The Maine @ Gramercy Theatre 12/16/2011

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When the Maine play a show, they play as if they were in their own living room. Their stage was decorated with rugs, lamps, and table cloths draped over their equipment. This made for a more intimate feel to the sold out show at New York’s Gramercy Theatre. With their new album only being out for 10 days so far, the fans know all the words to their new songs already.

The Maine opened up with a stellar performance of “Identify.” With the first song, it sounded like they had performed this song for years. The band was in sync and you could feel the emotion behind every word, strum, drum beat. Even with Garret running around the stage and head banging his heart out, the band’s playing was great. Jared Monaco on guitar was something you have to see in person. When it was just Jared playing, you could tell he was in his element, and he was mesmerizing. His performance in “Misery” and “Jenny” were awe-inspiring. When the band weren’t playing, they were either interacting with the crowd or showing fans how to get out of a ticket by showing some nip action (As taught by John). But when they were, it was moving. Their performance of songs like “Thinking of You” made the crowd scream with elation while others like “Jenny” had fans waving their lighters in the air. These songs sounded good on the album, but live in person, these songs were captivating.

In between playing songs off their new album and old favorites, the Maine played a video for their fans. It was a video of the guys “making fun of [them]selves.” It had scenes of their first photo shoot, their major label signing, Pat Kirch’s addiction to cupcakes, with talk about “dinosaur blood, bald eagle eggs, and platinum shafts.” It was an amusing video that had the crowd laughing instantly.

“This song is about a lack of sexual intercourse.” – John (Inside of You) After they showed the video, the guys turned on the lamps on their equipment and pulled out the stools. They then started to play some old songs like “Right Girl” and “Everything I Ask For.” At one point, Pat Kirch even dropped his drum stick, just as he did in the “Everything I Ask For” music video. It just goes to show that despite their changing sound, the guys are still their funny selves but with less hair. From John’s dancing to Garret’s questions to the crowd, the guys kept the crowd entertained in between songs. While they kept the crowd entertained in between songs, they caught all the crowd’s attention during the songs. With John’s harmonica during “Every Road” to Kennedy’s rhythmic clapping to Jared’s dazzling acoustic guitar, it was hard not to pay attention to these guys. All throughout the show, the crowd’s attention was something they never lost.

“This record is for all of you.” – John “Time to give them what they’re waiting for,” one of the lines from “Identify,” truly describes this performance. The fans waited out in the cold for hours to see these guys play, and the brought their A game. Their playing was on point and with every word, they brought the warmth back into the fans. The Maine played their new album in its entirety but by also playing some of their old songs, they did exactly what fans wanted, literally. I heard fans who were upset because it was rumored that no old songs would be played. Well I hope those fans are glad that rumor was false because The Maine played “old tunes,” as described by John, such as “Into Your Arms” and the surprising “Ho Ho Hopefully.” John O’Callaghan even donned a Santa hat with reindeer antlers given to him by a fan for “Ho Ho Hopefully.” The show ended with a solo performance from John O’Callaghan. It was just him and his guitar performing “Into Your Arms,” and the crowd couldn’t have been happier to end on that note. The Maine’s performance was filled with incredible vocals, strong musicianship, and great fan interaction.

Setlist:
Identify
My Heroine
Time
Some Days
I’m Sorry
Don’t Give Up On Us
Misery
When I’m At Home
Thinking of You
Jenny
Like We Did (Windows Down)
While Listening to Rock & Roll…
Waiting for My Sun to Shine
Inside of You
Right Girl
Everything I Ask For
Don’t Stop Now
Every Road
Ho Ho Hopefully
Saving Grace
Into Your Arms

Photography by Nancy Hoang.

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (Basically, she's a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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