How do you put a night spent with some of the best of friends while singing and swaying along to the songs that saved all of your lives at different points into words? Well, you really can’t but I am going to try as I try to tell you all about the amazing concert that was The Maine on Sunday.
Charlotte Sands has been quickly becoming a household name throughout the pop and pop-punk scene lately so I was super excited to get the chance to see her live as she opened up the early show. Her infectious and poppy beats were just what the audience needed to warm up to the Sunday night show. She had a bubbly personality that matched her music perfectly and truly shined on stage throughout her set. Although clearly young, she came off as a seasoned vet as she interacted with the crowd and powered through her eight-song set. Although she was only on stage for a total of thirty minutes, she absolutely packed a punch with every song she played and, even though her music was fairly new to me (I really only knew one song from her set), the rest of the audience was eating it up and singing along to every word with a sense of fury and passion which really set the tone for the evening.
The Happy Fits were the only other opener on the show and, had they not been opening for a band that has meant so much to me for so long, they probably would have stolen the show. The first thing that I noticed about this band was the cello. Okay, I know that’s a bit obvious. It’s not often that you see a cello swinging from someone’s shoulders a bit like a guitar but it was just so cool, so funky, and was a highlight of their set for me as someone who goes to show after show just waiting for something different and unique. Although the cello absolutely set them apart visually (well that and their undeniable sense of energy that they brought to the stage), The Happy Fits’ sound is a bit standard but in a good way. The cello absolutely spices it up a bit but their overall vibe is happy indie-pop-punk sounds that make you want to move and groove to the infectious beats while keeping a smile on your face and that’s exactly what the audience was doing through their set on Sunday. i lost count of how many times the friends I were with turned to me just to proclaim their love for this band before quickly turning back to the stage so as to not miss a single movement or note on stage.
Oh, The Maine. Where do I even begin? If you’ve been reading my stuff for a little bit, you know that this band is just one of “those bands” for me. They’re that band that saved my life on some of my darkest days and make the sunshine a bit brighter on my best days. This band means so much to me and so many other people. They have grown up alongside all of us after coming into our lives during angsty teenage years that were full of confusion and trouble and have continued to help us through all of life’s twists and turns while continuing to gain new and young fans. Really, I can not praise this band enough and I know that anything I write after this will just seem biased but they truly are just one of those amazing bands that I feel have such an effect on so many people that it’s hard to be non-biased.
I didn’t keep track of all of the songs that they played through their twenty-song set just because every song seemed to be my favorite but I did notice that they did a great job picking tracks spanning their extensive eight-album career which has been going since 2008. Sure, there were definitely some tracks missed on their setlist that I would have loved to hear but I definitely left the night feeling beyond satisfied with what I had been given. A few highlights that I do remember include being able to sing along to a personal favorite “Diet Soda Society” alongside my friends, screaming and jumping along to “Girls Do What They Want” (even if it was just the first verse and chorus) and low-key having a small meltdown while singing along to “Another Night on Mars” to close out the show. Really, as mentioned, every song was my favorite song but those were just a few minutes that seemed to really stand out to me and not be blurred by a haze of nostalgia and emotion.
I think one of the reasons that The Maine has such a connection with their fans is their personalities and especially the personality of vocalist John O’Callaghan. He’s playful and clearly loves doing what he’s doing and, much like the personalities of the other bands, his was put in the spotlight throughout their set. From joking about all of the songs that they don’t know (which led to a medley of just bits and pieces of popular songs ranging from 311 to Papa Roach) to a full-blown audience-driven cover of Smashmouth’s “All-Star” which John then turned to two children in the audience and apologized for ruining Shrek for them (okay, you kind of had to be there but it was hilarious), there was just an undeniable sense of fun throughout the beautiful Varsity Theater that had the entire audience smiling bigger than I think many of us have for the past couple of years.
There were tears, there were smiles, laughs, spilled drinks, hugs, hand-holding, cheek kisses— Sunday night was one of those nights that makes you thankful to be where you are with who you’re with.