The popular pop-punk band, The Maine stormed through the House of Blues in Anaheim on Friday with one mission –entertain the hell out of audiences–and that they did.
The show was only the second stop on the band’s national 8123 tour, but the energy was already in full swing.
Even before The Maine made it to the stage, the crowd grooved along with opening acts Brighten, This Century, and A Rocket to Moon. Each band had fans in the audience, making the night a pleasurable experience for everyone.
Although, the night was a little bittersweet for Rocket to the Moon fans since this is the final tour they will be performing together. It was definitely a little sad for me because I wasn’t familiar with their music before the concert and they won me over right away. During the show I overheard someone saying “I like them, why is this their last tour?” The group played some of their signature songs like “Dakota” and “Like We Used To”–which was featured on an episode of “Teen Mom.” They closed their set with a bouncing rendition of “Mr. Right.” Maybe, I’m crazy, but the chorus to this song reminds me of the George Harrison song “Got My Mind Set on You.” It was a great lead into The Maine’s set.
The crowd went absolutely bonkers when The Maine finally hit the stage, it was almost like being at a boy band concert…almost. They opened with “Love & Drugs,” from their latest album “Forever Halloween.” It was a good first choice since “Love & Drugs,” is one of the few songs off the new album that is reminiscent of the group’s classic pop-punk sound. The audience was very into it and most knew all the words even though the album just came out three days ago (albeit the song was released a month ago…it’s still impressive).
The group did a good job of switching back and forth from their newer songs to the older stuff. No matter which The Maine album is your favorite, they played something you liked. My personal fave was “Happy,” the hooks are extremely catchy and John O’Callaghan’s voice sounded impeccable. Of course, not everything is all fun and bright tunes in The Maine’s world; they also performed the emotional ballad “These Four Words.” Everyone got a little emo for this one. The lights were turned down and O’Callaghan hid behind the piano. It was just his voice and his sadness. The song was extremely powerful and it was easy to spot a couple of fans crying.
The sadness didn’t last long though, O’Callaghan quickly reminded everyone why The Maine shows are so much fun. He interacted with the crowd and gave them pep talks. He actually started a monologue with, “this is me being your dad right now.” He was also looking out for everyone asking, “Hey can I get you anything? What can I get you?” The security guards proceeded to bring people in the front rows bottled waters after he said that. It was cute to see how much O’Callaghan loves his fans.
Sadly, the night couldn’t go on forever and the group closed out the night with “We’ll All Be.” They surprised the audience by bringing up all the opening acts to perform with them. It was clear to see how much the bands like and respect each other by how much fun they were having on stage.
All in all, if you’re a fan of The Maine, this is a show worth catching. The tour gets bonus points for bringing in very talented openers. Even if you’ve never heard of any of the opening acts before, you are sure to go home wanting to know more about them.
The 8123 tour is going on throughout the summer with the last stop in Austin, TX on July 20.
Photography by Rosemary Vega