this band and will definitely be keeping a close eye on their schedule for another Twin Cities show.

What can I say about The Maine that I haven’t said before. The Maine is one of those bands that has always just gotten me. They have grown up with me and become the soundtrack for my generation. Instead of just falling off the map or getting stuck in a certain style of music, The Maine has been constantly evolving since they started and therefore has never lost their place in my daily soundtrack. Fronted by John O’Callaghan, The Maine has always had a very positive message behind their music and their live shows. Always speaking about living in a world of optimism but not ignoring the fact that it’s hard to do so, their lyrics reminding listeners that “You are OK” was everything that I needed to hear last night. 

Full disclosure, last night was a bit of a blur. The mixture of my current mental breakdown, a couple of drinks, and being able to see a best friend that drove from Ohio for the show led to a bit of a hot mess of a night but that didn’t stop my from taking every moment in. Whether it was singing along to the songs that have kept me sane over the past couple of years to dancing along to some of the older tracks in their seventeen song set, there was a smile on my face that was mirrored in the faces of my friends. Although I’ve seen The Maine more times than I’d care to admit, they always keep their set lists fresh and last night was no different. Sure, it seemed to center around their new album ‘Are you OK’, but there were other songs that have been out for years that I had yet to see the band perform live. The fact that they are constantly changing their set list and performing different songs from throughout their seven album lifespan keeps me coming back to see this band time after time and keeps it feeling fresh every time. 

The Maine didn’t play all of the songs that I wanted to hear and there were times throughout their set that the sound seemed a bit wonky as far as the vocals being drowned out by the rest of the band but that didn’t stop last night’s set from being amazing. That’s the best thing about a band like The Maine. Even if you don’t hear your song and you have your own opinion on the sound of the show, you still have a great time because the passion and the love felt during their set is more than enough to make you forget everything else. It’s that glance between friends as you guys sing along to the same line of words that saved both of your lives at one point and that cheers as soon as you hear the first chord from that one song that you and a friend just can’t get enough of. 

My life feels a little out of control right now but being able to watch The Maine last night while surrounded by the best of friends really brought me back down to earth. I hope you have a band that can do the same to you.