The Maine loosens up a shy crowd of alternative rockers at Rio Theatre

The Maine with The Wrecks and The Technicolors at Rio Theatre, 4/8/18

A young crowd in punk rock outfits and an array of crazy coloured hair gathered at the Rio Theatre on Sunday night for the fifth show of the Fry Your Brain with The Maine tour. The Maine’s sixth studio album Lovely Little Lonely was the reason for the tour, and this particular venue created an environment unique to The Maine’s typical vibe – as fans could snack on popcorn and alcohol-free drinks at the all-ages show.  

An independent band from Phoenix called The Technicolors entered the stage after a recorded saxophone introduction. Cool echoing vocals and twinkle lights on the amps created a magical feel as they performed multiple head bopping beats and slow songs that built up to catchy rock tunes.

“I’d like to dedicate this song to the people who lose their wallet on a day to day basis,” frontman Brennan Smiley joked with the crowd as he introduced a relatable song called “Space Cadet.” The mellow tune filled the room with layers of sound leaving a good impression on both early and late arrivers of the show.

An LA band called The Wrecks hopped on the stage soon after with energy so contagious that people found themselves mimicking their movements and clapping along to the upbeat melodies. Performing a song called “Way With Words” that embodied the sounds of a radio hit and a flawless cover of Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” The Wrecks could easily become everyone’s new favourite band.

Frontman Nick Anderson swung himself across the stage throughout each song, spreading his light among the other charming band members. He asked the audience to stand up for their last song “Favorite Liar”, where the final line was, “you made me love the rain” – a perfect lyric for the drizzling Vancouver night.

The DJ pumped up the crowd and helped them reminisce in-between sets with older alternative hits before the “M” logo lit up behind the set. Members of The Maine snapped their way onto a stage where the only props were album artwork on the amps and a drum kit featuring the words “Lovely Little Lonely.”

Lead singer and frontman John O’Callaghan kept telling the shy audience to loosen up. “This is not church, folks,” he joked as he said how nice Canadian audiences are in comparison to ones in the U.S. But after leading a “scream after me” segment, throwing water at the crowd, and singing the throwback song of all throwback songs – the crowd finally complied. “Everything I Ask For” was the band’s first big hit in 2008, and holds a special place in the hearts of fans. It was the anthem preteens spent hours listening to on repeat as they drooled over the band’s “emo flip” haircuts that have now been cut short, and the perfect song to bring the crowd back to life.

As long as people fed off the drunk energy from the multiple birthday celebrators in the audience, it was easy to have a good time. Singing songs from their newest albums including “Don’t Come Down” and “English Girls” all the way back to one they haven’t performed in 10 years, The Maine set out to make sure their fans got what they came for.

“Will you marry me!?” a young man asked. Though O’Callaghan turned down the proposal, saying he wanted to get to know him first, he sincerely thanked everyone for being there and giving them the opportunity to make music – and stay happily broke – for 11 years. “Whether it’s your first time with us or your hundred and first – thank you,” he said.

Long-time fans of the band were disappointed they didn’t hear them perform “Into Your Arms” – the band’s all-time hit from 2009. But if they waited patiently by the tour bus, they would be lucky enough to fall into the arms of the band, as they have made it a tradition over the years to meet fans after every single show.