Arizona-based quintet The Maine have always been known to bring home the bacon when it comes to perfecting their own live shows. Having done numerous appearances in Australia, the boys came back once again in support of their highly received sixth full-length record “Lovely Little Lonely“, with the support of Texan trio Waterparks and Melbournian five-piece Between You and Me.
A half hour later after doors had finally opened, Between You and Me opened up to a nearly maxed out room. The boys illustrated a very bouncy and vibrant style to their onstage persona, while delivering a well-executed performance as the opener for the evening. Ten minutes into their set, Between You and Me announced that they had been busy recording their debut album and promised a few songs to be recited, while expecting a circle pit to occur during their moment in the spotlight. The band would then close off their part of the gig with Overthinking, getting everyone in the room to jump with them one last time before the interval.
Waterparks had been quite the talk of the town prior to the event. With this tour being their debut in Australia, they had already earned themselves a very warm welcoming from everyone inside the Corner. Frontman Awsten Knight had mentioned that their second and latest record “Entertainment” had just been released, and gave a few samples off the album such as Blonde, Lucky People and Rare. At the same time, Waterparks really knew the art of crowd control. In such an uncontrived manner, they had their audience jumping and singing along to likes of Crave and 21 Questions. Awsten also complimented the country for ‘hitting the gene jackpot’, within the break between songs before launching into Stupid For You, which had everyone going wild. With their acoustic hits Lucky People and 21 Questions closing their set, Waterparks were given a powerful reception from their fans and got everyone involved with the singalongs throughout the remainder of their time slot.
As soon as the curtains onstage opened up, the screams of hundreds of devotees of The Maine plagued across the venue. It didn’t take long to get everyone in the band’s surroundings to contaminate them with bliss as The Maine proceeded to execute a resume of classics. With six albums worth of material, The Maine slipped in a majority off “Lovely Little Lonely” and “American Candy”, while presenting hits such as My Heroine, Inside of You, Happy and more. Frontman John O’Callaghan showed off a cheeky side of himself between songs, by interacting with the crowd and talking about the slang that we Aussies use, regularly. When he asked the fans what we do when we get sad, one patron yelled out “We do a shoey!”, leading John to grab a fan’s shoe and a beer and did the honour of sculling the drink, with everyone cheering loudly. People at the front row would then start singing Happy Birthday to drummer Patrick Kirch, as it was his birthday on the night of the gig. But one of the more exhilarating moments to occur during The Maine’s performance, was when John pulled a fan up onstage to sing Girls Do What They Want.
Nonetheless, the entirety of The Maine’s headline set was far from a bore. As someone that has never really been fond of the alternative blend of pop punk and emo music, it’s safe to say that The Maine wowed me and hundreds upon hundreds of those that attended that night. The vibe, energy and the powerful connection between the bands and the crowd was impeccable and hair-raising. Not a dull moment nor small stuff up ever showed up as the bands promised their 100% would remain present for the sake of the audience. And it’s definite that I walked out of the Corner Hotel heavily impressed, and keen to get into checking out more of The Maine and Waterparks’ material. I, along with everyone else that night, definitely welcome both those bands back anytime they want!
With the Saturday 3 February show in Sydney sold out, get tickets to The Maine’s final show in Brisbane on Sunday 4 February here.
Photos by Natalie Parham.