The Maine at The Rock

The Maine

The Maine at The Rock 9/26

by Jenna Lerman


The Maine, a local band from Tempe, stopped by Tuscon on their current Free for All Tour. American Candy, the band’s fifth album, was released earlier this year. They are currently on a tour across the country, and the tickets are entirely free as the name suggests. “The Maine Presents American Candy” is a bit different and they’re trying to play as intimate venues as possible.

The show started off with American Candy in full. Songs like “My Hair” and “English Girls” are very upbeat and fun songs to see live. I was most excited to hear “24 Floor” live, as it’s my favorite off the album. The Maine did not disappoint, and the atmosphere changed completely after the first 4 upbeat songs. Everyone just stared and took in this extremely meaningful song about depression and suicide. I got chills and it was by far one of the best live songs I’ve heard.

After dancing to “Diet Soda Society” and “Am I Pretty?” the mood changed again during “(Un)lost”. Another slower song about feeling lost and incomplete, lead singer John O’Callaghan really connected with the audience. This song is very meaningful with lyrics like “Unaware of where I’m going / Or if I’m going anywhere at all” and “I’m not looking to be found / No, not at all” you can tell this song was written from personal experience by how passionate the band is and how they interact with the audience.

The American Candy set ended with the title track, and then went on to some of The Maine’s older songs I used to listen to in high school. Songs like “Inside of You”, “Run”, “Waiting for My Sun to Shine” and “Everything I Ask For” were the soundtrack to my adolescent angst. In a way, I’ve grown up with The Maine even though I haven’t listened to them consistently for the past 9 years.

During “Right Girl”, O’Callaghan brought my friend Nicole on stage to belt out the lyrics with him. This was one of the best moments of the night because you could tell how happy they both were. Again, this concert just felt like a group of friends hanging out and having a blast. Every member of The Maine is so genuine and kind, and it makes their music so much more enjoyable because you can really connect with them.

Between songs, the band stopped to ask if fans were okay and if they had any questions. There was a lot of playful banter and a rant by O’Callaghan about dropping out of school. This kind of banter during live shows is one of my favorite elements, because you can tell the band really cares and wants to get to know the people that come out to their shows.

Closing out with “Another Night on Mars”, the band created an ambiance I’ve never before seen at a concert. This song, the last track on American Candy, is about friendship. With lyrics like “This one goes out to my closest friends / The ones who make me feel less alien / I do not think I would be here if not for them”, this song is obviously very sentimental for fans who have made friends because of The Maine. Everyone screamed the lyrics while jumping around and the venue just seemed like a group of friends hanging out and having a great time. Singing along with my group of friends was nothing short of magical.

As always, the band came out afterward to take pictures and talk to fans. When it got late and they had to leave, their manager had to physically carry O’Callaghan away from his fans, and even then he was still trying to hug them. This is the type of interaction that makes music so important to me, when bands take the time to individually connect with each person.

This was my first time seeing The Maine, but definitely not the last. The next time The Maine will be in the Phoenix area is at the Mesa Amphitheater on October 28th for the ALT AZ School d’AZ Festival. They’ll be joining Best Coast, Atlas Genius, New Politics, MS MR, Saint Motel and Bully.