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Live: THE MAINE // O2 Forum Kentish Town, London

Leaving the nostalgia of Lovely Little Lonely behind, The Maine enter the new era full of hope and empowerment, sending out the message ‘You Are OK’ across the world.

The Maine - O2 Forum - GIG GOER - 2019

Can you believe it’s been 12 years since The Maine was formed? Me neither.

Celebrating the release of their seventh studio album, You Are OK, the Arizona quintet headed out on a string of European shows last week. With a stop at O2 Forum Kentish Town, the band took to the stage to play their biggest headline London show to date.

With every album cycle planned to the smallest detail, The Maine have become masters of aesthetics. Swapping the reds, whites and blacks – a leading theme of the ‘Lovely Little Lonely’ era, for a warm orange glow, their live shows act as another representation of the new concept. In colour psychology, orange tones bring in enthusiasm and confidence, and spark energetic feelings within, similar to the motifs that outlined and inspired their new album. With the stage production and the band’s attire following in the same vein, the performance was an attention-grabbing spectacle which, without a doubt, will be remembered for a long time.

Taking us on a bouncy journey through their new material, the opener Numb Without You set a fast pace from the get-go, as its pounding drums and massive chorus ricocheted off the walls. Treating us to a well-balanced set, Slip The Noose channelled its high-powered dynamics into the buzzing crowd, whilst the shimmering stunner Broken Parts was one of the more tender and emotional songs of the set, and created a moment for deeper reflection as John said: “I don’t know what we did to deserve this”.

Highly energetic and expressive all throughout, The Maine have always prided themselves on having a special bond with their fans. With a flair for entertaining the crowds, the band put their heart and soul into the show, making every song feel both brand new yet classically The Maine. Spinning some of the old school tracks, such as We All Roll Along alongside the fan favourites Like We Did (Windows Down), Miles Away and (Un)Lost, there was something for everyone.

All of the tracks taken from their previous record, Lovely Little Lonely, served as a real treat. In between the moments of passion in Taxi and nostalgia of The Sound Of Reverie, there was a chance to let loose to the swaying melodies of Bad Behavior. Elsewhere in the set, the infectious rhythm in How Do You Feel? effortlessly stirred things up and set hearts racing, whilst Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu erupted into a loud singalong.

In signature The Maine style, Am I Pretty? saw one lucky fan get on stage and join the band for the last chorus of the song. Totally smashing it, the kid had the whole of O2 Forum jumping around and singing along. And as the feelings kept pouring in, he said: “I love you guys. And they love you”, whilst pointing at the crowd, proving once more that what The Maine have going on with their fans is, indeed, special.

“For the first time in 12 years our band was invited to play Reading and Leeds Festival. I don’t know what we did but we fucking did it. None of this shit would be possible without you. If we don’t see you at Reading, we’ll see you in February next year. Music is so fucking cool”, we heard from John just before Another Night On Mars brought a grand finale to the set.

Never ones to follow the trends or fall into the trap of conformity, The Maine have always done things their way. They are one of the most consistent and in my humble opinion, one of the most underrated bands in modern music. Pushing their boundaries and rising to new heights time after time, the ‘You Are OK’ era is a reminder that no matter what happens, they will always be there for their fans as much as their fans will always be there for the band. Their live shows stand testament to that. I’ve been enjoying this ride for the last 12 years and I’m certainly not planning on getting off anytime soon.

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Photos: Kasia Osowiecka