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By Ryan Sterritt

The Maine (In Concert - 8/12)

Taking a breather from the Warped updates, I've decided to post my findings at a recent Atlanta concert. The setting? The Masquerade venue on the top floor, also known as Heaven. The weather was confused. Sunny, yet clouds decided to drop rain at random.  The culprits? 5 men from Arizona that go by one name: The Maine. 

Did you like that 1920's-style detective talk? Yeah, I didn't either.

The opening band was called This Century: 4 friends also from Arizona. Their sound was pretty typical. Pop-rock with sappy lyrics. I mean, let's be honest, they had a song called "To Love and Back". Air Supply should sue since it sounds like their long-last album name. They had a song at the end of their set that was more tolerable, but nothing that would inspire me to look up the band..except..to find out they were..from Arizona..for this blog..

But, I guess they set up the mood for the rest of the show with poppy guitars and love-inspired lyrics. 

The next band up to bat was the headliner, The Maine. However, a member of the band came out and said they had a few friends who wanted to come out and play a few songs first. Thinking the friends were just kids who have their own local band, I wasn't too excited. But then again, who could of called two members of the pop-punk stars, Atlanta's own Cartel. Lead singer Will Pugh and one of the two guitarists came out and performed two songs acoustically for the audience. It was a treat that no one expected. These guys are the ones to watch after. They exploded with their first album, Chroma, only to make albums that were just a little under expectation. Not that they were bad, because they definitely were not. Just nothing that could live up to their breakthrough debut album. 

Anyways, as soon as they left the stage, The Maine was up next. Flags were set up (all of them had large black M's on them), stereos were revealed and the crowd was anxious. Once the lights went down, a serial killer must have stabbed a girl or something because I've never heard screaming that loud before..Oh, they were excited because the lead singer came out without a shirt on? Oh, that's a better reasoning. Well still, the screaming and jumping was a bit overboard. To each his own, I suppose. 

Moving on. I've heard of The Maine before and even have seen them live before. Granted, it was in passing during a large festival in New Jersey, called Bamboozle. But it was quick enough of a view for me to know what they looked like, what they sounded like and how they acted on stage. I have to pick at this, the band has changed a little bit. For the best or worst, is hard to determine. They have completely changed their look, now dressing in mostly black and jeans. Trying to portray a tougher image, I guess. Their mannerisms have shifted from getting the crowd pumped up to simply acting like their presence was enough for them. Always a turn-off for musicians watching another band perform. And their music..funny, it hasn't really changed at all. Which is relieving. But surprising at the same time. Same upbeat songs about overcoming love and celebrating it. If you haven't heard their new album, "Black & White", make sure to download it for some pretty good pop-rock songs. 

You know, ultimately it was a good show. The opener could have been a more entertaining choice, but a solid opener. Cartel was a very, VERY pleasant surprise and added a huge amount of fun to the show. And The Maine has changed a bit from who they were a year ago, but maybe it's for the best. I mean, if I had the lead singer's body type, I guess I would do the same.  Er..I mean...alcohol! Football! Yay!