CONCERT REVIEW: The Maine/Augustana @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre – 05.31.11

Augustana

When The Maine brought Austin Gibbs on tour last summer, I unfortunately made the horrible mistake of not showing up early (for a sold out show, nonetheless) and missed his performance. Thankfully, I learned my lesson and managed to catch his set on The Maine and Augustana’s sold out show at The Phoenix Concert Theatre this time.

Despite being an opening band, Austin Gibbs received a warm welcome as fans cheered and screamed his name until he gets on stage. In a plaid shirt and a denim jacket, Austin Gibbs played on the acoustic guitar with the backup band on other instruments. I actually expected an acoustic performance but was taken away by the energy and loudness behind Gibbs’s raspy voice.

Augustana

Augustana

The California band Augustana began the set with the radio hit “Boston”. In contrast with Austin Gibbs’ loud performance, Augustana took it slow and performed and highly enjoyable set with heads swaying along. Lead singer Dan Layus alternates between the piano and the guitar, played the heartbreaking songs such as “I Still Ain’t Over You” and lovely “Sweet and Slow”, which is accompanied by a hearty singalong from the fans.

The Maine

The Maine

Since summer 2008 when The Maine’s played Toronto for the first time, I been to most of their shows and this was my fifth time seeing them. As usual, the band commands a loyal crowd of fan(girls) who screamed and cheered in anticipation for the band – the floor was shaking when the band came on, performing a new song “Good Love” under flashing lights. Although The Maine has played in Toronto a handful of times, as lead singer John O’Callaghan acknowledged, it was their first time playing at the Phoenix. There is a balcony above the left side of the stage and there were a couple girls (VIP or something?) up there, O’Callaghan later went up there and sang “Inside of You”, even pulled a stunt walking the edge of the balcony. The Maine told Toronto that it was the best show they played (now if only I get a buck every time I hear this – not that I’m bragging whatsoever, but Toronto crowd rocks) on the tour (O’Callaghan reassured the crowd the legitimacy of his words by revealing the other time he has said that was at Philadelphia). The band performed an updated arrangement of “Everything I Ask For”, this new version loses its original poppiness and musically matured with an edge. Towards the end of the show, O’Callaghan shouted out to the survivors at Joplin, Missouri and reminded the crowd to treasure their loved ones because of the uncertainties in life. They ended the night with “Growing Up” and O’Callaghan changed the lyrics of “it takes me back to Southern California” to “it takes me back to beautiful Toronto”, it achieved its desire effect as the fans cheered for the reference.

As aforementioned, I have seen The Maine a few times over the years and witnessed their growth both musically and in live performances. In comparison to previous times, the band appeared to be matured – at least there were no more talks of “I want to have sex with all of you” (even as the crowd demanded O’Callaghan to take his shirt off, he did not comply!)

The Maine

The Maine

Text and photos by Jessie Lau
Translated by Jaime Chumailcracker.netцены яндекс директ