The highly anticipated Australian tour has come and gone far too quickly. Consisting of only three dates (Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne), The Maine have finally made it down under after two years away from our shores, following their recent album release of American Candy. Fans have been able to catch The Maine at Soundwave in 2011, as support for Taking Back Sunday in 2012, and then in 2013 supporting their friends Anberlin. Although they haven’t returned in two years, the crowds at their 2015 shows welcomed the Arizona-based band back with open arms.
Over the past few years that they’ve been in Australia, it’s either for a festival or as a support band. This essentially means that they play less than ten songs, which isn’t that much considering that they now have five albums and two EPs under their belt. With their long-awaited and well-deserved headline tour, fans were blessed with an entire hour-and-a-half long set. I’m not sure how I dealt with their thirty-minute sets before because tonight wasn’t long enough for me at all. Time absolutely flew by.
I attended their Brisbane date at The Brightside, and it’s been about three years since I last saw The Maine so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Reflecting back on it, I think this was a good thing in the end. It felt like I was seeing them for the first time all over again. If anything, they were more energetic and happy than the last time I saw them, but this tour they were probably buzzing from the impressive turnout after such a long time away.
The atmosphere was one of love and support from both the fans and the band. There was a general consensus among fans who were so happy and relieved that The Maine had finally returned – and with a full set-list! We hit the jackpot! Apart from your typical adolescent male heckler, who was probably fresh out of school and was feeling especially confident with his high school crew with him, there was a mutual respect between the audience and the band. Between personal anecdotes and performing, the lead singer John O’Callaghan constantly expressed his gratitude at every opportunity he got.
The Maine Brisbane Show setlist (30/11/15)
Another Night On Mars
Diet Soda Society
When I’m At Home
I Must Be Dreaming
Everything I Ask For
Am I Pretty
Into Your Arms (acoustic)
Like We Did (Windows Down)
The Maine kicked off their show with “Another Night On Mars”. I’ve always imagined this as a closing song, due to the fact it’s the last one on American Candy, but that night I was proven wrong. It turns out it works just as effectively as the opening song. Another Night On Mars is an anthem-tune and with no prior expectation of actually hearing it live, I can tell you that witnessing it from the get-go made me ready for an entire set of sing-from-the-top-of-your-lungs-while-you-sway-with-your-friends kind of songs.
Their second song was Right Girl, which is one of their well-known songs from 2010’s Black & White, an album that solidified them as artists in the pop-punk/alternative scene. Their set had, understandably, a greater focus on their new releases, however the band allocated time for their old hits as well. Australian fans were blessed with four throwback songs: I Must Be Dreaming, Everything I Ask Four, Into Your Arms, and an alternative rendition of Growing Up.
To be completely honest, before the show I was unsure of what the crowd would be like. The Maine hadn’t played in Australia for two years and I was worried that there wouldn’t be a sufficient amount of people. My worries were immediately non-existent when I found myself in an almost-full venue. Talking to the guys after the show, they too seemed just as surprised as I was, telling me and other fans that they weren’t expecting such a successful turnout.
The Maine’s sound is always evolving and none of their albums resembles its predecessor, but a few things you can count on to remain constant and unchanging is their kindness and humility. They continuously, and without fail, treat every fan with respect and attentiveness. They are the most welcoming and humble band that I’ve been blessed to encounter, and I’m happy that 13-year-old me stumbled upon them all those years ago.
I remember the moment I discovered The Maine back in 2009. I was on YouTube, mindlessly going through one suggested music video after the other trying to kill time, when finally I stumbled upon The Maine. I remember it so vividly and so fondly; the initial click, and then the feeling that takes over you when you know you’ve discovered something special, something worthwhile, something putting energy into. It’s instantaneous, and if you enjoy music, I know you’ve had this feeling before.
Fast forward to 2015, I still have the same excitement, appreciation, pride, and admiration for their music as when I first listened to them. Watching them grow with each album, hearing them constantly improving with each release, and knowing that they’re really happy with what they produce has been a privilege.
As short-lived as the tour was, I’m extremely fortunate to have had the experience. I’m hoping it won’t take them two years again for them to return but their 2015 Australian shows are proof enough that we’re all still going to be here waiting for when they do.
Jared, Pat, Garrett, Kennedy, John – thank you. Special thanks to the Australian fans for making this tour a reality.