Hometown heroes make last tour stop in Tempe

Lead singer of The Maine John O’Callaghan serenades the band’s hometown crowd. (Photo courtesy of KJ Mark)

Star-spangled backdrops, screaming guitars and a proposal (spoiler alert: she said, “yes”) all entertained a nearly sold-out Marquee Theatre on Saturday for the last night of Mayday Parade and The Maine’s co-headlining tour.

The crowd surged forward to greet the New York-based four piece The Postelles, as it kicked off the show. Lead singer Daniel Balk spent the duration of several songs standing on the barricade by the audience, while belting out the band’s folky rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Gritty guitars accompanied the impressive vocal performance. The band also led the audience in a massive sing-along to “Hey Little Sister.”

Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade continued the concert after a short wait by opening the band’s set with a quiet piano version of “Stay.” While it was an unorthodox way to begin the set, the crowd sang every word — there were more than a few tears shed as Sanders finished the song.

The rest of the band emerged, and the tempo instantly increased. The heavily tattooed lead singer, sporting an arm covered in fan-made bracelets, tossed the microphone in the air and whipped his hair as the band blasted through the set. Songs such as, “Oh Well, Oh Well,” “Kids in Love” and “Jersey” got the audience riled up. Crowd surfers and mosh pits abounded when Sanders asked the fans to “get rowdy” as the group ended the set with the hugely popular “Black Cat.”

Photo courtesy of KJ Mark
Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade began the group’s set with a piano version of the song “Stay.” (Photo courtesy of KJ Mark)

As the lull between sets settled in, the crowd was pleasantly surprised when a young man proposed to his girlfriend onstage. Cheers and whistles followed the young lady’s acceptance. It was a touching moment at the show.

There is nothing quite like a crowd welcoming back its hometown heroes from tour, and this is what it was like seeing The Maine. Singer John O’Callaghan, guitarists Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco, bassist Garrett Nickelsen and drummer Pat Kirch took the stage to great fanfare. Set against a color-changing background that resembled stars, the band mixed the set list with songs from all three of its albums.

The Maine changed up its set list every night of the tour and brought out some special songs for the Tempe crowd. Monaco’s guitar solos wailed through songs like “Ice Cave” and “I Want You.”

Unfortunately, O’Callaghan’s voice started to show noticeable signs of strain as the night went on, but his energy never wavered. He bantered with the crowd and gave shout-outs to his parents and friends present at the concert.

Mayday Parade excited concertgoers on the band’s last stop on its co-headlining tour with The Maine. (Photo courtesy of KJ Mark)

Even though O’Callaghan was having vocal trouble, the fans were more than willing to help out. The sing-along during “Inside of You” was so loud that it drowned out O’Callaghan’s voice, and his delight was evident.

The band members were clearly having the time of their lives playing for the Tempe fans. The highlight of the evening came at the end of the show when The Maine performed “One Pack of Smokes,” the hidden track from their third album, “Pioneer.” Descriptions like “epic” were overheard while leaving the venue.

It was indeed an epic evening, and the perfect way to close out the tour.

 

Reach the reporter at okhiel@asu.edu