I'd been a little short on concerts and this one wound up being my treat night. Kat tweeted me and we decided, last minute to go to The Maine show. My idea of a good time.
I'd never heard The Arkells before, but they caught my attention with less than a few notes. Their music, reminded me of Austin Gibbs, though that's not to lump them in with a former opener for The Maine, I can see the appeal. I was blown away by the energy, the sound, the solid rock beat that didn't waver even from the start of the set.
I caught myself singing along to repeated chorus, getting really caught up in songs like "Deadlights" and "Whistleblower", easily caught up in the whole feel of everything. I definitely could get behind them geting the crowd to join in on a very jazzy version of "This Little Light of Mine" leading into another song. They also brought out John from The Maine to sing a little, and Kennedy as well to play along.
Up next was Lydia, whom I had listened to before, and while I had no idea what to expect, I was pretty darn excited. Their music was great when I sampled it, but it had been so long it felt new all over again. I told Kat the same thing as they were getting started, to have Lydia as well as The Arkells, it was like having the two different spectrums that The Maine encompass themselves. Lydia has this sort of ethereal feel, probably in part to Leighton Antelman, their lead singer's voice, which has a unique tone, similar to a Brian Dales of The Summer Set or a Bryan Donahue of Early Morning Blues. Not the typical sound, but pleasing.
Is it possible to appreciate a singer additionally for his attitude on stage? Maybe. Leighton seemed to have this almost...shy way about him while he sang, which honestly made him slightly more appealing in my book. I can't explain it.
There was no stopping the instant fire The Maine brought the moment they stepped on stage, especially opening with "Identify" (and "3..2..1...here come the fireworks" came with a blast of confetti). The crowd was small but they were completely into it, jumping up and down, singing along and cheering.
It was such a rush, fantastic rush. I've said it before, the Pioneer album is a change in sound, and part of me worried that these kids wouldn't grow up with the guys, but they proved me wrong. They were there in full force having a great time, singing along. Pioneer was an album meant to be heard live. And it's perfect life. "My Heroine" had us all shaking and dancing along with it. The older songs, most of them were revamped to flow with the new songs, stronger music, heavier bass and drum lines to ease out of the pop-tastic sound they had before and into this more grown up rock and roll sound. It was fantastic.
As always there are antics on stage, with John trying to get the crowd to sing and yell, and Garrett opting to do it himself. Which of course led to John telling him to shut up.
A highlight to the night was bringing big portions of both Lydia and The Arkells back on stage for a cover of "Help From My Friends" by the Beatles, which cheesy as it might have been, was pretty damn great. Like said, it was further proof that those two bands do sit on either side of the spectrum of The Maine.
Closing with "Don't Give Up On Us" wasn't what I would have guess, but man did it make sense. I still feel like part of that song is about the band, about the fact that they are still here, they will still be here, no matter what happens with record labels and how they age. Don't give up on them and they won't give up on us.