Music Reviews — 28 February 2014
“An Acoustic Evening With The Maine” Dials It Down at The Studio

An Acoustic Evening with The Maine

A LocalBozo.com Concert Review
The Studio at Webster Hall, New York, NY
February 27, 2014

Concert Review: The Maine at The Studio

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Tickets for The Maine‘s more intimate string of acoustic only shows sold out quickly after going on sale and Thursday evening’s show at New York City’s Studio at Webster Hall was certainly no different. The young audience, skewing mostly toward females packed the diminutive space to the gills, eagerly anticipating a unique performance from the Arizona quintet making their third appearance in Manhattan in the past twelve months. This time though, the wildly energetic stage show was considerably toned down as the band, without much room to move about, delighted the captive crowd with tracks from their growing catalog performed acoustically. And the intimacy of the show lent itself to many thrilling moments for the shrieking legion of The Maine’s young fans.

After speaking with the group’s frontman a few weeks back, it was evident that the band had circled the New York City show on their calendar long before their trek began. As the band emerged from backstage, a sea of flashbulbs and camera phone lights rose up amid a room filled with screaming. Singer John O’Callaghan played to the audience early and often, humbly responding to many of the cat calls being thrown in his direction with a smile. Without much hesitation, The Maine got down to business, opening with “I’m Sorry” and “My Heroine” from 2011′s “Pioneer,” two tracks well suited for this virtually stripped down setting. Surprisingly, the band’s 75 minute set only scratched the surface of their recently released 5 song EP “Imaginary Numbers” of which inspired versions of “Raining in Paris” and “Lovely Sad” made appearances.

To their credit though, The Maine fashioned a performance that catered to their audience as each song’s opening notes seemed to make the crowd swoon delightfully. With his band backing behind him, O’Callaghan moved from rhythm guitar to the keys seamlessly, crooning every step along the way. And like most established artists, the acoustic setting seemed to breathe new life into many of the band’s songs led by the frontman’s ability to remain perfectly on point with each note. The 80′s fan in this writer thoroughly enjoyed a Talking Heads tease of “Psycho Killer,” replete with O’Callaghan puffing up the shoulders of his shirt in signature David Byrne style, before the band took off with their original song “Run.”

Other tracks like “Growing Up” and “Color” were particular standouts as the show progressed. O’Callaghan meanwhile seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself on stage throughout, playfully interacting with the audience between songs and recalling an especially funny story of revenge that he pulled straight from his high school prom days. As the evening drew nearer to the witching hour- 9pm on this night as the 16 and over ages show needed to make its curfew- The Maine sent the crowd home happy with a stirring closing number “One Pack of Smokes From Broke,” one of the band’s hidden tracks. The slow and uplifting song managed to please fans in the know as well as the unfamiliar few who weren’t, with the entire audience enthralled to be in close proximity to a group of talented musicians in such a brief and yet still idyllic moment in their lives.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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