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Live: THE MAINE // The Corner Hotel, Melbourne

“Last time we were here, we were young and now we are old” – The Maine made the roughly 8-thousand-mile journey to blow up a small but iconic venue in Melbourne on Friday night.

“Last time we played here it was half the amount of people, so thanks for showing up. That’s pretty cool”, frontman John O’Callaghan announced. However, if you have been to the venue you know that it wasn’t designed perfectly, which didn’t go a miss by The Maine. “Did you get discounted tickets because of those f’cking poles” (referring to the large concrete poles around the venue, blocking punters view of the stage). Unfazed by that the crowd sang along to Like We Did (Windows Down).

“I want to see this whole place move. A little big of hips. This song is called My Heroine.” A large cheer from the crowd erupted. “I didn’t ask if you know it because I don’t give a f*ck if you know it.” As an obvious favourite, just like every other track, they played and everyone sang and jump along. Each fan around the room resonated with a particular song, and as I stared around the room, you could see people undergoing an intense amount of emotion and passion. A visceral experience for all.

“People in the shit, in the pit, how you doing?”, O’Callaghan asked. Most likely getting squashed, but something told me that they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. “We’ve been here twice in under a year. That’s a record for us. So, this is all I need from you right now. I need your obedience. Give it all you got.” And as the guitars came in and the drums kicked off it was underway, and the audience joined in a choir like group and rejoiced to The Maine.

Taking a moment to appreciate the band’s wardrobe choices, guitarist Jared Monaco’s outfit became a hot topic of conversation and appreciation. “Look at that Hugh Hefner shit he’s wearing right there. Jared, give the people something”. An epic solo of gigantic proportions followed, as O’Callaghan added “Let’s get f*cking weird, let’s get weird, let’s do it.” It only made the crowd more manic.

Australia is without a doubt a weird place and some things can’t and shouldn’t be explained. But O’Callaghan kind of walked into it. After interacting with a member of the audience about Australian slang and what you do when you’re sad, O’Callaghan announced: “Do a shoey? No way! I need a beer then.” An Australian tradition where one drinks their beer from their shoe, not that complicated but very much disgusting. But he did it and we all watched in shock. How do you follow that up? With Right Girl and Misery did the job I think.

It was then the crowd without any encouragement or asking sang Happy Birthday to drummer Pat Kirch who celebrated his birthday a few days earlier, which made the venue that much unified. To mark the occasion even more so, O’Callaghan took a moment to pull on those heart strings ever so slightly. “If you have followed us for eleven years now, I want to say thank you very much. And for that we are grateful. I want you to f*ck this whole place up after this.” And on that note, they launched into Girls Do What They Want.

After being instructed to ditch our friends: “Friends are expensive. Tell your old friends shut the f*ck up”, we continued with Diet Soda Society from their 2015 release American Candy. The buzz was strong in this crowd, they had bonded and as we trickled to the end of our night together they weren’t going to fade out that’s for sure.

Finishing up with Bad Behaviour and Another Night On Mars it seemed like the right way to end the night. The ever so charming and always entertaining The Maine had done it once more. And something tells me that they will be returning quite soon.

Photos: Liz Stephens