The Maine - Crescent Ballroom - 7/27/2013

Categories: Last Night

The Maine Crescent Jim Louvau
All photos by Jim Louvau
The Maine
Crescent Ballroom
July 27, 2013 (Check out the complete slideshow for more photos.)
Ten years ago, a local band selling out a venue the size of the Crescent as convincingly as The Maine did Saturday would be on its way to a major label deal. The Maine, of course, are now two albums removed from one, separating from Warner Bros. despite the success of 2010's Black & White

If Saturday night is any indication, they aren't the worse for it.

It was the last night of a tour that began back in June, with a free show in Tempe, and it felt like it -- everyone on stage was just a little more keyed up than usual, more ready to go off-script and, in lead singer John O'Callaghan's words, "get fucking weird together."

Together, in this case, meant the band, and the fans, and their openers -- particularly A Rocket to the Moon, who are all but disbanding after this tour. (They've got five August shows left -- two in Massachusetts and three in East Asia.)

The electronic, high-gloss pop sound of On Your Side was absent, even though the songs weren't -- on this tour A Rocket to the Moon are playing a restrained kind of pop-punk that seems to diverge from Fall Out Boy at that moment it becomes necessary to either indulge your pop-star instincts completely -- and become something less than totally relatable -- or put on nice shirts, conclude that the rest of the world isn't all bad, and remember that guitars are neat.

Which was a good call on their part (particularly about the guitars.) They closed their set with "a slow, sappy song about how girls suck," which the mostly female crowd was very into. Which might seem weird, at first, but it's like anything else: It's always flattering to hear about how everybody who isn't quite you sucks and is terrible, and is making A Rocket to the Moon unhappy like you absolutely would not.

Then came The Maine, whose set began with a dramatic concept-car reveal of the giant, color-changing M they play in front of. Their live show, as it turns out, is exactly like people describe their live show. The Maine -- crowding the stage with instruments, blacking out the lights before their first song, bouncing off each other in ballads -- are hyperactive on stage, sprouting echoes and weird passages from songs everyone in the crowd is trying his-or-mostly-her-damnedest to sing along to.

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The Maine makes predictable, uninspired sugar-coated teen pop. Not surprised the majority of the crowd was female. They truly blow. Only in Phoenix.

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