REVIEW – The Maine / Leeds Stylus / 11.09.2017

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The Maine are a band that, for me at least, never disappoint when it comes to live shows and that was definitely a trend which continued at their headline show in Leeds on the 11th September 2017. The show, which was a part of the ‘Lovely Little Lonely world tour’ was taking place at Stylus, a 1000 capacity basement venue.

Though I’m not normally one for queueing for shows, on this occasion I arrived around 20 minutes before doors were due to open. The bonus of this venue is that the queuing area is indoors, which was definitely welcome on a cool day. The atmosphere was building nicely with fans all around me making friends in line. Even better, doors opened promptly and venue staff were very organised getting everyone in.

Once inside, I secured myself a space in the second row towards the right hand side of the venue and awaited the first support band, The Technicolors. The music playing in the background while we waited was handpicked by The Maine themselves and, while not all of it was really my style, it did a good job of building an atmosphere.

I didn’t really know what to expect from The Technicolors, having never listened to their music before but it only took half a song for me to realise I was impressed. The four-piece rock band from Phoenix had a unique sound which complimented that of The Maine nicely; it was obvious why they had been chosen for the tour (alongside the obvious reasons of being labelmates and personal friends of The Maine). The set was mostly fast-paced and seemed to hold the attention of the majority of the crowd, despite the fact that I saw few, if any, people who seemed to know any lyrics. While singing along was limited, by the end of the set more people than not were tapping their fingers or feet or bobbing their heads in time and numerous people had taken out their phones to record or take photos, which, to me, is always a complimentary sign.

The next band, Night Riots, were equally unfamiliar to me going into the gig. As with The Technicolors, I’d heard their name mentioned before but I couldn’t recall having ever listened to any of their songs. However, once again, I wasn’t disappointed. They had an incredible stage presence which really held the attention of the crowd, despite the fact that, once again, very few people appeared to know the words to any of their songs. Their music matched the quality of their stage presence and, once again, their sound complimented that of The Maine very well. Towards the second half of the set, the band broke into an impressive drum solo with colourful light-up drum sticks. It was definitely impressive and added to the performance.

Following Night Riots’ set, the gig started going less than to plan. The fire alarm started ringing. At first, everyone, at least everyone around me, stood still hoping it would stop. When it became clear that it wasn’t going to, we made a dash for the exit at the back of the venue. Everyone was much calmer than I thought they might be in such a situation and evacuating was relatively civilised. We were ushered outside and waited there, alarm still ringing, for probably around ten minutes. The alarm finally stopped and, before long,

we were allowed back in. This was much less civilised, with everyone now racing for the barrier all at once. Somehow, I made it to the barrier at the far left side of the venue.

Despite the alarm, The Maine still bounded onto the stage on time and played their full set list, John dressed in the iconic blue suit from the Am I Pretty? music video. The opened with the upbeat and energetic Black Butterflies and Déjà vu, despite having opened with How Do You Feel? the previous day in Glasgow. In my opinion, the setlist change was welcome. Black Butterflies and Déjà vu instantly grabbed the attention of fans and got everyone singing along and jumping around. The setlist also flowed together very well.

All of the essential parts of a The Maine set were there, including the energy and the fan participation for Girls Do What They Want, with a fan named Matt being invited on stage to perform with The Maine.

To conclude, The Maine’s set was impressive and this was probably my favourite show of theirs that I’ve been to. Moreover, both support bands impressed me, despite me having never listened to them before and I will definitely become a fan in the future.

Photo: Emily Moorby

Writer: Erin Ellwood

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