Written by Shasha Abushara
Hello, earthlings! Today we’re going to be talking about a band called The Maine. Full disclosure: The Maine is my favourite band. Credit for that goes to MySpace, and my older sister finding out about them on MySpace and getting me to listen to them. Okay, let’s begin!
I want to start off by saying that living in Hawai’i has its pros and cons. Don’t get me wrong, the pros of living in a place where some people only ever dream of vacationing is not lost on me. It’s absolutely breathtaking and I know how blessed I am to be able to call Hawai’i home. Like I said though, it does have its cons… the main one on my list being that it makes seeing your favourite bands and artists more difficult because you’re literally just this blip of an island chain in the ocean. So you either spend years waiting for them to come to Honolulu, or you shell out money for not only concert tickets, but a plane ticket or two as well to go see them. I have admittedly done the latter and I have zero regrets, but I digress.
Thankfully we’ve had some pretty stellar acts come down and put on amazing shows. With acts like The Maine to Halsey, William Singe, Taking Back Sunday and Mayday Parade playing shows here, my view of living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as a con has definitely changed because of just how many people have been making the time to include Hawai’i on their tours. The majority of the aforementioned artists have played in Honolulu more than once and I’m honestly still so stoked that I was able to see The Maine both of the times they’ve come here. The reason I say both times is because The Maine has played shows in Honolulu on two separate occasions with a 7 YEAR gap between them. Granted, that’s none of their faults, but rest assured I definitely asked them about it when I saw them this second time around.
Way back on September 18, 2010, The Maine made their Hawai’i debut in what used to be Pipeline Cafe in Honolulu. A.K.A., the place to see bands play. I say ‘used to’ because that venue is now a BJ Penn gym, but the memories of the first time my sister and I saw and met them shall live on forever. Sure, Pipeline Cafe was admittedly on the seedier side as far as venues go, but it sort of adds to the whole experience of what going to a show can be like. Right down to the carvings in the bathroom stalls and writings up and down the venue walls. On show days, the line would stretch from the entrance and wrap all the way down the outside of the building and sometimes stretch to other warehouses and buildings in the area. The best part was that if you were close enough to the front or close enough to the side doors, you would have a better chance of meeting whoever was performing that day as they were leaving soundcheck. Inside, though, it was more of a narrow concert hall venue where you would walk in, immediately be met with the merch area, and when you walked towards the right it was this stretch of room with a stage smack at the end of it. But as rundown of a venue as it was, a majority of my concert experiences happened in what used to be Pipeline Cafe and a core memory of mine is seeing and meeting The Maine.
“I knew it was going to be one hell of a comeback show in paradise.”
It was September 2010 and they had recently released Black & White and I had literally been building up my excitement since I found out about the show back in June. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to describe the feeling of finally getting to see your favourite band live for the first, but since it’s a feeling we can all relate to, it was definitely that one. And they did not disappoint me or my sister or my friends at all. They put on an amazing first show in Honolulu, took the time to hang out afterwards like they always do, and they just genuinely seemed to have as great of a time as those of us who went to support them. I can’t remember that many of the songs they played back then, but I do remember them playing “I Must Be Dreaming”, “Right Girl” and essentially sob singing along to “We All Roll Along” and just having a wonderful time overall.
It’s so bizarre thinking back to that initial 2010 show and then thinking about their return to Hawai’i in 2017 because I saw them not once, but twice this time around. And the reason I was able to see them twice is because I have friends that are actual gems and told me to clear my schedule for June 27th because she had put me on the guest list to an acoustic set The Maine was having at the iHeartMedia offices in Honolulu. Did I freak out that I was getting to see my favourite band two days in a row? Yes. Did I have an internal freak out when I went towards to the entrance go see my friend waiting to cross the street only to find all five members walking towards me and the small group of us waiting to be taken upstairs? Also yes! Although I think the best part about the acoustic set was how intimate it was. And for whatever reason, when John and Jared were talking in-between songs, no one else really raised their hand when John asked who was going to their show the following day except me so I high key got singled out throughout the rest of the set, but it was totally for good reason. I was also low key caught off guard when he came up to me afterwards to chat about the new venue and how different it is compared to where they played last time, but again, TOTALLY CHILL.
Sticking true to what going to any type of show The Maine has, everyone got to basically hang out and take photos with them and have a good time. And I may or may not have taken my polaroid camera with me to get individual and group shots with them… but anyway! What made the entire afternoon perfect, in my opinion, was that Jared ultimately helped me convince my sister to go to their show the following night despite being anxious because of her last time going to a show. (It was a Reel Big Fish show and the crowd was just too much, ja feel?) That’s just the power of music, though. And there’s also something about members of your favourite bands relating to your anxiety feels but still encouraging you to go out to their show, but details details. Long story short, we convinced my sister to go and she’s so glad that she did because hey, seven years is a long time, and who knows when they’re going to be able to come back! Although they all said they hope to come back much sooner than before so… fingers crossed on that front!
I know I’m not alone when I say that Lovely, Little, Lonely is a work of pure art. I’ve been listening to it non stop since it came out and as soon as I saw Honolulu, HI listed as a tour date, I knew it was going to be one hell of a comeback show in paradise. Show day arrived faster than I had time to comprehend and having been to the acoustic set the day before further fueled my excitement. Show night started and show night ended and all I have to say is that when the lead singer of your favourite band spots and recognizes you in the crowd, points and smiles and waves at you and then waits for you to smile and wave back before continuing with their set, it just makes you adore said band even more if that were humanly possible. The show ended far too quickly for anyone’s liking and one of the funniest things that happened was that a barista from the Starbucks I frequent downtown before and after work was pulled up on stage during “Girls Do What They Want” and it was just gold. It got even better because we saw him working later that week.
But, anyway, the show itself was everything I wanted it to be and more. I knew beforehand that the show would end with “Another Night on Mars” but it’s another thing entirely when you’re there and part of the crowd singing along with people who just get it. There’s no need to really explain what it is about the music or the people there because everyone already feels what you feel, too. One of my favourite things about The Maine and the entire 8123 family is that I’ve never been let down by any of them. I’ve made some amazing friends through the music they’ve shared and I don’t want to know what my life would be like if I didn’t end up supporting a band called The Maine.
TL;DR – THE MAINE IS A WONDERFUL GROUP OF HUMANS AND THEY HAVE NEVER LET ME DOWN IN THE HISTORY OF THEM AS A BAND. and can we just take a moment bc oh my god this band is real they are real people they are actual human beings who have managed to bring other human beings together and always take the time to hang out after shows no matter what because it makes me really emo and you know what make America emo again good night, folks.