Fresh off the release of their sixth studio album, The Maine played an incredible set to a packed house at House of Blues.
Walking in, the audience is bustling with excitement. The lineup began with fellow 8123 artists Beach Weather, lead by former A Rocket to the Moon frontman Nick Santino. With their dance-y, indie-pop tunes, Beach Weather kicked off the night on a high and kept the energy flowing right from start to finish.
Beach Weather soon gave way to The Mowgli’s, who also kicked off their set on a high, dancing and grooving through the half hour set. Playing such as hits such as “4AM” and “Freaking Me Out”, even the stiffest of bodies had quite a bit of sway in their hips. The distinctly feminine crowd sang along with all their might whenever singer and guitarist Colin Dieden held out the mic. With a performance as polished as their tunes, The Mowgli’s never let up, carrying their high-energy set right on through their closing song, “San Francisco.”
Thoroughly warmed up, the audience waited in anticipation for the main act. A quick set change revealed a make-shift starry night backdrop, flanked by lit trees, all resting above a turf carpet and bed of flowers. The lights finally dimmed, the crowd screamed, and the Maine dove right into their biggest single from their new record, “Black Butterflies & Deja Vu.” For those who have never seen The Maine live, it’s an almost unsettling but exciting experience to watch them live. What sounds over recordings as a lighter alt-rock takes new form as a a driving, urgent kind of rock that is almost out of place following their lighter counterparts. Launching into tunes new and old, the Maine played throwbacks such as “Daisy” and “We All Roll Along” alongside newer staples like “Am I Pretty?” and “Like We Did (Windows Down).” Frontman John O’Callaghan jumped and danced and . After asking the crowd to “get weird tonight”, O’Callaghan opened the floor to questions from audience, opening up a can of worms to old song requests. One heartfelt plea for the sweet, slow-jam “Into Your Arms”, however, quickly turned into a mess of screamo as every member save bassist Garrett Nickelsen had all but forgotten the song. Fellow members Jared Monaco, Kennedy Brock, and Pat Kirch followed suit, and continued to riff with driving beats and distorted guitars before launching into new song “Do You Remember (the Other Half of 23).” Finishing with “Bad Behavior” and “Another Night on Mars”, The Maine concluded a set the felt more akin to the likes of Joyce Manor or FIDLAR than their indie-pop openers. Saturday’s performance marked what is certainly their best San Diego set to date. For those who want to experience this band on a whole new level, catch them on one of their many dates of their 2017 world tour.
Review by: Christine Heyne
Photography by: Charlie Spadone