Arizona emo band The Maine has been through a number of different phases in their twelve years of existence. Through their true pop-punk, emo beginning with “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” their dark and edgier “Forever Halloween” phase, and their soft and sincere release of “Lovely Little Lonely,” the band has always fully embraced whatever era of music they find themselves in. Things are no different with their latest full-length album release, titled “You Are OK.” The band went all out with the accompanying tour for the album, attempting to create an immersive experience for fans that promoted the concept of “The Mirror.” The Mirror Tour made a stop in Philadelphia Saturday night, playing a near sold out show at Union Transfer.
“The Mirror” is a reference to the album artwork for “You Are OK,” which features a naked woman standing in front of a mirror placed in the middle of the dessert. The mirror more symbolically represents a message of internal reflection and acceptance, and this tour asks fans to “step into the mirror” with The Maine.
While nice in its concept, the actual completion of this immersive experience was very underwhelming for an audience member who might not be in with The Maine fandom. Besides for a single neon sign that displayed interesting and unique visuals during each song, there was nothing else that set the actual concert aside from other normal concert experiences. Most of the interactive parts of “The Mirror” were props and photo opportunities for fans set up in the venue lobby. However, while “The Mirror” might have underwhelmed some in attendance, it meant a lot to a majority of the fans in attendance which was the whole point of the experience anyway.
The Maine is notorious for their semi-cult-ish fandom which has followed their band throughout most of their existence. These fans are a part of the 8123 family, which represents a location where the band members and their friends gathered prior to The Maine’s existence. The phrase has now extended to the following and friendship among the band’s fan base.
Fandom and immersive experience aside, The Maine gave an amazing performance, playing the perfect mix of new and old from their discography. The Maine continue to be one of my favorite bands to see live, due in part to their entertaining front man John O’Callaghan. O’Callaghan’s electric interaction with the fans makes each show special. Whether it be picking a random fan out of the crowd to do stupid dance moves, fist bumping crowd surfers, or helping a fan propose mid concert (yes, that really happened), O’Callaghan does it all with a charismatic smile on his face that projects to the entire room. The Maine are certainly a band you don’t want to miss when they come on tour near you.
All photos and transcript by Olivia Burger.