Every band starts performing in small shows, growing their audience and accommodating larger venues to make room for everyone. With The Maine, it seems that the intimate shows will have to keep going as more fans discover the paths leading to their music whether it’s from their album Pioneer or You Are OK. They’ve come a long way from their sound to fashion; replacing their graphic t-shirts and skinny jeans with blue-colored suits and all-white outfits.
They’ve co-headlined a show with fellow rock outfit, All Time Low, and dominated the Bazooka Rocks stage on a 2-day show with State Champs. This time, they returned for a solo show in New Frontier Theater with a single standing section for everyone to dance, mosh, or watch the show from a comfortable space.
The Love Language of Audio and Visual Stories
At the start of the show, Adam Simons (keys/guitar) kicked off with a short set with his cinematic, pop project Wanderer. Whispers went around the crowd as some fans may have only known this project of his at that moment. He warmed up the audience with groovy beats, stirring up a storm on stage and preparing everyone for what’s going to happen next.
Over the years, The Maine has been known for experimenting with visuals that complement their brand – keeping a consistent brand of music and adapting new formats (i.e. fitting the message of '8123' and what it will be in the future). They started with a countdown, until all members walked up on stage, and then showing on-screen text that reads, “Are You OK?”. They proceed with an enthralling performance of 'Slip the Noose', the first track off their latest album. Followed by 'Numb Without You', the image on screen was covered in posters printed with “You Are”.
They utilized the impact an audio-visual experience would create, accompanying images and videos with every track. While John asked everyone in the crowd to put their phones down during 'Am I Pretty?', we watched a video collage of the boys dancing to the song while they sang it. They projected constellations during '(Un)Lost)' and a bright, red screen with white text that reads “You Are Watching A Band Called the Maine”.
While the set mostly consisted of tracks from American Candy, Lovely Little Lonely, and You Are OK, there were classics that made everyone travel–even for a couple of years–back in time. They performed 'We All Roll Along', 'When I’m at Home', and 'Like We Did (Windows Down)', proving they still have their early years in them and how John has mentioned before that “You never shake emo. You just might not be full emo anymore. The eyeshadow, the swooping hair, it all lives in you, regardless.”
A Safe Space Where Fans Belong to a Family
During the first half of the set, John asked the staff to turn on the lights for the crowd. He was waiting for an attendee to be assisted outside the pit. Then, he faced the audience and told everyone to take care of each other. It served as a healthy reminder that, in any event, we should be looking out for ourselves and the people around us.
John reached out to the crowd and invited a fan named Carl on stage to perform 'Taxi' with them. They exchanged lines and John asked the crowd to cheer for Carl. While the screen had the lines of “is the sadness everlasting?”, the moment felt more like a sentimental gathering among close friends with The Maine starting a bonfire where everyone toasted their marshmallows and shared their stories.
“We have 3 hours and 15 minutes left!”
John constantly hyped the crowd about the amount of time he’d share with them. People began asking for 'Saving Grace' which has always been a request that fans make every time they have a show in Manila. He moved towards the edge of the stage, holding his guitar, and then sang the first few lines of the chorus while the audience continued it.
Bringing the crowd closer to each other, John requested the audience to link their arms around anyone next to them during 'Another Night on Mars'–reminding the purpose and meaning of '8123'. A couple of fans passed the Philippine flag to John, and he raised it as people sang and swayed together.
The Maine remains to be a timeless rock band that embraces the eras they’ve started from and the ones they will belong in the future. They prove that we can grow up with the good parts of us, being the person that we were and have always needed.
Special thanks to PULP Live World.