While waiting in the photo pit for The Maine to take the stage at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, I overheard the girls in the front row squealing with excitement —
“I wonder what song they’ll open with?”
“Maybe they will play ‘Ho, Ho, Hopefully’ tonight since it’s almost Christmas.”
Fans, including myself, have been waiting over two months for this show. The band set out on a fall co-headlining tour with their friends in Anberlin; the LA date was scheduled for early October, but due to unforeseen circumstances the tour re-scheduled for a later date in December.
Lights dimmed, curtains went up and it was time for a rock & roll show put on by five young men from Arizona. They opened fearlessly with “Right Girl,” continued to get the crowd moving with “Happy,” then transitioned into one of my personal favorites “Kennedy’s Curse.” During the end of “Kennedy’s Curse,” I captured guitarist Kennedy bending down to create effects with his guitar through his pedal board. One of the things I love most about The Maine is that they are always experimenting with their instruments and every live show they are creating sounds that you don’t hear on the record.
It takes about seven songs before front man John O’Callaghan greeted the crowd with “Hello, thanks for sticking around, anyway I can get a hand up here? That was a dad joke.” Some of the crowd laughed, others screamed or yelled out names of songs they wanted to hear. The band played a few more from their repertoire and then three members left the stage so that John and lead guitarist, Jared Monaco, could perform the acoustic Christmas favorite of “Ho, Ho, Hopefully.”
Before starting the song, John addressed the room with a “Happy Holidays everybody! Thanks for having us, this is our last show of 2013, apologies on having to reschedule. In January, we will have been doing this for seven years, rock & roll. I should be thanking you guys… it’s very rewarding to be able to this.” He went on to reminisce about being in college and how even his old roommate, Eric Halvorsen, bassist for A Rocket To The Moon was there in the crowd during the show. It’s really cool to see artists grow up together and support one another as they progress over the years. The Maine definitely are not the same band from when they started seven years ago, but they have blossomed into their own with a fan base who will love them no matter what style of music they experiment with next.
As their set came to a close with the song, “Misery,” all the members gathered around drummer, Pat Kirch’s kit to rock out together. I felt as though I was spying in on a jam session that they do, even when no else is watching. The Maine love and are passionate about their music and that translates into their live performance. In closing, John said to the crowd, “We’ll see you when we’re looking at you.”
This past week, the band released their Imaginary Numbers acoustic EP and are setting out on a tour in January to support it. Check out their new record and catch them in city near you.
Review and photos by Kate Cordova