John O’Callaghan is perfect. The end.
Okay not really the end, but he is perfect. John and the boys from The Maine are getting closer to wrapping up their Lovely, Little, Lonely America tour and I was lucky enough to see them play a sold-out crowd at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ last night. Instead of sticking to songs off the new album like I expected, they gave us loyal fans a setlist packed with really new, very old, and in between material (see the full setlist here).
Seeing The Maine live is more than a concert; it really is a personal experience. John is so eager to talk to fans in the crowd, and always asks us if we’re good. It was appreciated in such a small venue, and it’s nice to know that he really does care. The whole band has so much energy, and you can tell that after 10 years they still have an immense amount of passion for the music they create, and the fans that enjoy it.
The Maine opened with Lovely which transitioned into a spot-on rendition of Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu. One of my favorite performances of the night was My Heroine because 1: I really didn’t expect it and 2: John conducted the crowd during the “Da da da’s” of the song to be sung louder or softer, and I just really like when bands do that sort of thing. Some other favorites were Do You Remember, Raining In Paris (such a beautiful song), and The Way We Talk.
One of the funniest moments of the night was during Girls Do What They Want. John pulled up a guy on stage, and this guy promptly admitted that he was dragged to the show by his girlfriend, and he knew none of these songs. I thought it was a very appropriate moment considering the whole message of the song is “girls do what the want; boys do what they can.” The guy still sang the chorus with the band and earned a lot of applause (even though he sang the wrong tune the entire time).
The tour isn’t done yet, so I really advise going to see The Maine live if you haven’t yet, or even if you’ve just seen them play a quick set at a festival. The fans are great, the atmosphere is great, and I always leave smiling. This is probably the sixth or seventh time I’ve seen The Maine live, and I can’t wait to see them again.