It’s been a very good year for a band called The Maine. Arizona’s hometown boys returned to The Van Buren on Saturday to close out eight months of touring, bringing The Mirror and 2019 to an emotional end. Accordingly, the fans celebrated properly, dressing in gold and filling the venue with masses of (fake) yellow flowers.
California trio Twin XL opened the night, also concluding a stellar year for the band. The group combined pop, indie and even funk influences for a groovy set that put the room in motion. Cameron Walker and brothers Josh and Stephen Gomez have had a meteoric start to their career and the hype behind their music is nothing but genuine. They played through the entirety of their debut EP, ending their set with new single “Messy” and hit track “Good”.
This Wild Life provided direct support for The Maine and their “prescription strength emotional music” definitely resonated with a good portion of the audience. The duo traded roles on guitar, keys and drums for a unique and impactful set. Their sweet and soft set included favorites like “Puppy Love” and “Catie Rae” before the stage was cleared for the night’s main event.
All year, The Maine have had one message for their fans: You Are OK. The Mirror brought the band’s message to vibrant life, reverberating throughout the crowd. The Arizona quintet amplified this sentiment through stunning videos and voiceovers, provided by the band members themselves, as they spoke of anxiety and struggle to know oneself. Naturally, they offset these serious moments with their goofy personalities- the perfect balance to an incredible show.
Singer John O’Callaghan kept his rapt audience “piped up” for songs from the band’s latest album and old favorites like “Inside of You” and “Am I Pretty?”. The crowd sang every word the entire night, including O’Callaghan’s foray into the audience for an acoustic jam session/karaoke night (one that really went off the rails when the whole room started singing Smashmouth’s “All Star”).
The band playfully threatened to play for another 32 straight hours- not that anyone seemed too upset by this prospect as these shows always seem to end too soon. The Maine closed The Mirror with “Numb Without You” and the full nine-minute experience of “Flowers on the Grave”. Judging from the fans leaving the room, in 2019, we really were okay.
Check out more photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel