The Maine, 5 april 2019, De Melkweg Amsterdam.
After a year and a half a band called The Maine was back in The Melkweg Amsterdam. This time in a bigger room, which was not even big enough for the quality. A new album, new suits, and two new support acts: Calva and Airways. And moreover: an audience that jumped higher than the ceiling.
Suddenly they were standing there, two boys and a front girl. So surprising as Calva came on stage, so surprising they smashed some raw guitar sounds at the audience. Luckily, in the middle of their set it seemed more clear that their style is in line with the main band of the evening, The Maine (their joke, not mine). This band has a lot to learn, but has a lot of potentional.
The second support act: Airways, was clearly better known by the audience. While they were singing along, the band gives some good looks, and even winked to the girls in the front row. A new boyband incoming? The frontman and his singing reminded me of Milky Change, with a 5 Seconds of Summer vibe.
The Maine, the band I got in touch with by their cover, ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ for Punk goes Pop, grew extremely in my heart by every album that they made since their debut in 2008. That they still grow in quality, was this night more than clear. Seeing them in September 2017 was already heart-warming, but still what you expected from a band who fills 650 people venues.
A lot can change in a year and a half. They just released a new album You Are Ok. As I already wrote here, they mixed their punk feeling with strings and electronic sounds, even better than in Lovely, Little, Lonely. This knowledge and experience picked up the older songs from the dirt. No more teenage angry guitar ramming. Emotional passion in songs is the grown up style of The Maine.
That they have punk roots, is clear to see in the audience they have. When ‘Weightless’ by All Time Low started playing in the break, 16 year old girls started singing along as if it was a choice between life and death. Not even them, also persons who where ten to twenty year older than those girls, also men, who were standing at the back of the room. I was standing there, between the hard core fans in the first five rows. Hard to admit, but I must say I’m getting a little older than the average fangirl… There where also boys in this first class crowd. John picked, like every show, a boy to sing along with him on stage. He even dared him to dance along.
The setlist was smoother and more powerful than I’m used. Starting off with ‘Numb Without You’, you immediately felt the new vibe they are bringing. Because the setlist was so smooth and well fitting into each other, I can’t even reminder what the order was. Luckily, setlist.fm is our friend:
1. Numb Without You
2. Don’t Come Down
3. Diet Soda Society
4. Right Girl
5. Broken Parts
6. Miles Away
7. How Do You Feel?
10. Forever Halloween
11. Bad Behavior
12. We All Roll Along
13. The Sound of Reverie
14. Like We Did (Windows Down)
16. My Best Habit
17. Am I Pretty?
18. Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu
19. Another Night on Mars
As you can see, they played songs from all the albums they have, with focus on the latest albums. ‘Broken Parts’ is one of my favourites of the new album. This night however, it felt like the dead mouse in the corner of the room and who killed the vibe. While they played ‘We All Roll Along‘ the old nostalgia feeling came into the room. So nostalgia, that ‘You know the lyrics way better than I do’.
Yes, indeed they do John. This audience danced, clapped, sung, jumped and was just moving to every note this band played. The whole light show of the band was almost unnecessary. The audience was way to busy enjoying themselves than watching the band. When you had to the change to look at it however, you would have seen how well fitting the lights changed per song and per phrase into a song. The Maine has strong cadenzas and climaxes in the song, and you felt, heard and saw that in every cell you have.
What I was afraid of before were the long speeches I expected. The las time I saw them, John spend way to much time talking about being OK, being honest about your mental health and whatever, that I already prepared my ‘SHUT UP AND PLAY’ yell. But oh honey, that was not needed. As John said himself ‘I am not allowed to talk […] people who know me know that I talk to much’. Instead he joked about ‘Let’s talk about POLITICS! and let’s talk about RELIGION’. This shows than this band has also a bad view on the speeches that is growing within the popsliveshow culture.
Ending the night with ‘Another Night Here on Mars’ reminded every single person in the venue of the warm, belonging feeling music gives us. As their song ‘Taxi’ has as mantra: ‘You’ll never be lonely’, I can say that a good live show like this make you feel more belonging than anything else can do.