Well, after a nice, relaxing vacation, I picked right up and headed to the 9:30 Club to catch The Maine play a near-soldout show on July 5.
I was mostly going for the openers, but ended up enjoying all four bands that played. First up was Brighten. I’ve been a fan of Justin Richard’s side project for awhile, but had never seen them live before and was slightly unimpressed with the new album.
They sounded great, but I couldn’t help but feel like the music was more suited to a coffee shop then a 1200 capacity venue. Think slow, acoustic ballads. At times I think the audience was falling asleep!
Next up was This Century. I loved their last EP, but their recently released full-length, “Biography of A Heartbreak” seemed like a bit of a departure from their sound. There are still some catchy tunes (“Tip Toe”, which they played), but most seem to be set to the same beat and rhythm, not utilizing vocalist Joel Kanitz’s range. He sounded good live, but was definitely not belting.
Kanitz kept the energy alive, dashing around the stage and creeping close to the audience, while the rest of the band fed off that. Oddly, there was no bassist, which just confirmed the “same beat” sound. They played a mix of older songs and newer ones and really had the crowd going. I didn’t know they had so many fans in the area!
A Rocket To The Moon played next. They’re breaking up after this tour, so it was nice of them to give their fans a final farewell. ARTTM is one of those bands I’ve seen a bunch of times because they always seem to be playing with a band I like. They put on a good show, featuring some older tunes as well as more country-tinged new ones, and the fans gave them a nice send-off.
Finally, The Maine took the stage. Again, I’ve seen them a lot because they tend to open for bands I like, so I could recognize some of their songs. They started off with vocalist John O’Callaghan playing a keyboard for “Love And Drugs”, but quickly put that away to move around the stage.
They played several songs off of their four full-lengths, including their new album “Forever Halloween”, and showed their growth from just another pop-rock band with a “The” in front of their name, to a more mature sound.
If the tour is coming to your town, be sure to check it out. There’s a good mix of bands that compliment each other, but don’t sound exactly the same.
To see more photos from the show, check out my Flickr page.